Encounters with the Huli: Fieldwork at Tari in the 1950s

Terence E. Hays

in Ethnographic Presents

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 1992 | ISBN: 9780520077454
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912342 | DOI:
Encounters with the Huli: Fieldwork at Tari in the 1950s

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Men liked to conceive of themselves as birds: free, sovereign, and flighty, ready to defend their own territories and also to soar skyward to the realm of Ni, the sun deity and progenitor of all the Huli. If there is a Huli personality, the male version seems to be marked by volatility and volubility. This chapter discusses the Huli and the theoretical “climate” of the period; experiences and problems in fieldwork; relations with informants; and the way the author chose to formulate data on descent and corporate group structure the way that they did. It discusses Aidan Southall's recent resolution of Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard's well-known paradox, which has raised problems of interpreting Highlands data for too many years. The prospect of undertaking long-term fieldwork among the Huli of Tari Subdistrict, a population believed to number more than fifty thousand souls, was both attractive and challenging.

Keywords: Huli; male; fieldwork; Aidan Southall; Evans-Pritchard; Highlands; Tari

Chapter.  8393 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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