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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African History, Anthropology, and the Rationality of Natives
Author:MacGaffey, WyattISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:oral traditions
History and Exploration
Anthropology and Archaeology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3171481
Abstract:Ethnographic exploration of social scientific thought as applied to Africa and referring mainly to social change in western Zaire in the last hundred years. Several examples - Kongo oral traditions, the Kongo view of the slave trade, the 'Hamitic hypothese', the plural structure of society in the Belgian Congo, and modernisation theory - illustrate the author's application of the methods of social science to a body of work in 'social science' which is, in fact, myth, and which itself deals, in part, with a body of 'myth' which is, in fact social science. The nature of the difference between the historian's account and indigenous oral traditions is sociological, rather than a matter of intellectual evolution. The two kinds of narrative are equally dialectical instruments. Historiography is a function of history, and social structure is a way of talking about myth. Notes.