This article explores the relationship between applied anthropology and interpretive or post-modernist ethnography. At first glance these fields do not seem to be of relevance to one another, since one is focused on practical outcomes and the other on theoretical contemplation. But in fact they do share common theoretical, methodological, and ethical concerns, and a collaboration would be fruitful. The meticulous, self-critical recording of the process of cultural representation as exercised by post-modernist ethnography could be a source of guidance for interventions in applied anthropology. On the other hand, the conclusions of interventionist applied anthropology could contribute to solving some of the dilemmas identified, but as yet unresolved, by interpretive anthropology. It is suggested that post-modernist applied anthropologists neither attempt to solve a posed problem as applied anthropologists do, nor attempt to represent a cultural system through their own writing as is conventionally practiced by interpretive anthropologists. The post-modernist applied anthropologist lets the people represent themselves.

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