Colin Rosser and the ‘hermit’ village of Malana: a lost classic of village studies ethnography

Of the first wave of village studies ethnographers, it was Colin Rosser who chose what was—physically and psychologically—perhaps the most challenging location to undertake fieldwork.  After graduating from the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, Rosser joined the newly created Dept of Cultural Anthropology at SOAS in 1950 to study for a PhD under the supervision of Professor Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf. Perhaps because he had served as a Gurkha officer in India in the Second World War, Rosser favoured the Himalayas as his PhD field site and he remained attached to the region for the rest of his working life.

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