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The Kanyok of Zaire

The Kanyok of Zaire
An Institutional and Ideological History to 1895

$39.99 (C)

Part of African Studies

  • Date Published: July 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521523103

$ 39.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • John Yoder chronicles the history of the Kanyok, a people from the southern savanna of Zaire, from before 1500 until their incorporation into the Congo Free State in the 1890s. By analyzing their oral traditions, myths, and legends, the author describes the political and cultural development of a people who, before 1891, had no written records, and whose history has previously been confined to the stale recitation of wars and succession struggles that characterize many existing books on pre-colonial Africa. Yoder sets his work firmly within the larger context of the southern savanna by extending his investigations to the traditions of neighboring peoples, in particular to the Luba and Lunda, whose empires once dominated the region. In this way, he demonstrates how the same stories and ideas circulated over a vast area but were continually adapted to local circumstances.

    • Yoder analyses oral traditions of Kanyok of Zaire
    • Oral history is popular as a way of dealing with traditional societies, following in the footsteps of Jan Vansina who pioneered this approach
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...an important contribution to our understanding of precolonial intellectual history in Africa." David Newbury, American Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521523103
    • length: 232 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.354kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of maps and figures
    Acknowledgements
    Abbreviations
    Chronology
    Introduction
    1. Wood and wine, gardens and game
    2. Stratification, symbols and spirits
    3. New legends for new leaders
    4. Serpents and lightning
    5. Dances, moats and myths
    6. Combat, classes, titles and trade
    7. Schisms and slaves, ghosts and guns
    8. Assassinations, alliances and ambushes
    Appendix: methodology
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    John C. Yoder, Whitworth College, Washington

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