Paths in the Rainforests: Toward a History of Political Tradition in Equatorial Africaby Jan Vansina
Vansina's scope is breathtaking: he reconstructs the history of the forest lands that cover all or part of southern Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Congo, Zaire, the Central African Republic, and Cabinda in Angola, discussing the original settlement of the forest by the western Bantu; the periods of expansion and innovation in agriculture; the development of metallurgh; the rise and fall of political forms and of power; the coming of Atlantic trade and colonialism; and the conquest of the rainforests by colonial powers and the destruction of a way of life.
“Until the publication of Paths in the Rainforests, it was difficult to make more than superficial attacks on the widespread myth that Central African peoples live in ‘impenetrable jungles as their ancestors have lived for thousands of years.’ Even those few among the 200-plus small scale societies that we have understood in some depth have seemed isolated in time and space. Jan Vansina’s Paths makes a truly significant contribution to African history by providing a solid framework for the description and integration of a millennium of evolution of the many societies of the vast rainforests."Curtis A. Keim, African Studies Review
- University of Wisconsin Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.24(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.18(d)
Meet the Author
Jan Vansina is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor and the Vilas Professor in History and Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His many books include his 1994 memoir Living with Africa, Oral Tradition as History, Kingdoms of the Savanna, and The Children of Woot, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press.
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