Signe Howell and Aud Talle:Returns to the Field:Multitemporal Reasearch and Contemporary Anthropology
Signe Howell and Aud Talle are editors of this volume which adresses a topic of great relevance to the practice of ethnographic fieldwork, what they call multitemporal fieldwork.
Signe Howell and Aud Talle are editors of this volume which adresses a topic of great relevance to the practice of ethnographic fieldwork, but which has received little attention: what they call multitemporal fieldwork. This is the practice of returning to the same group of people on many occacions over a long period of time. The authors examine the ramifications of this kind of fieldwork practice and ask what kind of knowledge it produces and what kind of anthropological tools it gives rise to.
Aud Talle reflects on her patterns of returns to the pastoral Maasai of Kenya in her article "Returns to the Maasai. Multitemporal Fieldwork and the Production of Anthropological Knowledge". Over more than three decades she took every opportunity to return in order to fill gaps in her understanding of Maasai values and practices. Using the example of a female circumcision observed during early fieldwork, she reflects upon her own changing understanding of the practice in light of resent developments
Signe Howell has been following the Chewong, a hunting gathering-shifting cultivating group who lives in the rainforest of Peninsular Malaysia for three decades and the Lio of Eastern Indonesia for more than two years. In her contribution "Cumulative Understandings. Experiences from the Study of Two Southeast Asian Societies", she compares the Chewong and the Lio and evaluates her own different interaction with them over time. She is particularly concerned with the fate of their core values in the face of external pressure.