Karl G. Heider

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Karl Heider (born January 21, 1935) is an American visual anthropologist.

Life and education[edit]

Heider was born in Northampton, Massachusetts.[1] Heider is the son of psychologists Fritz and Grace (née Moore) Heider. He had two brothers; John and Stephan.

After spending two years at Williams College, Heider transferred to Harvard College where he earned his B.A. in anthropology. Heider then spent a year touring Asia on a Sheldon Traveling Fellowship provided by Harvard.[2] Returning to Harvard in 1958, Heider went on to earn an M.A. in 1959 and Ph.D. in 1966.[3]

He was married to the psychologist Eleanor Rosch with whom he studied the Dani people.[4][5] The couple divorced in the late 1970s.[6]


Heider's work ranged from psychological anthropology to visual anthropology.[7]

It has included going into the West Papua region in the 1960s and 1990s,[8] as well as producing works on ethnographic film making[9] and writing on Indonesian cinema.[10]


  • Tikal (1961)
  • Dani Sweet Potatoes (1974)
  • Dani Houses (1974)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ E-museum at Minnesota State University, Mankato
  2. ^ E-museum at Minnesota State University, Mankato
  3. ^ Karl Heider, University of South Carolina
  4. ^ Gilberthorpe, Emma (20 April 2017). "New Guinea's indigenous tribes are alive and well – don't call them 'ancient'". The Guardian. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  5. ^ Hays, Terence E. (1991). Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Oceania. USA: G.K. Hall & Company. ISBN 978-0816118090.
  6. ^ Rosch, Eleanor (15 October 1999). "Interview with Professor Eleanor Rosch". Presencing Institute. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  7. ^ Karl Heider, University of South Carolina
  8. ^ The Dugum Dani: A Papuan Culture in the Highlands of West New Guinea. Aldine Publishing. Grand Valley Dani: Peaceful Warriors (Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology). Wadsworth Publishing (3rd ed.).
  9. ^ Heider, Karl G (2006), Ethnographic film (Rev. ed.), University of Texas Press, ISBN 978-0-292-71458-8
  10. ^ Heider, Karl G (1991), Indonesian cinema : national culture on screen, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0-8248-1367-3