Andrew Gray (anthropologist)

Andrew Gray (21 July 1955 in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom – 7 May 1999, near Vanuatu) was a British anthropologist and activist for the rights of indigenous peoples.


Gray graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1973 and received a PhD from the University of Oxford in 1983 for his work studying the Arakmbut people of the Peruvian Amazon.[1]

He then became director of the International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), a post he held for six years. After leaving the IWGIA in 1989, he continued to act as a consultant for them and for related organisations such as the World Rainforest Movement, the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Forest Peoples, the Gaia Foundation and Anti-Slavery International.[1]

Although he lectured at the University of Copenhagen and the University of Oxford, Gray avoided a conventional academic career and never took up a full-time research post. He continued to publish academic work, most notably The Arakmbut of Amazonian Peru (three vols, 1996–1997). He also spent a large amount of time on fieldwork, visiting and talking to indigenous groups worldwide.[1]

At the time of his death, was vice-chair of the IWGIA, and was working in the Pacific. Whilst travelling in the region, the light aircraft he was in came down in the sea off Vanuatu; he survived the crash, but was separated from the group of survivors before they made it to shore, and was presumed dead.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Riviere, Peter (26 May 1999). "Obituary: Andrew Gray". The Independent. Retrieved 11 May 2018.