Academic journal article Nomadic Peoples

Obituary for Aud Talle (1944-2011)

Academic journal article Nomadic Peoples

Obituary for Aud Talle (1944-2011)

Article excerpt

Aud Talle died on 16 August 2011, 66 years old. It is hard to believe! She who was the liveliest of us all. She who wandered in the mountains of Leikanger, her home, and over the Kenyan savannah. She who insisted on walking home when others took taxis or the metro, no matter how far it was.

Aud was an anthropologist of the 'old school', who conducted long-term fieldwork and who had a deep knowledge of the societies she studied. It was the nomadic peoples of East Africa who constituted her field. Initially, the Barabaig people in Tanzania, and later the Maasai people in Kenya. This resulted in several books co-authored with her husband, the writer and filmmaker Stig Holmqvist. Her doctoral thesis from 1988, 'Women at Loss', has become an international classic on the changing plight of nomad women. Aud worked also in Somalia, and in later years studied Somalian women in exile both in England and in Norway. Throughout this time she was involved in the debate on female circumcision. She used her field-based knowledge of this topic to write two popular science books and to give lectures to health professionals working among the immigrant community.

Aud was attached to Stockholm University in the 1970s and 1980s, and completed several assignments for SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) in Africa before being recruited as professor at the Department of Social Anthropology (SAI), University of Oslo, in 1995. She was the Head of the Department at SAI for the period 2003-2006. …

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