A Distinctly Dubious Character
Count Byron Kuhn de Prorok (1896-1954) was an interesting fellow. Part Indiana Jones and part P.T. Barnum, de Prorok crafted an image of himself as an aristocrat, explorer, and archaeologist who lectured and wrote sensationalized accounts about his exploits. While de Prorok apparently was trained in archaeology in college, he assumed his title from his Polish stepfather and his money through marriage. He has been described as a “distinctly dubious character.”
This “dubious character” is the protagonist of a new work of historical fiction, The Count of the Sahara, by author Wayne Turmel. The story takes place during and after the Logan Museum of Anthropology’s 1925 expedition to southern Algeria. De Prorok facilitated the Logan’s expedition by joining it to his own in exchange for the additional financial resources the college could provide. The expedition is detailed in the Logan’s current exhibit titled, Blue Veils, Black Mountains.
On Monday evening, Nov. 9, Wayne Turmel will discuss de Prorok’s life, adventures, and the creation of the book in a talk beginning at 7 p.m. in the Godfrey Anthropology Building, room 102. His talk will follow a short introduction and film about de Prorok by Michael Tarabulski’81. The museum will be open at 6:30 for those interested in learning about the real-life expedition prior to Turmel’s talk and Turmel will have copies of the novel available for purchase. The talk is sponsored by Three Rivers Archaeological Society and the Logan Museum of Anthropology.