The Historian in Tropical Africa: Studies Presented and Discussed at the Fourth International African Seminar at the University of Dakar, Senegal 1961, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Historian in Tropical Africa

Studies Presented and Discussed at the Fourth International African Seminar at the University of Dakar, Senegal 1961, 1st Edition

Edited by Jan Vansina, R. Mauny, L. V. Thomas


436 pages

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Originally published in 1964 these papers discuss the recovery and critical interpretation of oral traditions and written documents, problems of dating and analysis of material from archaeological sites, the use of linguistic evidence, and methods of historical reconstruction concerning techniques, art styles and changes in social organization. Consideration is also given to wider problems concerning the pre-colonial history of certain parts of Africa. Attitudes towards the study and understanding of various aspects of historical develoment both among scholars and the public are also reviewed.

Table of Contents

A. The Techniques of the Historian In Africa

B. The Historian Faced with Modern Africa

C. Particular Aspects

D. Some Elements of Regional History in Africa

Part 2: Special Studies 1. Ethno-history of the Empire of Mutapa D. P. Abraham

2. The Use of Linguistic and Ethnographic Data in the Study of Idoma and Yoruba History R. G Armstrong

3. The Historical Uses of Comparative Ethnography with Special Reference to Benin and the Yoruba R. E. Bradbury

4. Traditions orales au Gabon H. Deschamps

6. The Mande and the Akan Hinterland J. Goody

7. Mythes et idéologies dans le Rwanda anciet et contemporain M. d'Hertefelt

8. Contibution à l'étude de l'histoire de la région tchadienne et considérations sur la méthode J-P Lebeuf

9. Les 'fossiles directeurs' en archéologie ouest africaine R. Mauny

10. Historical Evidence in Ga Religious Music J. H. K Nketia

11. Kingship and Statelessness Among the Nilotes B. E. Ogot

12. Reflections on the sources of Evidence for the Pre-Colonial History of East Africa R. A. Oliver

13. En quête d'une chronologie ivoirienne M. Y. Person

14. The Beginnings of Hausa Society, A. D. 1000-1500 M. G. Smith

15. De quelques attitudes africaines en matèire d'histoire locale

16. The Use of Process Models in African History J. Vansina

17. The Growth of the Akwapim State: A Study in the Control of Evidence I. Wilks

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