Africology: An Introductory Descriptive Review of Disciplinary Ancestry.
A foundational, holistic approach to the concept of Africology first appeared as the topic of a monograph produced for the Union Academic Council for African Studies in London in 1969, and the concept has more recently been the topic of monographs by scholars based in the United States of America and South Africa. (1) The discipline now known as "Africology, the Afrocentric study of African phenomena, represents an oasis of innovation in progressive venues," and it is one of the most significant fields of study in higher education since its institutional emergence in 1968 as Black Studies at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University). According to Molefi Kete Asante, a prominent Africologist and creator of the first Ph.D. program in the discipline at Temple University in 1987, the unique contribution of this interdisciplinary field of study is directly tied to its Afrocentric approach to understanding the African world from its origins that can be traced to the beginning of the human species in Africa to the voluntary migrations and forced dispersals of African people to other continents across millennia. Afrocentricity--"an intellectual, philosophical and theoretical perspective deriving its name from the centrality of African people and phenomena in the interpretation of data; a concept that argues that any meaningful and authentic study of people of African descent must begin and proceed with Africa as the center; a theory of Africology"--is the central element of Africological research (2) and is interlaced with the ongoing transdisciplinarity of Africology (African Diaspora Studies, African Studies, Africana Studies, African American Studies, Afro-American Studies, Black Studies, Pan African Studies, etc.). (3) Building upon and expanding interdisciplinary and transdiscplinary perspectives are activities that scholars of Africology can engage in the present and the future as the discipline continues to develop.
Indeed, our thinking about the future of the discipline must always be in conversation with the past and the present. To my knowledge, a protracted review or scholarly engagement with E. Uzong's 1969 book that is titled Africology has never appeared in print; I have not come across any scholarly work in Africology (or elsewhere) that does so. In fact, I was not able to locate a direct quotation from the book in any academic or non-academic publication after reading the volume during the Summer 2017 until fairly recently. (4) Thus, I plan to offer a review of the book that includes extensive quotations from the now out-of-print book due to (1) the significance of the author's voice in contributing to our understanding of a variety of issues that have been subjected to rigorous studies in the years that followed its publication and, most importantly, (2) its continued relevance to many issues that are being addressed or have emerged in the contemporary moment (the twenty-first century CE). The analysis and synthesis of content from the book will hopefully serve Africologists for years to come by demonstrating that this obscure book foreshadowed many of the intellectual dynamics that are considered to be foundational elements in the study of the African world and that the book should definitely be put in print or online in its entirety as a central part of the continuously-growing Africology library. (5) Indeed, an important question emerges from a reading of Uzong's Africology: Why have most scholars within and outside of the discipline evidently ignored the book?
The author notes in the Preface of Africology that the volume was written from an African-centered perspective: "It is hoped that this work will serve to interest education authorities in Africa on Africology and to introduce it in schools and colleges as well as adding it to the list of approved subjects offered in the authorised state or national examinations" (v). The book is divided into seven parts with twenty chapters. The seven parts of the book are (1) "Introduction to Africology"; (2) "The Mystery of Africa" and "The reasons why Human Progress was held up in Africa"; (3) "The Hunting Age"; (4) "The Farming Age"; (5) "African Religions"; (6) "African Law"; and (7) "African Arts". The first part of the book focuses on analysis of the concept and application of Africology as well as its use and purpose while the following six parts of the book offer a synthesis of more widely discussed key dimensions of the development of ancient African cultures before the formation of classical African civilizations and beyond. In sum, E. Uzong's Africology focuses on the dissemination of knowledge about ancient Africa and the ancient, indigenous African world while highlighting the centrality of knowledge of Africology to understanding African phenomena, knowledge that can lead to solving contemporary African problems via African solutions.
Part One of the book, "Introduction to Africology," consists of three chapters. In the first chapter, "What is Africology?", Uzong posits that "Africology is a name used to designate that department of African studies that deals with African cultural and social changes and development. Applied Africology deals with African social and economic problems and solutions" (3). Correctly noting the size and diversity of the African continent--"Africa is a large continent with an immense variety of natural phenomena, peoples, cultures and traditions" (3)--the author perceptively indicates that "beneath these wide varieties are common environmental factors such as vegetation, climate and geological structure which have commonly and similarly affected the development of animal and social life, tradition, religion, culture and settlement in all parts of Africa" (3). Indeed, anticipating arguments forwarded by Winston Van Horne, another prominent Africologist, Uzong notes that
Africology is mainly the study of the common factors and common problems of prehistoric and literate Africa, their interconnection, the explanation of African psychology in terms of human actions and their relevance to human conditions and progress today... Africology is therefore that part of African studies which reveals the nature and degree of those interconnected factors which underlie the whole body of events and human actions in past and present Africa (3). (6)
The author acknowledges the significance of the written record in delineating the historicity of Africa; correctly arguing that Africa indeed has the longest human history (7), the author calls for interdisciplinary analyses of African studies that move beyond reliance on written documents that emerged since "the arrival of the Arabs and Europeans" (4). The author notes that the significant impact of archaeological (and biological) evidence that is often used to understand Africa can be enhanced with the integration of a variety of academic disciplinary approaches to the study of Africa, including "new methods of research other than archaeology . such as Africological synthesis, anthropological research and analysis, lexico statistics, serology and sociological studies" (4), before further noting that "there is the rich field of traditional and religious legends and beliefs preserved by Africans" (5).
Certainly, many of the Afrocentric elements that constitute Africology in academe today, as well as ongoing epistemological and ethical/moral debates related to the discipline, were articulated in this 1969 book. The author notes,
The field of African studies is today a monopoly of a few scholars who have managed to gain special knowledge about some particular area in Africa, by records of early European contacts, archeological discoveries, or recent expeditions.... This intellectual closed club, with a cold academic approach to African studies, unconscious and unintentional it may be, has made African studies dry, uninteresting and lacking in purpose.... This image is evident in the apathy and disinterestedness and sometimes unconcern which many African students have adopted and shown towards African studies" (7).
The author concludes the first chapter of this book with an insistence on the importance of "the study of Africology" for the African world community and for humanity in general while also insisting that more "African scholars and students" engage in Africology in order to correct "[t]he tendency of European scholars to generalise and overemphasise the importance of a particular town or tribe (8) [sic] within the context of African history and other aspects of African studies [which] can be very frustrating to African students who are interested in a wider field" (7-8). Indeed, "Africological understanding of any event in Africa means seeing it in relation to a wide range of past and present events that are in a sense interconnected, so that no limit can be set in advance" (7-8).
The second chapter of the book, "The Uses and Importance of Applied Africology," begins with a provocative question: "What is the use or purpose of Africology?" (9); the author proceeds to answer this question in a two-fold manner that has continental and global implications. S/he contends,
To answer this question in one statement, the answer would be "to educate the Africans to face African realities". To answer this question adequately one must understand present African social and economic problems. What Africology has to offer concerns not only the Africans but everybody who is interested in present African problems of development (9).
Writing is a context of tremendous political, social, economic, and cultural changes in mid-to-late-twentieth-century Africa, the author contends that "knowledge of Africology will enable policy makers to avoid serious blunders" (9). Indeed, following "[t]he first stage of the African road to independence from colonial rule was the emergence of nationalist leaders" (10), but upon attainment of independence, according to the author,
These leaders, most of them having spent many years studying other peoples' problems and solutions overseas, were completely confused when it came to advancing African solutions to African problems. They were without knowledge of Africology and were thus unable to master the forces behind the African social and cultural set-up, which would have been of great assistance to them in developing Africa in its own context.... Although they recognised the needs and aspirations of the Africans, they were unable to understand the internal forces responsible for the new urge and aspirations (11).
The author maintains that while African leaders sought to implement solutions to African problems, their organizational models were foreign to African contexts, contrary to indigenous developmental aspirations and mores (11). A popular "disillusionment" (11) thus emerged in the immediate aftermath of independence movements, and the colonial situation appeared largely unchanged with postcolonial, new leadership, with few exceptions according to the author (such as "[Julius] Nyerere of Tanzania and Sekou Toure of Guinea", 13):
Life was still much the same as in the colonial days. They were still ruled by the same colonial laws, the same colonial economic set-up. They were still trained in the same colonial system of education using the same colonial books and studying the same colonial history, economics, religion and language. They still had nothing of their own, nothing of their indigenous culture, of their laws and of their social and economic set-up, and for all they needed they were still looking to their old colonial masters. The authority of their leaders became tarnished as more and more people began to realise the situation. The people began to lose hope for new African solutions to their problems. After four or five years their enthusiasm for real African reforms began to wane, and they gradually withdrew from active participation in running their affairs, leaving the political arena to professional politicians (12).
The emergence of postcolonial despotism and militarism ("Army coups"), the author contends, was a result of disillusionment among the African masses in response to failed leadership (12-13): "events and motives leading to these army take-overs may differ, but their acceptance by the people and the necessity for army intervention is common to all African States. The common factor underlying these particular events in Africa is the lack of the knowledge of Africology by the leaders who were responsible for evaluating and conducting the affairs of the masses" (13). Knowledge of Africology and its applications could have prevented despotic military rule as well as "administrative blunders... evident in the events and policies that led to the Nigerian civil war," for example. The author claims,
If those who were responsible for the policies that led to colonial Nigeria and to the eventual federal system which was adopted to hold the people of Nigeria together had any knowledge of the science of Africology, they would have applied different and less disastrous measures to bind the people together as one nation. They would have adopted a system of integration by a central government made up of smaller states . They would have realised that the success of such a unified state depended very much in devising or producing a common force or cause capable of containing the forces of Jujuism Fetishism [sic], Christianity and Islam. Or they would have adopted a system of mixed development under a Federal government irrespective of tribal groupings (13). (9)
Further, anticipating a line of argument similar to Ali Mazrui's The Africans: A Triple Heritage (1986) (10), Uzong notes,
They [independence-era and postcolonial Nigerian policymakers] would have realised that the Ibos are in fact a people who believe in Jujuism tempered mildly with Christianity, both of which encourage a sort of free and competitive society; whereas the Yorubas and Hausas believe in Fetishism and Islam respectively, while both peoples are strongly influenced by Animism, all of which encourages a form of solidarity and communal life (13).
The author essentially posits that awareness of "Africological factors" would have pointed Nigerian administrative efforts "to achieve reform, modernisation, and adaptation" in the direction of "integration and mixed developments" as opposed to disastrous efforts to force "assorted peoples . together by mere superficial contracts under a Federal government based on separate developments" (14). One of the most controversial contentions that the author makes in Africology is that
[t]he past is contained in the present as the present is in the future. Although not all and every one of the African societies, cultures and institutions can be understood through Africological studies, such knowledge gives a fuller understanding of any African problems than could be obtained in the absence of such knowledge (14).
This contention by Uzong is similar but not identical to the one most recently articulated by Molefi Kete Asante in Revolutionary Pedagogy: Primer for Teachers of Black Children (2017):
Revolutionary pedagogy is a philosophy of education that seeks to overturn ordinary thinking, methods, and practice of creating and delivering knowledge to children by employing Africological, Kemetological, and rhetorical techniques to reset the instructional focus for children. Africological refers to the study of African and African American history, cultures, and phenomena from the standpoint of African people as subjects. By Kemetological I refer to the origin of the African narrative in classical Egyptian, that is, Kemetic society. These ideas are especially centered on changing the way urban schools approach instruction in a radical way. How many schools even use the concept "classical Africa"? (11)
Uzong then shifts from a focus on "the application of Africological knowledge to the solution of certain African policy and administrative problems" to a focus on "The Importance of Africology in African Education" in another section of the second chapter (14). Foreshadowing Asante, Uzong notes,
The study of Africology opens the door for the young African into the study of his [or her] culture and the social and economic development of his [or her] people. For the first time he [or she] is being taught how to solve his [or her] own problems by his [or her] own methods. He [or she] is taught, like any other person, to develop interest in his [or her] own affairs and to work towards the development of his [or her] native land and the progress of his [or her] people (14).
