Betty von Fürer-Haimendorf

Betty von Fürer-Haimendorf (1911 – 11 January 1987), born Elizabeth Barnardo, was a British ethnologist in India and Nepal, with her Austrian husband Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf.

Elizabeth Barnardo was born in Darbhanga, India,[1] one of the five children of Col. Frederick "Barnie" Barnardo and Violet Barnardo, of Bexhill. Her father, also born in India, was a physician with the Indian Medical Service,[2] nephew of Irish philanthropist Thomas John Barnardo, and dean of a medical school in Calcutta before 1921.[3] Her mother died by suicide in 1942. In girlhood, Betty Barnardo was close to Patience Gray, who became a noted food writer. The two young women traveled together in central Europe in 1937.[4]

Barnardo, who had trained as a nurse,[5] worked closely with her husband on documenting the tribal cultures of northern India and Nepal.[6] "No Himalayan pass was too high for her, no field site too remote," recalled a colleague in a 1987 obituary.[7] She compiled the three-volume An anthropological bibliography of South Asia (1958).[8] With her husband, she co-wrote The Reddis of the Bison hills: A study in acculturation (1945),[9] The Raj Gonds of Adilabad: A peasant culture of the Deccan (1948), and The Gonds of Andhra Pradesh: Tradition and change in an Indian tribe (1979),[10] Her diaries became an important source of her husband's 1990 memoir, Life Among Indian Tribes: the Autobiography of an Anthropologist.[11]

In 1938, Elizabeth Barnardo married Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf. They had a son, Nicholas, born in 1946. She died in 1987, in Hyderabad.[7] The couple's papers are archived at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.[12]