Short Portrait: Paul Hinderling

Paul Hinderling
Paul Hinderling

Paul Hinderling was born an July 11th, 1924 in Solothurn/Switzerland as son of a banker.

He studied from 1943 to 1950 in Basel (with Felix Speiser) on a museological subject.

His early interest was the history of religion, from there he developed an interest in ethnopsychological and ethnosciological questions.

In 1950 he carried out fieldwork in Ghana, later in Cameroon (1953, 1964 and 1966) and in Thailand (1971 and 1973).

In 1961 he met psychologist Ernst E. Boesch on a conference in Berlin; Boesch hired the young anthropologist Hinderling to work with him at the Sociopsychological Research unit for Development Planning at the University of Saarbrücken. Hinderling worked there until his retirement.

In his Thai-research, Hinderling documented interviews with traditional healers. In the 1970s, this approach was relatively new in german speaking anthropology.

For many years, Hinderling woked also for the ethnomedical journal curare as author, co-editor and commentator.

Important works:

  • 1981. Being Ill in "Primitive" and Traditional Cultures (Orig.: Kranksein in “primitiven” und traditionalen Kulturen. Norderstedt: Verlag für Ethnologie)
  • 1984. Die Mafa: Ethnographie eines Kirdi-Stammes in  Nordkamerun. (Band I Soziale und religiöse Strukturen, sowie Bd. III.
    Materialien) Hannover: Vlg. f. Ethnologie]
  • 1994. Thinking Culture Learning - Reflections of a Social Anthropologist (Orig.: Denken Kultur Lernen – Überlegungen eines Anthropologen. Verlag für Ethnologie, Clemens Koechert, Hannover, Ciudad de Guatemala CA und Paul Hinderling, Eschringen)


(This text is based on: Schröder, Ekkehard: Die AGEM grüsst Paul Hinderling zu seinem 80sten Geburtstag. MAGEM 26 / 2004; photography by courtesy of Ekkehard Schröder)

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