In memoriam Barbara Frank

Dr. Barbara Frank (Private photo)

Dr. Barbara Frank was one of the few people worldwide doing research on the culture and history of the Ron and Kulere people. She was born  in Goßfelden near Marburg in 1936 and died in Marburg  in 2004. This year, she would have been 75 years old. She died too early. May her soul rest in peace!

Barbara Frank studied ethnology, geography, prehistory, and folklore in Marburg, Frankfurt am Main and Munich. She earned her Ph.D. 1963 in Frankfurt with a dissertation on “The role of the dog in African culture” (“Die Rolle des Hundes in afrikanischen Kulturen”).

In the 70s and 80s, she was in Nigeria several times, doing research on the  culture and history of the Ron and Kulere people. She lived among the Kulere for almost one year and in 1981 she wrote a book about their culture titled Die Kulere: Bauern in Mittelnigeria (“The Kulere: Farmers in Central Nigeria”).

She also published a number of articles on Ron-Kulere culture and history in scientific journals:

From 1980 to 1998, she was associated to the Institute for Ethonology and African Studies at the University of Munich and taught courses in Ethnology in Munich, Münster, Kassel, Marburg, and Kansas State University.

I came to know Barbara Frank shortly before I went to Nigeria for my first field trip in 1989. She provided me with names of Ron people to get in touch with, which was very helpful for me. I wish I would have known her better and spent more time with her.

(Some of the info presented here was first published at the Marburg Univerity website, the source of the photo is unknown to me)

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