The author argues that education in Africa must be reoriented to address the needs of African people, not "the demand of the world on Africans" (15). Education designed for "an agricultural society", or "a developing society", is not identical to education for "an industrial or a service society", nor "for a developed and old established society" (15). The author contends that African educational structures are mired by the colonial legacy that "excludes the study of Africology" and whose results are "out of context with African needs and irrelevant to all African problems" (15). This form of education, according to the author, leads to self-hatred and reverence for non-African history and culture: African people often "are taught only how to apply other people's institutions, laws, economics and even ideology in African Society, problems and life" (15). The creation of "[a] new educational system for African development" is facilitated only by "Africology [which] opens the ground for a sound foundation to such an educational system" (15-16). (12)
The third chapter, "The Study of Africology," is the final one in Part One of this book. Beginning with a critical analysis of the nascent African studies curricula in "[m]any universities in Africa and overseas, including the United States of America, Europe and Great Britain," Uzong argues that "African studies are largely based on research work by European scholars and travelers," which s/he criticizes for not being "comparative by observation of the similarities or differences which exist within, or outside the generally accepted African pattern of culture, religion and social structure"--indeed, for "not [being] related to the context of African Studies under the comparative studies of Africology" (17). Uzong also makes an important observation about African studies and nation-states-based studies of Africa as it relates to problem-solving and curriculum development in higher education:
Some universities conduct their studies of Africa as a purely intellectual anthropological exercise which bears no connection nor has any relevance to the problems of contemporary Africa. Other universities and colleges conduct their courses in the firm belief that the term Africology is no more than a geographical fact, and that it has little or no meaning in the context of the study of social and economic development. They believe an accurate understanding of current developments can only be made country by country. This view is not only wrong but harmful to the study of African problems and the search for their solutions (18).
The author argues that an understanding of general patterns in African societies, or "all fields of African studies, social changes, economics and religion," facilitates a better grasp of "basic common factors" (18). In a section of this chapter titled "Fieldwork," the author contends that "African scholars must make their own observations and interpretations" (18). While s/he does observe the difficulties of conducting fieldwork in rural or nonurban settings, he also indicates that there is much important work for the Africologist engaged in fieldwork about African people in particular. Uzong insists that Africology must deal with realities in Africa from antiquity to the present day, which aligns with the fact that Africa not only has the world's longest human history, but this argument intersects with definitions of Africology by more recent Africologists such as Van Horne and Molefi Kete Asante.
Indeed, in another section of this chapter titled "The Problem of Dating the African Past," Uzong notes, "In the study of Africology, one . has to resort to other methods of dating other than written records and calendars" if one is to account for "prehistoric [that is, Africa before the emergence of 'The age of literacy" (13)] inhabitants in Africa" as well as African civilizations that left written documentation (20).
Uzong then gives an overview of "several geo-chronological methods of measuring the age of a particular object or events," including "geological, biological, and botanical analysis" (21), in an additional section titled "Dating the Past by Geological Analysis" that explores the importance of analyses of "fossils that are found in rocks," "Varied Clay Analysis," "radiocarbon analysis," "radioactive disintegration of radium in deep-sea cores," "Solar radiation," "uranium and other radioactivity methods based on the periods of decomposition of radioactive minerals covering all geological formations previous to the appearance of man on earth," and "tree-ring analysis method" (or "dendrochronology") (21-24).
A series of twelve illustrated figures follow and compliment content in Part One of Africology; they are: "Fig. 1. African Structure"; "Fig. 2. African Vegetation"; "Figs. 3. and 4. The prehistoric giant beasts of Africa"; "Figs. 5. and 6. The remnants of descendants of the extinct African gigantic reptiles--dinosaur. Still a danger to man wherever they exist."; "Figs. 7. and 8. Carved and shaped stones"; "Fig. 9. First stone implements of the African hunters"; "Figs. 10a. Pit Traps and 10b. Pit traps with huge thorns"; "Fig. 11. A rope-trap for big game"; and "Fig. 12. Rope-trap around animal track."
Part Two of the book focuses on the themes "The Mystery of Africa" and "The reasons why Human Progress was held up in Africa" in two chapters (25). Chapter Four, "African Structure, Climate and Vegetation and Their Effects on Human Life and Progress," begins with the provocative argument that "Africa is two different things simultaneously. In many of its features and characteristics, it is the oldest continent on earth; and in many aspects of human life, it is the youngest continent on earth" (27). This claim undergirds the trajectory of this chapter that focuses on "the effect of the African environment on the lives of prehistoric Africans" which the author contends "hold the clue to the mystery of Africa and the African psychology" (27). In three sections, the author presents evidence in support of this contention. The first section, "The African Structure and its Effect on Human Life and Progress," contains details about the "geological stability" of Africa in comparison to "the complicated formations of Europe and Asia" (28). Noting that "[t]he greatest part of Africa consists of a plateau, whose geological structure presents a supreme example of geological stability" (28), Uzong writes further that
... the African plateau which extends uninterruptedly from the Guinea Coast to Somaliland and from the Northern Atlas mountains to the central districts of Cape Province has no folded mountain ranges of recent geological formation.... There are exceptional rare peaks on the plateau. Some peaks are due to volcanic action [such as "in Abyssinia and the East African plateau" and mountains at "Kilimanjaro, Elgon and the Cameroons"].... Another peculiarity in the geological structure of Africa is the lack of alluvial lowlands. There is no other continent in the world where the proportion of lowlands (plains below 600 ft.) is so small.... It is also rare to find large deltas opening widely to the sea, as in America and South-Eastern Asia (29).
The difficulties that were associated with extensive trans-continental travel and the geographical barriers along Africa's coastlines are also detailed in this section:
All of the major rivers of Africa--Nile, Congo, Niger and Zambezi have their lower and middle courses impeded and disturbed by falls or cataracts. These unnavigable [sic] African rivers, have in a way also affected life in Africa by restricting the movements of the Africans, especially in prehistoric times.... Another factor to be taken into consideration which affected life in Africa by restricting entry into the continent by outsiders in the medieval times, was the absence of knowledge and identification of the African coast (30).
