El antropólogo inocente es un texto ciertamente insólito del que se dijo: « Probablemente el libro más divertido que se ha publicado este año. Nigel Barley hace. Buy El Antropologo Inocente by Nigel Barley (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Download Citation on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , María Pía Poblete S. and others published Nigel Barley: El Antropólogo Inocente }.

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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Un antropologo che guarda con occhio ironico e a volte decisamente comico e critico il proprio “lavoro sul campo”. If you enjoy this type of humour which I do, obviouslywhich I guess is a self deprecating British humour. Barley starts jigel book by niel fieldwork, and academic life in general, while explaining that fieldwork is the natural progression from doctorates based on ‘library research’. This, along with selecting a location, takes a chapter, and forms the basis for the full extent of the book.

In selecting a location, Barley had narrowed it down to Portuguese Timor, until just as the academic If you enjoy this type of humour which I do, obviouslywhich I guess is a self deprecating British humour. In selecting a location, Barley had narrowed it down to Portuguese Timor, until just as the academic side of things were getting underway, a civil war broke out.

Casting around again, he settled on a little known group of mountain pagans in Northern Cameroon – the Dowayos. A few minor references from French colonial administrators, and some missionary contact established that they were interesting: Finally his travels to Cameroon begin. From there onwards Barley shares his embarrassing situations, his frequent faux pas, and misunderstandings. As well as the amusing interactions, it seems the author is just prone to complications and ‘incidents’.

He also shares, in a simple form the experiences while undertaking his research. I can only assume his academic work was in quite a different writing style from the amusing anecdotes here, but it was an excellent for this book – which judged on topic and content might have been a very dry read. This really was anything but a dry read. There were many excellent anecdotes, but all far longer and more involved than I am motivated to type, so here are a couple of the shorter incidents: The author, with a mild case of Malaria returns to his hut in the village – with the holes in the roof.

Much has been written on the excellence of bats’ navigation equipment. It is all false. Tropical bats spend their entire time flying into obstacles with a horrible thudding noise.

They specialize in slamming into walls and falling, fluttering onto your face. As my own ‘piece of equipment essential for the field’ I would strongly recommend a tennis racket; it is devastatingly effective in clearing a room of bats.

Pastor Brown had taken the time to tell me that bats carried rabies. They occupied a large space in my barlej fantasies.


El antropólogo inocente by Nigel Barley (5 star ratings)

On the local beer. I had made an early policy decision to drink the native beer despite the undoubted horrors of the process of fabrication. On my very first visit to a Dowayo beer party, this was put severely to the test.

No white man, at this time, had ever been known to touch beer. Seizing a calabash, they proceeded to wash it out in deference to my exotic sensibilities.

They did this by offering it to a dog to lick out. Dowayo dogs are not beautiful at the best of times; this one was particularly loathsome, emaciated, open wounds on its ears where flies feasted, huge distended ticks hanging from its belly.

It licked the calabash with relish. It was refilled and passed to me. Everyone regarded me, beaming expectantly. There was nothing to be done; I drained it and gasped out my enjoyment. Several more calabashes followed.

Five stars – worth seeking out, if you like this type of thing.

El antropólogo inocente by Nigel Barley (4 star ratings)

This is an utterly hilarious account of an anthropologist going off into his first field assignment in Cameroon. He has a wittiness that reminds me, oddly enough, of the way that Hugh Grant’s characters often poke fun at themselves barlwy movies.

It’s totally British, totally honest, and utterly candid. I kept wanting to underline entire paragraphs, for going back and laughing at them again later.

Here are a few of my favorites: They plan a large role in the demonology of the subject, beside self-righteous administrators and exploitative colonials. The only intellectually respectable response to a tin rattled in one’s face by someone collecting for missionary work is a reasoned refutation of the whole concept of incente interference Missions destroy traditional cultures and self-respect, reducing peoples all over the globe to the state of helpless, baffled morons living on charity and in economic and cultural thralldom to the West.

The great dishonesty lies in exporting to the Inocent World systems of thought incente the West itself has largely discarded. Then it gets hilarious again when he describes his return home to England: When he returns, on a few ell have elapsed. The acorn he planted has not become a great tree; it has scarcely had time to put forth a tentative shoot Only his closest friends have noticed he has been away at all It is positively insulting how well the world functions without one.

While the traveller has been away questioning his most basic assumptions, life has continued sweetly unruffled.

Friends continue to collect matching French saucepans. The acacia at the foot of the lawn continues to come along nicely. You find yourself discussing the things that seem important to your friends with the same detached seriousness that you used to discuss witchcraft with your villagers. The result of this lack of fit is a brooding sense of insecurity only heightened by the vast numbers of rushing white people you meet everywhere.

The sight of the shelves of a supermarket groaning with super-abunance of food induces either nauseous revulsion or helpless dithering. I would either go three times round the store and give up the attempt to decide, or buy vast amtropologo of the most luxurious goods and whimper with the terror that they would be snatched from me.

I highly recommend this book to anyone ioncente has found themselves living in a cross-cultural situation for an extended period of time.

El antropólogo inocente

While the details might not match, the “feel” certainly will. And the wonderful self-deprecation of the author will keep you in stitches the whole way through.


If you thought “anthopology” sounds like a boring subject, read this one and laugh out loud. Nigel Barley isn’t sure he wants to inoccente actual fieldwork as an anthropologist, but since it seems to be expected, and he’s got nothing else particularly interesting to do, he goes to Africa to study the culture of the Dawayo people.

The book is a mixture of memoir, cultural observation and self-deprecating humor. Barley lays bare the fairly selfish and sometimes wrong-headed motivations of anthropologists from the beginning of the book, but his fieldwork is clearly thorough and complete.

The book Nigel Barley isn’t sure he wants to do actual fieldwork as an anthropologist, but since it seems to be expected, and he’s got nothing else particularly interesting to do, he goes to Africa to study the culture of the Dawayo people. The book is laugh-out-loud funny, but underneath it asks serious questions about the field of anthropology. View all 3 comments. The Noel Coward of anthropology produces a Whitehall farce that should be packaged as an obligatory companion piece to anything and everything by Claude Levi-Strauss.

Hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read. Although Cameroon is far from where I grew up in Southern Africa, many of the truths hold and I found myself laughing aloud on multiple occasions. His descriptions of Africa and the Duwayo culture are superb, the writing flawless. I absolutely adored this book and recommend it to anyone who has spent time in Africa. Everyone should read this before immersing oneself into a foreign culture.

Great, realistic and self-aware perspective about academic anthropology and field work in Cameroon, and so recognizably Cameroon! My intro book to anthropology. Amazing book, even for someone barlej outside interest in the field. Had me in stitches laughing the whole time. I re-read it every jnocente years and it makes me laugh every time. This is an excellent book barlsy an honest account of how fieldwork often doesn’t go as planned. Unlikely much ethnographic writing Barley is able to reflect on the impact of his own actions and presence in the field without turning it into a long-winded, esoteric exercise in navel-gazing.

Instead he is able to be self-deprecating and humorous in a way that few anthropologists are. Some academic anthropologists seem to regard Barley’s work as a bit of a joke. However, this might be because he le Inocennte is an excellent book giving an honest account of how fieldwork often doesn’t go as planned. However, this might be because he lets the cat out of the bag by suggesting in his own tale that fieldwork is not the scientific, detached, coherent endeavour some would have us believe.

But instead it’s a chaotic journey where what they came for is very often a husk of meaning and the trials and tribulations they face turn out to be more significant than sticking with the focus they started out with. Much contemporary anthropology is dreadfully written and seems to be more aimed at appealing academics rather than students or the public.