The Bakitara or Banyoro: The First Part of the Report of the Mackie Ethnological Expedition to Central Africa

The Bakitara or Banyoro: The First Part of the Report of the Mackie Ethnological Expedition to Central Africa

The Bakitara or Banyoro: The First Part of the Report of the Mackie Ethnological Expedition to Central Africa

The Bakitara or Banyoro: The First Part of the Report of the Mackie Ethnological Expedition to Central Africa

Excerpt

Many books on Africa have appeared during the past two or three years, and some of them are of great value to those interested in the opening up and development of that continent. In spite, however, of the light they have thrown upon difficult subjects, there still remains much that is of great importance to be investigated. From an ethnological standpoint, in fact, little has yet been learnt in comparison with what remains to be investigated; it is, however, encouraging to see so good a beginning made to the work, and those of us who have been privileged to take part in it cannot but rejoice as each new book appears.

The present book is the first volume of the Report of the Mackie Ethnological Expedition, which I undertook when the Royal Society honoured me with a request to do so. I trust that the Report will throw light upon many native customs which are as yet not fully understood, and, though it is by no means exhaustive, I venture to think that there is much in it that will be new even to those who have got into closest touch with the African peoples.

The expedition owes its inception to Sir James G. Frazer, who had for many years been anxious to have these African tribes more carefully investigated. He in turn aroused the interest of Sir Peter Mackie, who not only most generously financed the expedition, but took an unflagging and practical interest in all that was being done during the months I was absent from England.

The Royal Society very kindly undertook the oversight of the expedition and administered the fund granted for the undertaking. This alone would have been a great boon, but the Society went further, for the constant support and assistance of the Committee appointed to manage affairs relieved . . .

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