Indeed, Uzong contends that these environmental factors "delayed to a very great extent contacts with the hinterland, hence the delay in the commercial and economical development of the African interior" (30). This is a controversial claim in light of the more recent findings of Africologists who analyze and synthesize data on phenomena that Asante describes as the "three geographical engines that drive the cultures and societies of Africa: the Saharan Generator, the Rainforest Home, and the Great Rift Valley. In addition to these engines is the factor of iron-making on the African continent . that . jumpstarted African cultures." (14)
The next section, "The Climate and Vegetation and Their Effect on Human Evolution in Africa," contains information about "the African equatorial and tropical climates" that more recent scholars have echoed in analyses of the impact of the African environment on "human evolution and progress" (30-31). According to Uzong,
The question as to whether the African equatorial and tropical climates hinder human evolution and progress is still subject to discussion.... But there is no doubt that in many respects, it is a difficult climate for long or permanent human habitation.... There is therefore no doubt that the climates of many parts of Africa have in many ways affected human activities as well as the lives and thoughts of the natives of this vast continent (31). (15)
In "African Climates of Prehistoric Epoch," a final section of this chapter, Uzong observes, "The effect of the glacial age of the Pleistocene Europe on Africa was not as immense and widespread as it was in Europe" (31), arguing that "it is believed that great drought periods affected lives in Africa more than the glacial age. It was during the drought periods that most of the prehistoric monsters and other amphibians were rendered extinct" (32). Uzong closes the chapter with another series of perceptive observations that contemporary scholars articulate:
The devastating effect of drought has been witnessed even in this modern age.... Just as today's climate has affected many human activities, lives and thoughts in Africa, so did the climatic conditions of the prehistoric times affect the lives and activities of the Africans, who lived by hunting (32). (16)
The fifth chapter, "The Prehistoric Animal Life and the Effects on Human Progress and Activities," focuses on the significance of natural history to Africology and begins with expanded details on the impact of the environment on natural evolution and human development that the previous chapter ends with, as the author writes that "Africa has a very different history of animal life from that of Europe, Asia or North America" (33). For example,
The mighty reptiles of the Mesozoic Age suddenly disappeared in Europe and other cold climate regions but lingered on in Africa and other tropical regions.... This sudden extinction and disappearance of the great reptiles and beasts by the cold waves gave the inhabitants of Europe better and safer opportunities to venture beyond their horizons and to explore and experiment on the natural phenomena that surround them.... These dangerous animals therefore lived on in Africa in greater numbers than in any other continents of the world.... The extinction of the reptilian monsters on land was paralleled by the extinction of the ammoutes [ammonites] in the ancient seas (33).
The author attributes the extinction of these creatures in "tropical lands of Africa and Asia" to extended "dry periods" and "the warlike competition that existed between reptiles and the emergent mammals" (34). Indeed, as the author notes, "In the real Mesozoic life, man was still absent from the central scene, while life was still evolving" (34). (17) After giving an overview of "[t]he animals of the Mesozoic life" such as "reptiles with enormous bellies and small but strong legs and arms," "theromorpha," "plesiosaurs," "ichthysosaurs," "reptiles [that] were herbivorous animals... [such as] dipolodcus carregu [diplodocus carnegii]... [and] brachiosaurus," "triceratopa... [and] also a number of carnivorous beasts which preyed on the herbivorous animals," "leaping reptiles... [or] flying reptiles," and "bird-like creatures who could fly but were by classification part of the reptile family" (34-36), the author concludes this chapter by reiterating his contention that
Some of these reptiles and beasts which have flourished abundantly in the wet and warm climate managed to survive the Mesozoic changes in the tropics, living until the beginning, and in many cases until the middle, of the Pleistocene years when the mammals dominated terrestial [sic] life, and up to the time when the apes and the first primitive [sic] [ancient] African hunters appeared on earth (36). (18)
Part three of the book, "The Hunting Age," contains three chapters. In the sixth chapter, "The Cultures of the African Hunters," the author provides an overview of the development of ancient African hunting cultures, with detailed, insightful general information about African material cultural development that the author uses to explicate the series of figures that illustrate the book. This is indeed significant information in the context of Africology since it is seldom included in contemporary Africological studies, with Molefi Kete Asante's The History of Africa: The Quest for Eternal Harmony (2007; 2015) being perhaps the only major exception. European historians of Africa such as Kevin Shillington (History of Africa, 1989; 2012) et al include details about the contributions and development of ancient African hunting societies but certainly not from an Afrocentric perspective, which is the central element of Africology. (19) Included in this chapter of E. Uzong's Africology between pages 40 and 41 are another set of figures that are labeled as follows: "Fig 13. Rope-trap."; "Fig. 14. Victim caught in rope-trap."; "Fig 15. Victim struggles to free itself from trap."; "Fig. 16. Rope-trap--victim is exhausted."; "Fig. 17. Hanging trap."; "Fig. 18. Victim caught in hanging trap."; "Fig. 19a. A complicated trigger trap for smaller game."; "Fig. 19b. Victim in a complicated trigger trap."; "Fig. 20. Community trap for reptiles--short trigger."; and "Fig. 21. Community trap for animals--long trigger."
Uzong notes, "Although as recently as 100 years ago there existed in remote parts of Africa groups of direct descendants of the ancient African hunter, most of the hunting culture had disappeared in many parts of Africa after 4,000 B.C. The tribes [sic] that still perpetuated the hunting culture were the exceptions rather than the general rule" (39). Indeed, this valuable information about hunting culture is presented in a manner that the author applies "all over the African continent" (39):
For the purposes of our study of this culture we would use the name "the hunting age" for the period in which the hunting culture was predominantly common to all the people of ancient Africa. The era of these African hunters stretched from prehistoric times, about 500,000 B.C. to about 4,000 B.C.... In order to put these archaeological and ethnographic discoveries into their proper context in this age, we are discussing in detail the general aspects of the hunting culture which were common to all Africa. When the different pieces of Africological information were pieced together the information obtained from the different sources presented a very surprising common usage of tools, common methods of manufacturing the tools and common pattern of development and social structure in the areas involved (39-40).
Referenced Africological information included a description of tools by the author in order to trace the origins and developments of "arrow straighteners, bead rubbers and poison stones," "man-made stone edged implements," and "stones, together with numerous lunates, bone-arrow points and link-shafts all over Africa" (40). Also included in this examination of material artefactual evidence is analysis whose discursive form reveals authorial linguistic bias that is nevertheless insightful:
The prehistoric African of the hunting age was already highly developed. He had upright posture, keen vision, strong and big skilled hands and powerful jaws. He was similar in both appearance and behaviour to the modern Bushmen, pygmies or an Australian Aborigine. They were savage hunters but endowed with great cunning and powers of observation. These qualities were necessary if they were to survive, because their lives were a constant struggle against not only fellow men, but dangerous reptiles, wild beasts and the jungle (40).
Further, the author contends, "The early lives of the prehistoric African hunter therefore involved the development of skills and tools for use in the fight for his survival" (41-42). "The First Technical Tools" are then charted by the author to demonstrate the development of tools and weapons by hunting cultures over time and space, including "well-shaped and sharp edged stones ... tied or fitted into wooden hafts, and sometimes clubs," "smaller and finer flakes and blades from stone... [or] wood"; "gouges"; "stone axes and spears"; "pit traps"; "trap-ropes"; "hanging traps"; "the house trap"; "the falling trap"; "the fence trap"; and "communal traps" (42-45). All of these material factors are included as important elements because, according to the author, "The great technical advance in the standard of tools and weapon manufacture was achieved during the first great dry periods in Africa, which scholars believe to have been between 12,000
B.C. and 6,000 B.C..... These technical advances in tools and weapons increased man's hunting efficiency and helped him to trap and hunt more successfully for smaller game" (43). Uzong also writes,
As the hunters began to handle more effective weapons, they began to hunt further afield from their homes, caves, bases or shelters.... As they ventured into new hunting areas, they also established new bases which eventually became new homes. More huts were built to accommodate the rest of the family or community.... Fire was used to clear the bush leaving open ground around the new bases so that they were safer places to live in. These bases for hunting usually developed into the first African villages.... The next stage of development was the building of fences around the villages (45).
In addition to fences, "younger boys used slings to hunt the birds on the tress" and "the bow and arrow was developed as a weapon" (45). Other tools that were developed included "fish traps", more advanced "fish hunting techniques... [such as the] use of fish baskets"; the construction of "a dam across a stream with an opening into which a fish basket was inserted"; and a "community fishing method" of "building two dams across a stream, creek or sometimes a small river. The water was then drained out of the 'lock' between the two dams, stranding the fish on the mud. They could then merely be picked up" (45-46).
In the seventh chapter, "Social Life and Culture: The Hunting Cultures, Family Life and the Beginning of Religious Beliefs," the author provides evidence to support what may be his/her most important claim in this book, the claim that "[t]he hunting age occupies most of the African past" (53). Thus, according to the author,
If history is just a record of the doings of Kings and Emperors and of wars, then the hunting age of the African will never contribute much more to African history than it has done so far. But if history is about people and the story of man's struggle against nature, against wild beasts and the jungle, then the hunting age is an important period in the history of the African people. It was the most trying period for the Africans. It was the period that helped to shape the destiny of Africa, and of the African people. No one will ever fully understand Africa and its people until they understand the human activities in Africa during the hunting age, the struggle of the hunters for survival, the African environment, and how it affects the African way of life, imagination, and ways of thoughts (53). (20)
In five sections titled "Family Life and the Beginning of Religious Beliefs", "The Law of the People", "The Dreamers", "The Legends of the Man-Ape", and "The Supremacy of the Hunter", respectively, the author insightfully provides information about the development of foundational social, political, cultural, and religious elements of ancient African hunting cultures.
In "Family Life and the Beginning of Religious Beliefs," Uzong contends that "family life also began to develop" as ancient African villages grew and spread. Families created traditions, which, according to the author, are strong indicators of the emergence of religious beliefs:
Their [i.e., ancient African hunters] life-span was usually short. The love and respect which these families held for the head of each family, sometimes amounting to paternalistic divinity, grew the primordial cult of the dead. The cult of the death [sic] expressed affection as well as fear. The terror of the spirits among the ancient Africans was widespread, and still is prevalent among many Africans in remote parts of Africa.... It was believed that the dead father and mother protected the surviving members of the family from evil spirits and harm. This was the origins of ancestors' worship [or, reverence].... The affection and devotion which families attached to their dead ancestors, very much depended on the ancestors' authority and integrity during their lifetime.... This ideology made them feel safer and gave them an illusion of propitiation and power (48-49).
The author further argues that "tradition was carried down to later generations," and "From these beliefs grew more mystifying myths and taboos, to the extent that some ancestors became to later generations as gods, Juju to whom prayers and sacrifices were offered.... Here we have the beginning of one of the African religions, which will be considered later" (49). The author then turns to "The Law of the People" and argues, "At this early stage of development in kraals and villages, everyone knew everyone else. Everybody's movements could be traced. There was therefore no need for the creation of any elaborate machinery for the enforcement of law and order" (49). Rather, "The word of the head of family was the law . The development of law enforcement agents, secret societies, chiefs and tribes was a very much later growth" (49). In "The Dreamers," the author contents that specialized vocations originated in the context of dreams and social interpretation of them as communication with ancestors: "The dream was usually important because it was generally a message from the dead. It would be haunting, evil, good luck, about a sick person or about death. The dead ancestor would usually appear to warn the dreamer... He would then vanish. The dreamer would wake and would deliver his or her message" (50). Depending on outcomes and circumstances, the author contends that dreamers could become "a special person and sacred person," "a sorcerer who would become a witchdoctor," or "the medicine man and the priests" (50). Indeed, Uzong contends, "From these early dreamers came priests and what we later know as the witchdoctor, the medicine man or the witch. They were later to dominate the social life of the villages and sometimes whole tribes .... Some of them genuinely developed strange powers through their faith in the dead ancestors" (50). In "The Legends of the Man-Ape," the author makes critical observations about indigenous beliefs and traditions, with implications relevant to scientific evolutionary theories, suggesting, "The tales about the legendary man-apes are worth consideration because they reveal that, the hominids--the trial men--lingered far longer in Africa and lived as contemporaries of the African hunters.... These tales although told with different degrees of emphasis were popular among many African tribes in the moonlight camp fire reminiscences" (50-51). Having noted that "[f]ire also became a great social focal point, especially in the evenings... [among t]he family group" (47), Uzong contends, "Many things were known about man-apes" (he lists thirteen beliefs) and that
These man-apes were regarded as true enemies of man. Other beasts feared man to some degree, but the man-apes did not.... Probably because these man-apes liked to live near men they were wiped out quicker than the other beasts.... From the stories told, it is evident that the man-apes were almost like men, and the hate that the hunters developed for them arose out of the challenge of the man-apes to man's supremacy over all other living animals (51-52).
In "The Supremacy of the Hunter," Uzong claims, "Nevertheless, the hunter man was very conservative. Over immense stretches of time, the design of implements and tools remained unchanged. While it was remarkable that they invented anything at all, it took them thousands of years to do so" (52). Further,
The biological success had been due to intelligence and to collaboration. He was no solitary noble savage, but a sociable being moved by fear and hunger to seek company. He was also motivated not only by ideas which made for his survival, but by the cult of fertility in men, by the desire to propitiate and provide for the dead, and to hand down by tradition. He was driven too, to seek company by the urge to control the dangerous world by magic, as well as planning and skill (52).
The author notes,
The sparse hunting cultures gradually began to give way to quite a new kind of society which spread as fast as the hunters could travel.... With the invention of fire, better traps and weapons, a large proportion of hunters began to live in permanent kraals and villages .... With the discovery in planting and breeding for the future came the first major technological revolution for the hunters. With the discovery of planting, the taming of animals for domestic use like the dog, and of livestock for food, a majority of hunters began to settle down. They were no longer entirely dependent on chance, but on skill and strategy in planning and breeding" (52-53).
In other words, "This was the beginning of the farming age, and the establishment of the first African settled population" (53).
The eighth chapter, "The First Native Hunters of Africa and Their Distribution," is the final chapter in Part Three. Uzong argues, "The present distribution of the African population stemmed directly from the movement and final settlement of the African hunters"; the author also contends, "There is very little evidence to prove large migrations of Negroes during the farming age" (54). According to Uzong,
Whatever theories may be advanced about the origins of indigenous Africans, one thing is undoubtedly certain, and that is, the Negroe's [sic] home and origin was in the equatorial regions of the great equatorial lakes of East Africa, the Niger River, the coasts, and the southern parts of Africa (54).
This is a claim that the author makes in light of "the anthropological studies of indigenous African hunters" (55). The author references "the interesting case of the Zimbabwe man, usually referred to as the Rhodesian man" that was "accidentally" discovered in 1921 in "Broken Hill" cave (55) and "Dr. Ronald Singer... [whose] researches on the Atlantic Coast near Saldanha Bay... [led to him finding] a human skull in 27 pieces which he assembled into a skull... [that] looks much the same as that found in the Broken Hill cave" (56). (21) Uzong contends,
From this evidence, since the discoveries corroborate each other, the conclusion is that the people who lived in Southern Africa during this hunting age (the time of the last glacial phase in Europe) and who were at that time changing from the use of hand-axes to smaller tools, were anthropologically similar in a range between the Zambesi [sic] region and the Atlantic shores of Southern Africa" (56).
The author concludes this chapter on the demographic geography of "indigenous African hunters of prehistoric times" by focusing on "East Africa" and "Central and West Africa" (57-58). S/he contends that "East Africa was more accessible to hunters than other parts of Africa south of the Sahara, so that at a very early age, it became a sort of crossroads, open to access from all directions" and that "[b]y 20,000-15,000 B.C. the eastern part of Africa became a province of people of different races," with "the Hamites from the north coming as Mediterranean whites probably introducing] cattle breeding about 5,000-4,000 B.C. to East Africa. East Africa is an area where cattle exist free from tsetse fly troubles" (58). (22) In regards to Central and West Africa, Uzong claims, "Central and West Africa was the original home of the Negroes.... Whatever theories are advanced to explain the wide spread of the Negro in Africa as shown today, the undisputable fact remains that the home of the Negro is in West Africa, south of the Sahara" (58). (23) The author buttresses this claim by suggesting,
It is also believed that the Sahara itself, the open country and its southern edge, may have been as important in Negro prehistoric activity as the forests of the west. This recent belief is based on evidence suggesting that [the] Sahara was a far more hospitable place during much of the Pleistocene era, when it supported the typical large game animals like elephants who survived until the beginning of the Middle Ages. There is also much evidence of human occupation in the Sahara. The Negro territory here probably contracted before or while it expanded to the east and south (59). (24)
Noting that "our study is mainly concerned with Africa south of the Sahara" and that "[t]he Western and Central African tropical forests with their acid soils,... [are] not conducive to the survival of the bones of ancient men" (59), the author writes,
However, in spite of the poor evidence, some discoveries I made in the Epoto cave in the Cross River regions of Eastern Nigeria revealed the same stone tools of the Pleistocene age as those found in the Broken Hill cave. These stone tools similarly had cleverly-made sharp cutting edges.... Other discoveries of tools by recent working archaeologists in other Western African regions make it obvious that the conclusion is unescapable that Negro stock existed in West Africa as early as anyone can imagine (59).
Part Four of the book, "The Farming Age," consists of four chapters and begins with information about the transition from the age of "the African hunters and their cultures, and how they finally settled in different territories of the continent" to the "agricultural revolution" in Africa. Indeed, according to the historian Kevin Shillington,
Traditionally the 'agricultural revolution' has been seen as just that. It was believed that once people discovered how to grow their own food, their lives were totally revolutionised. Clearly the potential changes and apparent advantages resulting from the development of farming were very great indeed. But this does not mean that all communities changed to a settled farming lifestyle as soon as they learned about it. Research in Africa has suggested that early moves toward crop cultivation may be been more gradual than previously thought. (25)
In order to demonstrate this social and cultural development across time and space, Uzong contends, "In this section dealing with the farming age, we will discuss the people and the development that followed their settlement, their proportional spread over the continent and the history of African food crops" (64). In the ninth chapter, "The Peoples of Africa," the author contends, "By 3,500 B.C., the sparse hunting cultures began to give way to an entirely new society which spread quicker than the cultures of the hunting age," claiming that
[t]he farming revolution is so termed because of the profound social changes it brought to the lives of the African peoples. This revolution was far more important than the invention of the canoe or pottery. It was comparable only to the great colonial revolution of the twentieth century (63).
