Hilda Kuper

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Hilda Kuper
Born (1911-08-23)August 23, 1911
Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia
Died 1992
Los Angeles, California, United States
Nationality Swazi (1970-1992)[1]
Spouse(s) Leo Kuper
Awards Rivers Memorial Medal (1961)[2]
Guggenheim Fellowship (1969)[3]
Academic background
Alma mater University of Witwatersrand
London School of Economics
Thesis title An African Aristocracy: Rank among the Swazi and The Uniform of Colour: a Study of White–Black Relationships in Swaziland (1947)
Doctoral advisor Bronisław Malinowski
Academic work
Discipline Social anthropology
Institutions University of California, Los Angeles
Notable students Dawn Chatty

Hilda Beemer Kuper (née Beemer; 23 August 1911 – 1992) was a social anthropologist most notable for her extensive work on Swazi culture.

Early life[edit]

Born to Lithuanian Jewish and Austrian Jewish parents in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia, Kuper moved to South Africa after the death of her father. She studied at the University of the Witwatersrand and, afterwards, at the London School of Economics under Malinowski.

Doctoral fieldwork and anthropological career[edit]

In 1934, Kuper won a fellowship from the International African Institute to study in Swaziland.[2][4] In July of that year, while at an education conference in Johannesburg, she met Sobhuza II, paramount chief and later king of Swaziland.[4] With assistance from Sobhuza and Malinowski, Kuper moved to the royal village of Lobamba and was introduced to Sobhuza's mother, the queen mother Lomawa.[4] Here Kuper learned siSwati and pursued her fieldwork.[4] This phase of Kuper's researches into Swazi culture culminated in the two-part dissertation, An African Aristocracy: Rank among the Swazi (1947) and The Uniform of Colour: a Study of White–Black Relationships in Swaziland (1947).

In the early 1950s, Kuper moved to Durban.[4] During that decade, she focused her studies on the Indian community in the Natal region, as summarised in Indian People in Natal (1960).[2][4] In 1953, Kuper received a senior lectureship at the University of Natal in Durban. In addition to her academic work, together with her husband, Leo Kuper, she helped to found the Liberal Party in Natal[2][4]

In 1961 the Kupers moved to Los Angeles, to escape the harassment of liberals that was increasingly prevalent in apartheid South Africa, and to enable Leo to accept a professorship in sociology at UCLA.[2][4] In 1963 Kuper published The Swazi: a South African Kingdom and was herself appointed professor of anthropology at UCLA.[2][4] Kuper was a popular teacher,[2] and In 1969 won a Guggenheim fellowship.[3]

In 1978, Kuper published an extensive, official biography of Sobhuza II, King Sobhuza II, Ngwenyama and King of Swaziland.[5]

Awards[edit]

Award Awarding body Year
Rivers Memorial Medal Royal Anthropological Institute 1961
Guggenheim Fellowship John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation 1969
Honorary doctorate University of Swaziland 1990

Personal life[edit]

Kuper married Leo Kuper in 1936. They had two daughters, Mary and Jenny.[2][4]

Publications[edit]

  • An African aristocracy: rank among the Swazi. Oxford University Press. 1947. [6]
  • The uniform of colour, a study of white-black relationships in Swaziland. 1947. [7]
  • African systems of kinship and marriage. 1950. [8]
  • The Shona and Ndebele of Southern Rhodesia. 1954. [9]
  • An Ethnographic Description of a Tamil-Hindu Marriage in Durban. 1956. [10]
  • An ethnographic description of Kavady, a Hindu ceremony in South Africa. 1959. [11]
  • Indian people in Natal. 1960. [12]
  • The Swazi: a South African kingdom. 1963. [13]
  • African law: adaptation and development. 1965. [14]
  • Bite of hunger: a novel of Africa. 1965. [15]
  • Urbanization and migration in West Africa. 1965. [16]
  • A witch in my heart: a play set in Swaziland in the 1930s. 1970. [17]
  • Sobhuza II, Ngwenyama and King of Swaziland: the story of an hereditary ruler and his country. 1970. [18]
  • South Africa: human rights and genocide. 1981. [19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Obituary: Hilda Kuper, 1911-92". Africa: Journal of the International African Institute. Cambridge University Press on behalf of the International African Institute. 64 (1): 145–149. 1994. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "University of California: In Memoriam, 1994". University of California. Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Hilda Kuper". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 3 June 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Macmillan, Hugh (May 2008). "Kuper, Hilda Beemer". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/95674. Retrieved 24 October 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ "Swazi History : Books To Read On Swazi History". Swaziland National Trust Commission. Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Kuper, Hilda (1 January 1961). "An African aristocracy; rank among the Swazi.". Published for the International African Institute by the Oxford University Press. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  7. ^ Kuper, Hilda (1 January 1947). "The uniform of colour, a study of white-black relationships in Swaziland.". Witwatersand Univ. Press. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  8. ^ Kuper, Hilda; Evans-Pritchard, E. E; Radcliffe-Brown, A. R; Schapera, Isaac; Forde, Cyril Daryll; Gluckman, Max; Wilson, Monica Hunter; Richards, A. I; Fortes, Meyer; Nadel, F. S (1 January 1950). "African systems of kinship and marriage". Oxford University Press for the International African Institute. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  9. ^ Kuper, Hilda; Hughes, A. J. B; International African Institute (1 January 1954). "The Shona and Ndebele of Southern Rhodesia". International African Institute. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  10. ^ Kuper, Hilda (1 January 2000). "An Ethnographic Description of a Tamil-Hindu Marriage in Durban". Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  11. ^ Kuper, Hilda (1 January 1959). "An ethnographic description of Kavady, a Hindu ceremony in South Africa". Witwatersrand University Press. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  12. ^ Kuper, Hilda (1 January 1960). "Indian people in Natal.". University Press. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  13. ^ Kuper, Hilda (1 January 1963). "The Swazi: a South African kingdom.". Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  14. ^ Kuper, Hilda; Kuper, Leo; University of California, Los Angeles; African Studies Center (1 January 1965). "African law: adaptation and development,". University of California Press. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  15. ^ Kuper, Hilda (1 January 1965). "Bite of hunger; a novel of Africa.". Harcourt, Brace & World. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  16. ^ University of California, Los Angeles; African Studies Center; Kuper, Hilda, eds. (1 January 1965). "Urbanization and migration in West Africa,". University of California Press. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  17. ^ Kuper, Hilda; International African Institute. "A witch in my heart: a play set in Swaziland in the 1930s;". Oxford U.P. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  18. ^ Kuper, Hilda (1 January 1978). "Sobhuza II, Ngwenyama and King of Swaziland: the story of an hereditary ruler and his country". Africana Pub. Co. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 
  19. ^ Kuper, Leo; Kuper, Hilda (1 January 1981). "South Africa: human rights and genocide". African Studies Program, Indiana University. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Open WorldCat. 

External links[edit]