Dr. Rhoda Metraux
Rhoda Metraux
Rhoda Metraux, Manus, New Guinea, 1984

Dr. Rhoda Metraux
My mother, Rhoda Bubendey Metraux (1914-2003), was a prominent anthropologist in the area of cross-cultural studies, specializing in Haitian voodoo and the Iatmul of New Guinea. She collaborated with my father, Alfred Metraux, on mutual studies of Voodoo in Haiti. During WWII, Dr. Metraux headed the section on German morale for the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

My mother was also an important professional and personal partner of Margaret Mead (1901-1978)
. Together with Mead, they wrote several books and many articles on major issues from the 1950s to the late 1970s. As a contributing Editor to REDBOOK magazine for well over a decade, both wrote many articles on contemporary issues that later formed the basis of a number of books including A WAY OF SEEING. Margaret Mead and my mother were in fact a closely-knit professional team whose work greatly influenced American anthropology in the late 20th century. They shared a house in Greenwich Village in New York from 1955-66 and an apartment on Central Park West from 1966-78. Living with them was an incredible experience.

If you would like more information about my mother, please send me a message via the feedback form.


Rhoda Bubendey Metraux (1914-2003), one of the most prominent anthropologists of the twentieth century, was a pioneer in the cultural analysis of media and literary materials. Her work on Haitian Voodoo and Iatmul New Guinea culture brought significant respect from other anthropologists. She is best known for her near four-decade partnership with anthropologist Margaret Mead during which they collaborated on a variety of research projects and jointly wrote several books and dozens of articles.

This obituary by University of Vermont Professor Emeritus William E. Mitchell was published in slightly truncated form in the American Anthropologist in 2005.

This obituary appeared in the NEW YORK SUN newspaper in early December, 2003.

Site Navigation
Resume: Curriculum Vitae for Daniel Metraux

Office: Academic information for students and colleagues

Publications: Highlights of my books, chapters in books, and articles

Professional Activities & Research: Overview of scholarly activities

Family: Information about my family and ancestors

Alfred Metraux: Personal and scholarly overview of Alfred Metraux

Rhoda Metraux: Personal and scholarly overview of Rhoda Metraux

Feedback: Please feel free to leave me your feedback and I will respond as soon as possible.