Noting that "[b]y 3,000 B.C. there was well organized... territorial and village life," Uzong presents arguments that more recent scholarship aligns with. For example, Uzong argues,
The farmers were planting crops, cultivating palms and cereal plants, and breeding livestock. They were also developing trade by barter. Hence began the first African culture with organised and recognised African religion, African laws and African inventions (63).
Shillington argued that "[t]hose who developed a dependence upon farming needed to accept a hugely changed word view." Further,
People were no longer working entirely within the confines of nature, and were much more dependent upon the vagaries of climate. New relationships needed to be developed with the spiritual world; and thus the origins of Africa's indigenous religions can probably be traced to this period. African religious thought, practices and shrines have traditionally been intimately connected with the spiritual fertility of the land and the seasonal rituals of 'rain-making', cultivation, sowing and harvest. (26)
Uzong then contends that
[t]he Negro composes the most widespread racial group in Africa. He occupies most of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. He has a dark skin with spiralled [sic] hair, a tall structure averaging 5 ft. 8 in., a flat, broad nose and thick lips. The Negroes constitute the true Africans on whom the study of Africology is based (64).
The author claims that "[t]he Negro race is made up of several tribal groups," which he lists as "the Senegalese group, the Guinea group and the Bantu group," and the author also notes that "mixture" of African people with, and the influences of, "Hamites and Semites of the north" produced "separate and different races" and "new racial groups" ("such as the Fulani" or "Nilo-Hamities and the Nilotes") and cultural hybridizations ("such as the Hausa") (64). (27) This information is the basis from which the author builds his/her argument in this chapter that claims, "In studying the African cultures of the farming age south of the Sahara, Africa may be divided into the following cultural group," which are listed as "1. The Negro cultures", "2. The Bushman, Hottentot and Negrillo cultures", and "The Nilo-Hamites and Nilotes cultures" (64). These three cultural groups are the focus on the first three chapters in Part Four.
In the first section of this chapter titled "The Negro People," the author provides general details about the demography of African ethnic groups south of the Sahara Desert, or "the distinctive tribal characteristics of each group" (65). For example, in "The Senegalese Group," the author focuses on the Wolof and Sere (Serer) and contends that "[t]heir original religion was Animism but later became greatly influenced by Jujuism and still later by Islam" (65). Uzong also notes, "During the farming age, the Wolof (or Jolof) practised a sort of Pantheism which contained a mixture of Animist and Juju beliefs"; that "[t]he social structure of the Wolofs was based on a system of hereditary castes: the nobles, the craftsmen, the musicians and entertainers who were very garrulous, and the slaves"; and that the "Sere... culturally had many things in common with the Wolofs, including religion and basic language structure" (65). Included in a following section is also a focus on "[t]he Mandingo: The Mande, as they were known, were one of the most important groups of the Senegalese tribes," and the author notes the significance of "clan organisation based on occupational castes such as the 'Semono'--fishermen--and the 'Numu'--smiths", "puberty rites" and initiations for males and females, "Animistic beliefs and ancestor worship" as well as "Jujuist beliefs", and "Negro heritages such as music and religion" among this ethnic/linguistic group (65-66). In another section, "The Guinea Group," the author contends, "One of the distinctive Guinea group characteristics was the formation of highly organised nation-states, such as the Ashanti, Dahomey, the Yoruba kingdoms, Benin and Nupe states. These states had well organised military systems, and legal and political institutions" (66). The author observes that "[s]ocial life was a village concern, but inter-village and inter-clan games and dancing competitions were common and presented important social occasions" and that "religious rites and ceremonies were the people's main social events, especially the annual harvest festival" (67-68). In regards to religious dynamics, the author notes that "[t]he Guinea group were predominantly Fetish tribes and this ceremony was usually marked with sacrifices to their fetish gods" and that "[i]n some clans, though matrilineal descent was used to determine family ties, paternity had a stronger social importance" whereas "[i]n Yoruba kingdoms [, for example,] local community leadership was based on patrilineal descent" (68). "Inter-village trade" networks are also highlighted in this section as well as "[a]nother social institution which was common to both the Guinea and to some of the western tribes of the Bantu Group": "secret societies and the cult of masks. The secret societies generally played important juridical duties in the maintenance of law and order in communities" (68-69). In this chapter's final section, "The Bantu Group," the author argues that "[t]he Bantu are a people made up of large nation-states composed of several tribal groups. Tribes vary enormously in size, with some a few hundred and others of several thousands" (69). Further,
The Bantu group was therefore made up of states of tribes entirely independent of one another and without central control. Even among the tribes, villages or clans, communities were entirely autonomous. Customs and rituals also varied from one tribe to another (69).
Uzong then offers regional details about "The Southern Bantu" (such as "the Sotho tribe" and "[t]he nation-state of Zulus"), "The Eastern Bantu" ("nation-states such as the Kamba, Kikuyu and the Swahili"), and "The Western Bantu" (such as "the Bushongo clans among the Kuba of the Kasai region and among the Kongo tribe") (69-71). Uzong notes that "[d]ue to the large area concerned, variation in religious rites and ceremonies occurred, but the basic juju belief was common to most of the Bantu tribes" (70). In order to account for the diversity of this geographically wide-spread group, the author makes the important observation that "underlying these localised tribal customs and characteristics were common basic Negro cultures and beliefs such as the principles of Negro music, religious beliefs and social institutions. These common Negro cultures and institutions are the essence of Africology" (71).
In the tenth chapter, "The Bushmen, Hottentots and Negrillos Culture," additional ethnographic details about these groups are presented. Uzong argues that
[m]ost of the African cultures of the farming age still dominate the social structure of many groups of the African industrial age. This is most evident in the Bushmen group.... The group consists of (a) Bushmen proper--those who completely rejected the new farming culture and held on to their hunting culture; (b) the Hottentot Bushmen--those who although they accepted the farming cultures still held on to some of the beliefs and customs of the hunting age and (c) the Negrillos Bushmen who took to jungle life and adopted certain farming cultures into their social system (72).
