Africa

A scholarly journal devoted to the study of African societies and cultures. Editorial emphasis is placed on an interdisciplinary approach to African studies by the inclusion of topics in social sciences, history, the environment, and life sciences. Each i

Articles from Vol. 72, No. 2, Spring

Himba Animal Classification and the Strange Case of the Hyena
ABSTRACT Continent-wide in African folklore the hyena is depicted as a dull witted, easily duped creature--despite the fact that the hyena is also known as a cunning and dangerous predator. This article explores why in particular the Himba of...
Lineage Organisation of the Tallensi Compound: The Social Logic of Domestic Space in Northern Ghana
ABSTRACT Houses frequently embody culturally specific principles of social organisation. In this article Tallensi compounds in the Upper East Region of Ghana are examined in terms of compound layout and the kinship relations of their occupants....
Muslims and Meals: The Social and Symbolic Function of Foods in Changing Socio-Economic Environments
ABSTRACT This article is about ideas and practices concerning the production, distribution, preparation and consumption of food among the Muslim Argobba of Ethiopia. Food among the Muslim Argobba of Ethiopia is an essential idiom, both for drawing...
Politicians of the Sacred Grove: Citizenship and Ethnicity in Southern Senegal
ABSTRACT This article examines the traditional initiation of the former Senegalese Minister of Agriculture. At the age of fifty-five the Catholic Minister was initiated into the secrets of the sacred grove and thus acquired the status of adult...
Seen from Below: Conceptions of Politics and the State in a Botswana Village
ABSTRACT Based on the contentions that rules cannot determine practice, and that the state is only a composite reality that needs to be analysed as a part of a wider socio-cultural totality, this article investigates how the state, as government...
The Uniqueness of Nguni Mediumistic Divination in Southern Africa
ABSTRACT Mediumistic divination is unique to the Nguni, as all other Bantu-speakers in southern Africa used a fairly 'objective' divinatory system involving a set of four incised bone tablets, or an assortment of astragals, shells and other objects...
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