Not a Hazardous Sport : Misadventures of an Anthropologist in Indonesia


Nigel Barley travels to the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia to live among the Torajan

people, known for their spectacular buildings and elaborate ancestor cults.

At last he is

following his own advice to students, to do their anthropological fieldwork

`somewhere where the inhabitants are beautiful, friendly, where you would like the

food and there are nice flowers.

With his customary wit and delight in the telling

detail, he takes the reader deep into this complex but adaptable society.

The mutual warmth of his friendships allows Barley to reverse the habitual patterns of anthropology. He becomes host to four Torajan carvers in London, invited to build a traditional rice barn at the Museum of Mankind.

The observer becomes the observed, and it is Barley s turn to explain the absurd complexities of an English city to his bemused but tolerant guests in a magnificent, self critical finale.

Not a Hazardous Sport provides a magnificent end to a trilogy of anthropological journeys that began with The Innocent Anthropologist and A Plague of Caterpillars (both published by Eland).

A postscript, penned thirty years after these adventures had been concluded, confirms the rich arc of this storyline of role reversals.

192 pages

217 x 139 x 11

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