Originally published in 1963, this was the first monograph concerning an African people in which an irrigation-based society was studied in detail and its implications explored. The Sonjo, a Bantu-speaking people isolated among cattle pastoralists of what was Northern Tanganyika, are remarkable for their complex irrigation system and political organization. The inter-connections between the irrigation system, the religious cult of a culture hero, and the special features of their social organization are at the core of this analysis.
2. Geographical Setting of Villages
3. Economic Basis of Society
4. The Irrigation System
5. Family and Marriage
8. Political Constitution
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 https://www.routledge.com/ or available as pdfs from the publishers.