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Anthropology

Anthropology Book List

Cover of 'The Poor Are Not Us'

The Poor Are Not Us
Poverty and Pastoralism in Eastern Africa
Edited by David M. Anderson and Vigdis Broch-Due

Eastern African pastoralists often present themselves as being egalitarian, equating cattle ownership with wealth. By this definition “the poor are not us”, poverty is confined to non-pastoralist, socially excluded persons and groups. Exploring this notion means discovering something about self-perceptions and community consciousness, how pastoralist identity has been made in opposition to other modes of production, how pastoralists want others to see them and how they see themselves.

Cover of 'Alice Lakwena and the Holy Spirits'

Alice Lakwena and the Holy Spirits
War in Northern Uganda, 1985–97
By Heike Behrend

In August 1986, Alice Auma, a young Acholi woman in northern Uganda, proclaiming herself under the orders of a Christian spirit named Lakwena, raised an army called the “Holy Spirit Mobile Forces.” With it she waged a war against perceived evil, not only an external enemy represented by the National Resistance Army of the government, but internal enemies in the form of “impure” soldiers, witches, and sorcerers.

Cover of 'The Quest for Fruition through Ngoma'

The Quest for Fruition through Ngoma
The Political Aspects of Healing in Southern Africa
Edited by Rijk van Dijk, Ria Reis, and Maja Spierenburg

This study has arisen out of a fascination with the vibrant nature of African societies, their vitality, and particularly the way in which they seem to be able time and again to overcome tribulation and turmoil. In the southern African region, ngoma, an indigenous ritual of healing, dance, rhythm, and rhyme, is at the heart of the social effort of turning the tables for individuals and communities so that their well-being is restored.

Cover of 'Controlling Anger'

Controlling Anger
The Anthropology of Gisu Violence
By Suzette Heald

Controlling Anger examines the dilemmas facing rural people who live within the broader context of political instability. Following Uganda's independence from Britain in 1962, the Bagisu men of Southeastern Uganda developed a reputation for extreme violence.

Cover of 'Picturing Bushmen'

Picturing Bushmen
The Denver African Expedition of 1925
By Robert J. Gordon

The Denver African Expedition of 1925 sought “the cradle of Humanity.” The explorers returned claiming to have found the “Missing Link” in the Heikum bushmen of the Kalahari—and they proceeded to market this image. As Robert J. Gordon shows in Picturing Bushmen, the impact of the expedition lay not simply in its slick merchandising of bushmen images but also in the fact that the pictures were exotic and aesthetically pleasing.

Cover of 'Mau Mau from Below'

Mau Mau from Below
By Greet Kershaw

John Lonsdale says in his introduction: “This is the oral evidence of the Kikuyu villagers with whom Greet Kershaw lived as an aid worker during the Mau Mau ‘Emergency’ in the 1950s, and which is now totally irrecoverable in any form save in her own field notes.

Cover of 'Transgressing Boundaries'

Transgressing Boundaries
New Directions in the Study of Culture in Africa
Edited by Brenda Cooper and Andrew Steyn

Transgressing Boundaries includes some of the most interesting debates informing cultural politics in South Africa today. To do so, it brings together renowned contributors from Africa, North America and the United Kingdom. The book questions the boundaries between the academic disciplines by incorporating literary studies with anthropology, history, archaeology, art and gender studies.

Cover of 'The Cape Herders'

The Cape Herders
A History of the Khoikhoi of Southern Africa
By Emile Boonzaier, Candy Malherbe, Penny Berens, and Andy Smith

The Cape Herders provides the first comprehensive picture of the Khoikhoi people. In doing so, it fills a long-standing gap in the resources of Southern African studies, and at a time when interest in the indigenous populations of South Africa is growing daily. Combining the insights of archaeology, history, and anthropology, this account ranges from the origins of the Khoikhoi in Southern Africa to the contemporary politics of the Namaqualand “reserves.”

Cover of 'Ecology Control and Economic Development in East African History'

Ecology Control and Economic Development in East African History
The Case of Tanganyika, 1850–1950
By Helge Kjekshus

This pioneering book was one of the first to place the history of East Africa within the context of the environment. It has been used continuously for student teaching. It is now reissued with an introduction placing it within the debate that has developed on the subject; there is also an updated bibliography. The book puts people at the centre of events. It thus serves as a modification to nationalist history with its emphasis on leaders.

Cover of 'Katutura: A Place Where We Stay'

Katutura: A Place Where We Stay
Life in a Post-Apartheid Township in Namibia
By Wade C. Pendleton

Katutura, located in Namibia’s major urban center and capital, Windhoek, was a township created by apartheid, and administered in the past by the most rigid machinery of the apartheid era. Namibia became a sovereign state in 1990, and Katutura reflects many of the changes that have taken place. No longer part of a rigidly bounded social system, people in Katutura today have the opportunity to enter and leave as their personal circumstances dictate.

Cover of 'Traditional Healers and Childhood in Zimbabwe'

Traditional Healers and Childhood in Zimbabwe
By Pamela Reynolds

Based on the author’s fieldwork among the people of Zezuru, this study focuses on children as clients and as healers in training. In Reynolds’s ethnographic investigation of possession and healing, she pays particular attention to the way healers are identified and authenticated in communities, and how they are socialized in the use of medicinal plants, dreams, and ritual healing practices.

Cover of 'Forests of Gold'

Forests of Gold
Essays on the Akan and the Kingdom of Asante
By Ivor Wilks

Forests of Gold is a collection of essays on the peoples of Ghana with particular reference to the most powerful of all their kingdoms: Asante. Beginning with the global and local conditions under which Akan society assumed its historic form between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, these essays go on to explore various aspects of Asante culture: conceptions of wealth, of time and motion, and the relationship between the unborn, the living, and the dead.

Cover of 'The History and Conservation of Zanzibar Stone Town'

The History and Conservation of Zanzibar Stone Town
By Abdul Sheriff

Zanzibar Stone Town presents the problems of conservation in its most acute forms. Should it be fossilized for the tourists? Or should it grow for the benefit of the inhabitants? Can ways be found to accommodate conflicting social and economic pressures? For its size, Zanzibar, like Venice, occupies a remarkably large romantic space in world imagination. Swahili civilization on these spice islands goes back to the earliest centuries of the Islamic era.

Cover of 'Ethnicity & Conflict in the Horn of Africa'

Ethnicity & Conflict in the Horn of Africa
By Katsuyoshi Fukui

Composed of eleven studies on the Horn of Africa, the book is based on primary research by David Turton, Hiroshi Matsuda, John Lamphear, Eisei Kurimoro, Wendy James, P.T.W. Baxter, Tim Allen and others.

Cover of 'A Bed Called Home'

A Bed Called Home
Life in the Migrant Labour Hostels of Cape Town
By Mamphela Ramphele
· Photography by Roger Meintjes

In the last three years the migrant labor hostels of South Africa, particularly those in the Transvaal, have gained international notoriety as theaters of violence. For many years they were hidden from public view and neglected by the white authorities. Now, it seems, hostel dwellers may have chosen physical violence to draw attention to the structural violence of their appalling conditions of life.