Umbundu Kinship and Character: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Umbundu Kinship and Character

1st Edition

By Gladwyn Murray Childs


284 pages

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Paperback: 9781138496033
pub: 2020-05-01
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Hardback: 9781138495975
pub: 2018-08-22
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pub: 2018-08-16
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Originally published in 1949, this book discusses Umbundu social structure and education, with particular reference to how both of these adapted as Angola's contact with Western influences increased in the first half of the twentieth century. Using materials gathered in the field, this volume charts the rapid pace of change which caused social disintegration among the Ovimumbundu, a significant Bantu-speaking group in the Benguela Highland of Angola. Differing approaches to education including assimiliation and adaptation are examined and their merits discussed.

Table of Contents


1. Habitat

Part 1: Social Structure

2. Political and Social Life

3. Kinship

4. Significance of the Social Structure

Part 2: Individual Development and Education

5. The Umbundu Baby

6. Childhood

7. Adolescence

8. Analysis of Umbundu Development

9. Educational Evaluations

10. Particular Fields of Education

11. Education and Life

12. Historical

About the Author

Gladwyn Murray Childs was an American minister, missionary and anthropologist. After retirement, he worked for the World Council of Churches in Lisbon, but sought to return to Angola to work on a prehistoric project. Childs also worked with his uncle, Merlin Ennis, a researcher of folk tales, on Umbundu folktales.

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