The Bavenda: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Bavenda

1st Edition

By Hugh Stayt


476 pages

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Paperback: 9781138598447
pub: 2020-05-01
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pub: 2018-08-22
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Originally published in 1931 this book was the first detailed ethnographic study of the Bavenda people. It pays particular attention to the double system of kinship groups which is unusual among the Bantu peoples. Richly illustrated with over 60 black and white plates, this books discusses the history and geography of the Bavenda, as well as social, economic, religious, political and legal aspects of their life, as well as medicine, magic and folklore.

Table of Contents

1. Geography

2. History

3. Physical and Psychical Characteristics, Clothing and Decoration

4. The Village, Agriculture and Domestic Animals 5. Food and Narcotics

6. Industries

7. War, Trading, Travelling and Hunting 8. Birth and Infancy

9. Child Life 10. Puberty and Initiation

11. Marriage

12. Family Life and Etiquette

13. Mortuary Rites

14. Property, Succession and Inheritance 15. Relationship Terminology and Kinship System 16. Social Groupings 17. The Chief

18. Territorial Divisions, Government, Revenue and Taxation, Law and Justice

19. Conceptions of the Universe

20. Religion

21. Medicine and Magic

22. Rain-Making and Fertility of Crops

23. Music, Dancing and Song

24. Folklore

25. Miscellaneous Beliefs and Superstitions

About the Series

African Ethnographic Studies of the 20th Century

Routledge is delighted to be re-issuing 79 volumes originally published between 1931 and 1988 in association with the International African Institute. Unavailable outside a few key libraries, many of these republished volumes were at the cutting edge of a fieldwork and ethnographic revolution in African anthropology in the decades after 1930. It involved the production of a wide body of fieldwork-based ethnographic documentation about the cultures of the different societies in Africa. Secondly, it saw a methodological turn to intense, localized investigations of cultural tradition and social change in a rapidly modernizing context. These investigations involved a more sustained and systematic, more professional and ‘scientific’ form of immersion and participant observation, than anything that had gone before. The sites of engagement were urban as well as rural; the pioneering researchers were female as well as male. No longer was the journal essay the repository of the latest research in the discipline, but rich ethnographies running into hundreds of pages.

The volumes are supplemented with maps, which will be available to view on or available as pdfs from the publishers.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies