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SAMPLE: W H R Rivers

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 2 months ago

 William Halse Rivers Rivers

 1864 - 1922


English Social Anthropologist and Psychiatrist 


Photograph of W.H.R. Rivers
Photograph of W.H.R. Rivers


Strenths:  pioneer fieldworker, meticulous ethnographer, humane psychologist

Weaknesses:  crackpot diffusionist; thought all culture originated in Egypt

Special features: got to be protagonist of a novel

sign:  Pisces


William Rivers was a medical doctor who participated in the Torres Straits Expedition of 1898.  He tested color vision in Melanesian people and determined that they saw color the same way we do.  He then became fascinated with kinship systems.  For anthropologists his most enduring work is The Todas, a meticulous description and analysis of kinship and marriage among this polyandrous Indian people.  During WWI he treated shell shocked soldiers with psychoanalysis, including the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.   Their relationship is fictionalized in the novel The Ghost Road by Pat Barker.  Always in delicate health, he died suddenly at age 58.











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