Katherine Dunham, US anthropologist

Katherine Dunham, US anthropologist

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Katherine Dunham (1909-2006), US anthropologist and dancer. Dunham studied at the University of Chicago in the early 1930s, and travelled in the Caribbean, studying the ethnography of dancing in places like Haiti and Jamaica. She also studied dancing as a performer, and was advised to choose between being a professional anthropologist and a professional dancer. She left the university and over the next 30 years developed a career in dance. She founded what became the Katherine Dunham Company, the first African-American modern dance company, which had successful runs on Broadway and world tours. Photographed in 1956.

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