David Maybury-Lewis

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David Maybury-Lewis (died in 2007) "was born in Hyderabad, Pakistan in 1929. Marbury-Lewis received his Bachelors of Arts from Oxford University in 1952. Four years later he earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Oxford University. David Maybury-Lewis emigrated to the Unites States in 1960 to join the Harvard University staff as a cultural anthropologist. While at Harvard he met and married his wife Pia, who in 1972 helped him to establish Cultural Survival Inc., a private company aimed to protect historical and cultural sites around the world.

"In 1992, public television ran his 10 part series, "Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World". Maybury-Lewis served as the host for the series, which dealt with a comparative study of different cultures from around the world. Maybury-Lewis has also authored several books including Dialectical Societies: The Ge and Bororo of Central Brazil and The Attraction of Opposites: Thought and Society in the Dualistic Mode.

"Through his work with Cultural Survival Inc., Maybury-Lewis has chronicled the lives of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, especially Brazil. Because of his contributions to Brazilian social science, Maybury-Lewis was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit in 1997, Brazil’s highest academic award. In the spring of 1998 David Maybury-Lewis was awarded the Anders Retzuis gold medal of the Swedish Society of Anthropology and Geography by the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf Folke Hubertus. David Maybury-Lewis continues to teach cultural anthropology at Harvard University and his interests include cultural survival of tribal people and ethnic minorities." [1]

"Current professor of cultural anthropology at Harvard University, senior fellow in the Institute's Jennings Randolph fellowship program,, director of the Program on Nonviolent Sanctions and Cultural Survival, a research program at Harvard, former president of the American Ethnological Society, current member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences." [2]

"From 1966 to 2004, the year of his retirement, he was also the curator of South American Ethnology at the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard. He wrote several books, was a one-time president of the American Ethnological Society and in 1992 presented Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World, a ten-part PBS television series depicting the lives of indigenous peoples in 15 countries. He wrote a companion book to the series with the same name; Dame Anita Roddick (obituary, September 11, 2007), the Body Shop founder, providing the introduction." [3]

"He was named an assistant professor of anthropology at Harvard in 1961. Dr. Maybury-Lewis became a professor of anthropology in 1969, and he was chairman of Harvard’s anthropology department from 1973 to 1981...

"Throughout his career, Dr. Maybury-Lewis resisted the criticism that anthropologists might contribute to the decline of their subjects, as tools of colonialism or as unwitting corrupters by their very presence.

"Instead, he argued for a pluralistic solution to relieve the seemingly inevitable pressure for assimilation, a solution that could allow indigenous groups to survive “much as successful ethnic minorities do elsewhere.”" [4]

His son is Biorn Maybury-Lewis.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. David Maybury-Lewis, Minnesota State University, accessed July 13, 2007.
  2. Biography, Skidmore College, accessed July 13, 2007.
  3. Professor David Maybury-Lewis, Times, accessed November 5, 2009.
  4. David Maybury-Lewis, Who Studied Native Tribes, Dies at 78, NYT, accessed November 5, 2009.