September 18, 2009


"When I was a young student in London I thought I should get a few tips from experienced fieldworkers before setting out for central Africa. I first sought advice from Westermarck. All I got from him was "don't converse with an informant for more than twenty minutes because if you aren't bored by that time he will be." Very good advice even if somewhat inadequate. I sought instruction from Haddon, a man foremost in field research. He told me it was really quite simple; one should always behave like a gentleman. Also very good advice. My teacher Seligman told me to take ten grains of quinine every night and to keep off the women. The famous Egyptologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, just told me not to bother about drinking dirty water as one soon became immune to it. Finally I asked Malinowski and was told not to be a bloody fool."

E.E. Evans-Pritchard, here.

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