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BEROSE ENCYCLOPAEDIA

Richards, Audrey (1899-1984)

British anthropologist Audrey Richards (1899-1984), an Africanist anthropologist and faithful disciple of Malinowski, made her first ethnographic fieldwork in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), among the Bemba. She was one of the first anthropologists to conduct applied research in Africa, first on nutrition-related issues. Like her master, she believed she could mitigate the negative impact of British colonialism, while cooperating with administrative agents. She was interested in the transformations of “tribalism” and urbanization, but her most famous work is Chisungu (1956), a story of female initiation among the Bemba.

Keywords: Social and cultural anthropology | Functionalism | British colonialism | 20th century | Zambia | African Studies | Bemba | Kingship | Hunger and nutrition | Initiation rituals | Cultural contact/“Culture contact” | Bronislaw Malinowski