FÜRER-HAIMENDORF, Christoph(er) von. Vienna 27.6.1909 — London 11.6.1995. Austrian Anthropologist in the U.K. Professor in London. Son of Rudolf Fürer von H., an Austrian civil servant, of an ancient German family of nobility. Educated at Theresianische Akademie of Vienna University and studied anthropology and archaeology. Student of W. Schmidt, Koppers, Frobenius and Heine-Geldern. Ph.D. 1931 Wien (with a dissertation not based on field-work). In 1931-34 Assistant Lecturer at Vienna, in 1935-37 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (1935-36 studies under Malinowski in London, 1936-37 field-work among the Nagas in Assam). From 1938 Lecturer at Vienna. In 1939 left again for Assam, but was arrested because of the war. Interned in the Nizam’s territory until 1943, when he was allowed to conduct anthropological field-work among Chenchus, Reddis and Gonds. In 1944-45 worked in North-East Frontier Agency as a Special Officer of External Affairs Department, Government of India. In 1945-49 Advisor for Tribes and Backward Classes to the Nizam’s Government and Professor of Anthropology at Osmania University in Hyderabad. In 1949 Lecturer and in 1949-51 Reader of Anthropology with special reference to India, University of London, 1951-76 Professor of Asian Anthropology at S.O.A.S. (Dean 1969-74, acting director 1974-75). Further field-work: India and Nepal 1953, Nepal 1957, 1962, 1966, 1972, 1976, 1981, 1983, Philippines 1968, India 1970 and from 1976. Visiting Professor at Colegio de Mexico in 1964 and 1966. Retired in 1976. Married 1938 with Elizabeth (Betty) Barnardo (1902–1987, author of the Anthropological Bibliography of South Asia. 1958), one son.
CvFH collected an enormous amount of material and was able to analyze and publish much of it. The collections include more than 10,000 black and white photographs, colour slides, tape recordings, more than 100 hours of 16 mm films, etc. At an early date he had understood the importance of language studies in anthropology. He was popular teacher and built an excellent department at S.O.A.S.
Publications: Diss. about the social organization of Assam hill tribes and of North-West Burma. MS. Vienna 1931.
– The Naked Nagas. 9+243 p. 37 ill. L. 1939 = Die Nackten Nagas. Lp. 1939.
– The Aboriginal Triber of Hyderabad. 1. The Chenchus. Jungle Folk of the Deccan. L. 1943; 2. The Reddis of the Bison Hills. 17+364 p. L. 1945; 3. The Raj Gonds of Adilabad. 17+449 p. L. 1948.
– Himalayan Barbary. 241 p. ill. L. 1955; The Apa Tanis and their neighbours: a primitive civilization of the eastern Himalayas. 10+166 p. L. 1962.
– The Sherpas of Nepal: Buddhist highlanders. 19+298 p. Berkeley 1964; The Sherpas Transformed: Social Change in a Buddhist Society of Nepal. 197 p. N.D. 1984.
– Caste and kin in Nepal, India and Ceylon; anthropological studies in Hindu-Buddhist contact zones. 7+364 p. Bombay 1966.
– Morals and Merit. A Study of Values and Social Controls in South Asian Societies. 12+239 p. Chicago 1967, 2nd ed. as South Asian Societies. 248 p. L. 1979.
– The Konyak Nagas. 11+111 p. L. 1969; Return to the Naked Nagas. 7+268 p. 12 pl. L. 1976.
– Himalayan Traders: Life in Highland Nepal. 15+316 p. 12 pl. N.Y. 1975; A Himalayan Tribe: from cattle to cash. 11+224 p. 8 pl. Berkeley 1980.
– The Gonds of Andhra Pradesh. Tradition and change in an Indian tribe. 569 p. N.D. 1979; Highlanders of Arunachal Pradesh. 6+185 p. N.D. 1982.
– Tribes of India: the struggle for survival. 342 p. Berkeley 1982.
– Himalayan Adventure: Early Travels in North-East India. 243 p. N.D. 1983.
– Tribal populations and cultures of the Indian Subcontinent. 189 p. HdO 2:7. Ld. 1985; Life among Indian Tribes. The Autobiography of an Anthropologist in India. 186 p. L. 1989.
– The renaissance of Tibetan civilization. 122 p. Oracle, Ariz. 1990.
Sources: Who’s Who 1994; A. Macfarlane & M. Turin, BSOAS 59, 1996, 548-551; *A. C. Mayer (ed.), Culture and Morality. Essays in honour of C.v.F.-H. Delhi 1981 with photo; *M. Turin, Himalaya 17:2, 1997, 1-3; Wikipedia.