Alicia Dussán de Reichel
Alicia Dussán Maldonado
16 October 1920
|Died||17 May 2023 (aged 102)|
|Other names||Alicia Dussán de Reichel-Dolmatoff|
(m. 1943; died 1994)
Alicia Dussán de Reichel (16 October 1920 – 17 May 2023) was a Colombian educator, who was one of the first students of ethnology in the country. For two decades, she was the only woman conducting archaeological and anthropological studies in the country. Her research focused on Colombia and the Caribbean and along with her husband, she founded the
Alicia Dussán Maldonado was born on 16 October 1920 in Bogotá, Colombia, to Lucrecia Maldonado Parra and Agustín Dussán Quiroga. Her father was a landowner, originally from Villavieja and her mother was a passionate liberal nationalist, as her father, José María Maldonado Neira, had served as a General in the Thousand Days' War. Another ancestor from her Parra line was Antonio María Díaz, who had fought in the Battle of Boyacá. From the third grade, Dussán developed an interest in other cultures, particularly those of Africa and Asia, as well as a curiosity about Colombia's indigenous people.
Dussán attended the Gimnasio Femenino (
Between 1942 and 1945 Dussán worked as research assistant at NEI
In 1946, she co-founded with her husband the Ethnological Institute of Magdalena and worked there through 1950. Collecting ceramics and ethnographic materials, they established a museum of pieces they amassed during their joint archaeological fieldwork in an area they designated as Pueblito, which is now in the Tayrona National Natural Park, and the river valleys surrounding the Ranchería and Cesar Rivers. One particularly important ritual they documented was a practice of secondary burial among the Yuko or Yukpa people who lived in the northeastern part of the Cesar Department. Working on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Dussán who was pregnant again, collected materials from the local indigenous people on their mythology, socialization processes, and traditions. Using field questionnaires designed and adapted from Margaret Mead's methodology, she made pioneering studies on gender relations and parenting traditions in Taganga.
In 1951, Dussán began working as a research assistant to the
Returning to Bogotá in 1960, Dussán took a job with the Inter-American Center for Housing and Planning (IACHP) and later that year, she took a position as a research associate of the Institute of Andean Research in Washington, D. C. through 1962. These organizations allowed exploration to continue on the Pacific coast, in an area ranging from Panama's Darién Province to the Colombia–Ecuador border. Very little archaeological work had been done in the area at the time. While studying in the area, El Hermanito an apocalyptic prophet became the subject of one of her studies. El Hermanito's doomsday predictions affected both the customs and local economy, causing both indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations to sell off their belongings or sacrifice them into the river, and kill off their livestock. Dussán's study of the movement was the first religiously based anthropological study of its kind in Latin America. The association with the IACHP allowed Dussán to study urban problems, evaluating marginal neighborhoods. One such study focused on the El Carmen neighborhood of Bogotá.
In 1964, the Reichels founded the Department of Anthropology at the
While continuing to work in a consultative role with the Gold Museum, Dussán was appointed to serve as the head of the Division of Museums and Restoration of the
Dussán was one of the founders and a charter member of the
- Colombian Academy of Sciences 2009.
- Barragán 2013.
- Pineda Camacho 2012.
- Gómez Giraldo 2009.
- Camargo Rojas 2009.
- Wasserman 2012.
- Tovar 2005.
- French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development 2011.
- "ALICIA DUSSÁN – 100 YEARS DEDICATED TO TEACHING AND KNOWLEDGE ABOUT COLOMBIA'S INDIGENOUS CULTURES". gaiafoundation.org. 15 October 2020.
- "El ICANH lamenta el fallecimiento de Alicia Dussán de Reichel-Dolmatoff, precursora de la antropología en Colombia". ICANH. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
- Barragán, Carlos Andrés (2013). "El Rastro de la Arqueóloga, la Mirada de la Antropóloga: diálogos con Alicia Dussán de Reichel y su obra" [The archaeologist's trail, the anthropologist's gaze: dialogues with Alicia Dussán de Reichel and her work]. Maguaré (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad Nacional de Colombia. 27 (2): 199–253. ISSN 0120-3045. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- Camargo Rojas, Lucía (31 March 2009). "La U. Nacional rinde homenaje a Alicia Dussan" [The Nactional University pays homage to Alicia Dussan] (in Spanish). Medellín, Colombia: El Espectador. Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- Gómez Giraldo, Marisol (4 April 2009). "Para desafiar la vida nació Alicia Dussan, fundadora de la facultad de Antropología de los Andes" [Alicia Dussan was born to challenge life: Founder of the Faculty of Anthropology of the Andes] (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia: El Tiempo. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- Pineda Camacho, Roberto (2012). "La Aventura de Ser Antropóloga en Colombia: Alicia Dussán de Reichel-Dolmatoff y la Antropología Social en Colombia" [The adventure of being an anthropologist in Colombia: Alicia Dussán de Reichel-Dolmatoff and social anthropology in Colombia]. Maguaré (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia: National University of Colombia. 26 (1): 15–40. . Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- Tovar, Patricia (12 March 2005). "Alicia Dussán: Antropóloga, arqueóloga y etnóloga. Ella y su esposo hicieron el hallazgo de la cerámica más antigua de América" [Alicia Dussán: Anthropologist, archaeologist and ethnologist. She and her husband found the oldest ceramics in the Americas] (PDF). (PDF) on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- Wasserman, Moses (2012). "Sobre Alicia Dussán" [About Alicia Dussán]. Maguaré (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia: National University of Colombia. 26 (1): 331–333. . Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- "Alicia Dussan de Reichel". ACCEFYN (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia: Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales. 2009. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- "Condecoración de Francia a Alicia Dussan de Reichel, Pionera de la Antropología en Colombia" [French decoration to Alicia Dussan de Reichel, Pioneer of Anthropology in Colombia]. Ambafrance (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia: Ministère des Affaires Étrangéres et du Développement International. 12 April 2011. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2017.