This article examines the convoluted global story of Fritz Bronsart von Schellendorff, a zebra breeder in German East Africa. Around 1900, he promised to tame zebras and to crossbreed them with horses to create a new draught animal: the zebroid. Being an avid trickster, Bronsart continuously managed to attract new sponsors for over a decade, most prominently Emperor Wilhelm II. By tracing the global story of zebra breeding and domestication through multiple archives, this article explores the potential of a microhistorical approach to global history. The case study investigates how Bronsart and his rivals navigated a complex, sometimes paradoxical, web of global and local connections. It argues that only a multilayered analysis of entanglements can provide an accurate picture of global processes. Furthermore, it assesses how these processes influenced historical actors, and, in turn, were fashioned by the actors themselves.


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pp. 127-159
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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