My father's daughter: becoming a 'real' anthropologist among the Ubang of Southeast Nigeria


  • Chi-Chi Undie African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi



This article explores some of the complexities of fieldwork for ethnographers conducting research in the ethnographic settings of significant 'others'. The fieldwork in question took place in the rural, geographically isolated community of Ubang, in Obudu, Nigeria, where I was following in the footsteps of my anthropologist father. Drawing on personal experience, I attempt to candidly examine the challenges inevitably faced in this situation, including acceptance by the community as a bona fide researcher, pressure to fulfill the expectations of others familiar with my father's work, and the struggle to carve out a professional identity distinct from my father's.

Author Biography

Chi-Chi Undie, African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi

Chi-Chi Undie is a 2003 graduate of an interdisciplinary doctoral program in Language, Literacy and Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the United States. Her dissertation is an ethnography of the Ubang people, entitled Equal Encounters: Gender, Language and Power in the Ubang Community of Obudu, Nigeria. She is currently an Associate Research Scientist at the African Population and Health Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya, and can be reached at cundie(AT) or chichiundie(AT)