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Bantu in the Crystal Ball, II*

  • Jan Vansina (a1)
Abstract

Interest in the question of Bantu expansion rose dramatically in the 1950s as historians, archeologists, and anthropologists all joined in the fray. This reflected both the rise of Africa in world affairs and the expansion of research in general. The scholars involved were typically a new breed of professionals, and as such more dependent than their predecessors on universities or research institutions. The School of Oriental and African Studies in London achieved overwhelming dominance from about 1950 until the late 1960s, so that opinions held by its staff found the widest audience. The new scholars also were, for the most part, anti-racist, sympathetic to African nationalisms, and of liberal or socialist persuasion. They tended to reject the notion of “conquest,” believing in gradual change rather than abrupt cataclysmic mutation, perhaps because they were repelled by their recent experiences during the war. As had happened earlier, these extraneous circumstances left a deep imprint on the speculations that were now proposed. Early in this period a new paradigm almost achieved consensus, but after 1968 this fell apart and during the last decade two new trends have appeared: the single-minded quest for a new paradigm and the search for better understanding through the study of analogous processes, coupled with a more radical skepticism.

Murdock

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Copyright
Footnotes
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The first part of this paper appeared in HA, 6(1979), 287-333.

Footnotes
Linked references
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Jan Vansina , “Bantu in the Crystal Ball, I,” History in Africa, 6(1979), 321–25.

Wrigley , “Speculations on the Economic Prehistory of Africa,” JAH, 1(1960), 196.

Guthrie , “Some Developments in the Prehistory of the Bantu Languages,” JAH, 3(1962), 273–82

Clark , “The Prehistoric Origins of African Culture,” JAH, 5(1964), 181–82.

R. Oliver , “The Problem of Bantu expansion,” JAH, 7(1966), 361–76

M. Posnansky , “Bantu Genesis: Archaeological Reflexions,” JAH, 9(1968), 111.

J. Hiernaux , “Bantu Expansion: The Evidence from Physical Anthropology Confronted with Linguistics and Archaeological Evidence, JAH, 9(1968), 505–15.

T. Huffman , “The Early Iron Age and the Spread of the Bantu,” South African Archaeological Bulletin, 25(1970), 321.

C. Ehret , “Cattle-Keeping and Milking in Eastern and Southern African History: The Linguistic Evidence,” JAH, 8(1967), 117.

J. Greenberg , “Linguistic Evidence Regarding Bantu Origins,” JAH, 13(1972), 189216.

A. Coupez , E. Evrard , and J. Vansina , “Classification d'un échantillon de langues bantoues d'après la lexicostatistique, Africana Linguistica, 6(1975), 133–58.

D. Dalby , “The Prehistorical Implications of Guthrie's Comparative Bantu,” JAH, 16(1975) 481502

P. de Maret and Y. Nsuka , “History of Bantu Metallurgy: Some Linguistic Aspects,” History in Africa, 4(1977) 4366.

R.C. Soper , “Resemblances Between East African Early Iron Age Pottery and Recent Vessels from the North-Eastern Congo,” Azania, 6(1971) 233–41.

P. Schmidt , “A New Look at Interpretations of the Early Iron Age in East Africa,” History in Africa, 2(1975), 127–36.

D.W. Phillipson , “The Chronology of the Iron Age in Bantu Africa,” JAH, 16(1975), 321–42.

The Early Iron Age in Eastern and Southern Africa: A Critical Reappraisal,” Azania, 11(1976), 124.

P. de Maret , F. Van Noten , and D. Cahen , “Radiocarbon Dates from West Central Africa: A Synthesis,” JAH, 18(1977), 497501.

Lwanga Lunyiigo , “The Bantu Problem Reconsidered,” Current Anthropology, 17(1976), 282–86.

A Kuper and P. Van Leynseele , “Social Anthropology and the ‘Bantu Expansion’,” Africa, 48(1978), 335–52.

R.M.W. Dixon , “The Nature and Development of Australian Languages,” Annual Review of Anthropology, 8(1979), 433.

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History in Africa
  • ISSN: 0361-5413
  • EISSN: 1558-2744
  • URL: /core/journals/history-in-africa
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