Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard 1902–1973: An appreciation

David F. Pocock
1975 Africa - Journal of the International African Institute  
Evans-Pritchard was the most distinguished British social anthropologist of his generation. He could never be described as an 'area specialist' in the sense in which that term is now used, nor does one think of him as being primarily an Africanist even though the greater proportion of his work handles African material. This is largely because the breadth of his concern invested the particular with a general interest to such a degree that social anthropologists, whatever their field, were
more » ... tely influenced. Nevertheless, it is proper in this place to record the particular debt owed to him by students of the African continent. This is most simply expressed when we say that it is impossible to conceive the development of social anthropology in Africa without Evans-Pritchard. The first and in a way anticipatory acknowledgement of this was Seligman's appreciation of the help that Evans-Pritchard had given him in compiling the classic Pagan Tribes of the Nilotic Sudan (1932) and nothing is subtracted from Seligman's achievement when we say that Evans-Pritchard's subsequent publications indicate that he participated as an equal. The Pagan Tribes was published when Evans-Pritchard was thirty-one years old; by that time he had completed his work among the Azande and he had already started his work among the Nuer; by the age of thirty-five he had completed the research upon which the bulk of his writing was to be based. It is true that the competition available at
doi:10.1017/s0001972000025456 fatcat:zibuu3rv3fbxtks53uwpfo3kyi