The Bantu-Speaking Tribes of South Africa: An Ethnographical Survey

The Bantu-Speaking Tribes of South Africa: An Ethnographical Survey

The Bantu-Speaking Tribes of South Africa: An Ethnographical Survey

The Bantu-Speaking Tribes of South Africa: An Ethnographical Survey

Excerpt

This book is the outcome of a resolution adopted by the (South African) Inter-University Committee for African Studies in July, 1934, to "sponsor the preparation and publication of a handbook of South African tribes". The need for such a book has long been felt, not only by teachers and students of anthropology in the South African Universities, but also by others interested in the racial problems of the country. There exist some large monographs about individual groups or tribes, and many useful short accounts, of a more general nature, published either as articles in scientific journals or as sections of works dealing with the continent as a whole. But there has hitherto been no single comparative survey sufficiently detailed, and sufficiently catholic in scope and content, to form a satisfactory manual of South African ethnography. It is our hope that this work will be found to fulfil reasonably adequately the purpose for which it was written. Increasing specialization in study has made large-scale collaboration not only desirable but essential, and although the book may in consequence perhaps have suffered some loss of unity it has certainly gained in authoritativeness. The contributors have all had considerable first-hand experience of field investigation among the peoples dealt with, and almost all of them are or have been engaged in teaching anthropology, Bantu languages, or allied subjects in South Africa.

The present state of South African ethnography has to some extent dictated the limitations in the range of this book. Certain areas and ethnic stocks have already been dealt with sufficiently fully in standard works to make it unnecessary to include them here as well. The information relating to the Bushmen and Hottentots is summarized in Schapera Khoisan Peoples (1930); the Bergdama of South-West Africa are treated exhaustively in Vedder great work, Die Bergdama (1923); while the small handbook, The Native Tribes of South-West Africa, issued in 1928 by the South-West Africa Administration, covers the Ambo and Herero tribes of that Territory, as well as its Bushman, Hottentot, and Bergdama inhabitants. The present work is therefore restricted in the main to the Bantu-speaking peoples of the Union of South Africa and the adjoining British Protectorates, although reference has occasionally been made by some of the writers to other . . .

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