Pamela Reynolds

A graduate of Cape Town, Delhi, and Harvard universities, Dr. Pamela Reynolds has been a Research Fellow at the Universities of Zimbabwe and Cape Town. She is the author of several children’s books and of Growing up in a Divided Society: The Contexts of Childhood in South Africa and Children in Crossroads: Cognition and Society in South Africa.

Listed in: African Studies · Sociology · African Child · Anthropology · Public Health




Based on the author’s fieldwork among the people of Zezuru, this study focuses on children as clients and as healers in training. In Reynolds’s ethnographic investigation of possession and healing, she pays particular attention to the way healers are identified and authenticated in communities, and how they are socialized in the use of medicinal plants, dreams, and ritual healing practices.

“Professor Pamela Reynolds is perhaps the leading Africa-based anthropologist conducting research on the ethnography of the young, and on the effects of violence upon them. The author’s style is vivid, and her passion for those she works with is evident. This is neither a conventional text nor conventional anthropology.

“Professor Reynolds is drawing on her work with some sixty healers in three areas of Mashonaland in Zimbabwe. Her material on their training and techniques and the nature of their knowledge contains ethnography and analysis, which are in many ways ahead of their time.”

Murray Last, editor, Africa: Journal of the International African Institute




Dance Civet Cat · Tonga Children and Labour in the Zambezi Valley
By Pamela Reynolds

In this, the first comprehensive study of the Tonga people in Zimbabwe, Pamela Reynolds focuses on children’s work in a subsistence agricultural system, assessing how much work they do, the value of their work to their families and how it both limits their opportunities and fosters their personal growth and knowledge.