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This page is in memory of Dr. Elizabeth Florence Colson, 1917-2016, a preeminent Berkeley anthropologist who lived and worked in the Gwembe Tonga region of Zambia.
"Elizabeth keep collecting information and writing right to the end. Here she is on a visit collecting event diaries from longtime friends just last year. She has one thing still in press as I write this--a mere seventy-six years after she wrote her MA thesis on Pomo acculturation. As I count them, her oeuvre includes almost 350" writings! - Norman Buchignani
To view the .ris (bibliographic information) in a citation manager, you will shortly be able to download the file and change the ending from .txt to .ris, then import into Endnote, Zotero, or Refworks.
Books authored or edited by E. Colson
Tonga Religious Life in the Twentieth Century (2007)The religious life of the Tonga-speaking peoples of southern Zambia is examined over the last century, in the sense of how they have thought about the nature of their world, the meaning of their own lives, and the sources of good and evil in which their cosmology and society have been transformed. The twelve chapters cover Time, Space and Language; Basic Themes, Tonga Religious Vocabulary and its Referents; the Vocabulary of Shrines and Substance; Homestead and Bush; Ritual Communities and Actors; Rituals of the Life Course; Death and its Rituals; Evil and Witchcraft; and Christianity and Tonga Experience. The author has drawn on dairies by research assistants, and field notes and research of fellow anthropologists, but above all from her own interaction with Tonga people since 1946. The older people gave first hand memories of Ndebele and Lozi raids, David Linvingstone encamped near their villages in 1856 and 1862, the arrival of colonial administrators, traders, missionaries and European and Indian settlers, and in some cases, the end of colonial rule. Their experience and that of their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren provides the basis for understanding Tonga religious experience. Elizabeth Colson is an American anthropologist who is widely published on the Tonga. Her research interests have particularly concentrated on the Gwembe Valley.