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Article by Gérard Toffin (CEH) : Naissance de l’école népalaise d’anthropologie (1960-2020)

published in Bérose - Encyclopédie internationale des histoires de l’anthropologie, Paris, 2020

Ethnology is the science of the other. But what other is it and who is there to observe it? These are particularly sensitive questions in a country like Nepal. Indeed, how can one be an ethnologist in a country that in 1951 had just emerged from almost total isolation, resisting any penetration from outside, except for luxury goods and sumptuary architecture destined for the reigning dynasty, the Rana? University studies were introduced there very late (the creation of Tribhuvan University, Tribhūvan Viśvavidyālaya, the first in the country, dates only from 1959) and the canons of scientific anthropology are a very recent creation, unlike, for example, what happened in neighbouring India: the opening of a department of sociology and anthropology in Tribhuvan University dates only from 1981.

- Gérard Toffin CEH