Miklukho-Maklai, Nikolai or Myklukho-Maklai, Mykola [Миклухо-Маклай, Николай (Микола); Mikluxo-Maklaj, Nikolaj (Mykola)], b 17 July 1846 in Rozhdestvenskoe, Borovichi county, Novgorod gubernia, Russia, d 14 April 1888 in Saint Petersburg. Anthropologist, ethnographer, and geographer of Ukrainian descent. After studying at Saint Petersburg University (1863), Heidelberg University (1864), Leipzig University (1865), and Jena University (1866–8) he made 10 voyages to the Pacific Ocean and spent 15 years (1871–86) exploring the geography and observing the natives of New Guinea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Australia. He argued for the unity and equality of all races and defended the rights of the native peoples. His travel diaries were published in 1923, and a five-volume collection of his works in 1950–4. E. Webster’s The Moon Man (1984) is a biography of him and an assessment of his scientific contribution.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]