The Barefoot Anthropologist: The Highlands of Champa and Vietnam in the Words of Jacques Dournes

The Barefoot Anthropologist: The Highlands of Champa and Vietnam in the Words of Jacques Dournes

Andrew Hardy

French anthropologist Jacques Dournes lived in Vietnam for 25 years, from 1946 to 1970, studying the culture of the Jarai and other highland ethnic groups. He became a renowned ethnographer and the Jarai people became his lifelong passion.

In part 1 of this study, Andrew Hardy explores Dournes’s challenging monograph Potao, une théorie de pouvoir chez les Indochinois jorai and his views on the role of the highlanders in ancient Champa. In part 2, Dournes speaks animatedly with the author about the Jarai, his feelings about culture and economics, his understanding of Vietnam’s history, and his personal experience of living in the Central Highlands. The French transcript of the interview is presented in the appendix.

ANDREW HARDY works at the Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient (EFEO), specializing in the history of Vietnam. He is the author of Red Hills: Migrants and the State in the Highlands of Vietnam.

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