The author also notes that "[t]he main difference between the Busmen proper and the Hottentot Bushmen was that the Bushmen proper were hunters and food collectors only, while the Hottentot Bushmen were pastoral people with herds of long-horned cattle and flocks of sheep .... The Hottentots therefore had more of a farming culture in their social system than the Bushmen proper ever had" (74). Uzong also notes a "difference in moral attitudes towards marriage between the Bushmen proper and the Hottentots," as "the Hottentots practised levirate while the Bushmen prohibited it" (76). Hottentot "[w]omen, especially elder sisters, were accorded a certain respect by their younger brothers not common in other African communities" (76). Further,
The religion of the Hottentot Bushmen was Animism. They took more care in burying their dead, and attached more importance to the protective powers of the ancestral spirits than the Bushmen proper, who believed that each person had a free spirit for protection against the forces of the evil spirits (76).
The author concludes this chapter by focusing on "The Negrillos or the Pygmies" and contends that "[t]he main cultural difference between the pygmies and the Bushmen proper was that the Pygmies were jungle men while the Bushmen were grass and bush men" (76-77). Uzong also observes that the "Pygmies" "had some common beliefs and customs with the Bushmen proper, apart from certain practices conditioned by their more difficult and dangerous environment" and that "The Pygmies' original religion was Animism, but as they began to establish contacts with their more advanced neighbours of the Bantu tribes they adopted some of their Jujuish beliefs and practices, and also the Bantu languages" (77). Also significant is the observation of Uzong that the "Busmen proper" "group of the Bushmen tribes occupied most parts of Southern Africa during the early times of the farming age, but as other tribes and groups began to adopt the new farming trends and social habits the Bushmen proper were pushed further away until they were finally concentrated in areas now known as Southern Angola, the central and northern parts of the Kalahari Desert and some parts of northern South West Africa" (72) whereas "[t]he Pygmies occupied the thickest tropical forest of Africa within 10[degrees] North and South of the central part of equatorial Africa" (77).
The author begins the eleventh chapter, "The New Races of the Farming Age," with a reiteration of points about demography in Africa that were articulated earlier in Africology:
... Africa was inhabited by several indigenous people who could be divided into groups of distinct races based on the difference between these groups. In the North are the Hamites and the Semites, descendants of common origin; and the Negroes, Bushmen, Hottentots, Pygmies or Negrillos and the Bantu Negro group in East, West, Central and South Africa (78).
Uzong writes that even as this "study is mainly concerned with the peoples and cultures of Africans south the Sahara," and that even as this study "will not study the culture of these northern races, it is advisable to for all those interested in the general subject of African studies to know much more about the Hamites and Semites, their culture and their subsequent influence over the other parts of Africa, including regions south of the Sahara" (78). The author argues that "[t]he Hamites have fair skins and have features more in common with the Europeans than with other African racial groups. In fact it is generally held that they belong to the same branch of mankind as the Europeans. The Hamites are sub-divided into branches--the Eastern and the Northern" (78). S/he writes,
1. The Eastern Hamites are made up of the Egyptians, the Seja, the Berberines, the Galla, the Sourali, the Danakil and most Ethiopians.
2. The Northern Hamites include the Berbers of Cyrenaica, Tripolotania, Tunisia and Algeria, the Berbers of Morocco, the Triaveg and Tibu of the Sahara, the Faalbe of the Western Sudan and the extinct Guanche of the Canary Islands. So far as our study is concerned, the Hamities and Semites must be regards as descendants of the same racial stock (78).
Further, the author notes:
The Hamites and the Semites entered the Negro land during the farming age and the earliest contact is believed to have been made at the end of the pluvial period. In this chapter we shall discuss some of the main results of the arrival of these northern races in the southern Negro lands. We shall study the results of the mixture of the Hamites with the Negroes, and trace some of the principal groups of mixed ancestry to which their arrival and intermarriage gave rise (78-79).
According to the author, "The territories between the Sudan, Kenya and the sea, including Ethiopia, Somaliland and Souralia, were the first to experience the Hamitic invasion" (79). In three sections, the author then focuses on "Ethiopia," "The Tuareg and the Fulani," and "Nilo-Hamites and Nilotes," respectively, providing ethnographic details that give significant insight about this era of the African past. For example, in "Ethiopia" the author contends,
The aboriginal population in Ethiopia proper is of Negro origin. Evidence of African hunting culture... is scattered over much of Ethiopia. There is no doubt that the Hamites entered Ethiopia at irregular intervals over a prolonged period just before the end of the hunting age and the beginning of the farming age. They arrived in East Africa at the beginning of the farming age, about 4,000 B.C. (79).
Uzong also notes that "Ethiopia is a country of not only mixed race but of mixed religions. Here you find practising Animists, the original Negro religion, Muhammedans, Christians and the Falash, the 'Black' Jews of Ethiopia" (79). The author also provides general ethnographic details about "the Kina Orma, known as Oromo" ("Galla people"), who were among "the main African cultures in Ethiopia and the surrounding territories which survived after the arrival and influence of the Hamities" (80-82). In regards to "The Tuareg and the Fulani," the author writes,
What is now known as the Savannah land of North West Africa and Southern Sahara Desert was originally inhabited by the Negroes... There is no doubt that there was considerable human activity in this land at the time when the Hamites impinged upon the Negro native inhabitants... [T]he people of the Taureg and the Fulani who now occupy the land... are the product of the mixture of these two races (82).
The author then observes that "[t]he Taureg now occupy the territories between Touat-Ghadames and Northern Nigeria, and from Fezzam to Lace Faguibine, west of Timbuktu" (82) before offering insightful ethnographic details about the Taureg; for example, "They consist of several tribes" (such as "the Kel Ahaggar, the Kel Ajjer, the Kel Air, the Kel Adran and the Iullemmeden"), and "[t]he social set-up was made up on a class system, the nobles--called Imajeghen--the middle class, the working class--called the Imghad, the blacksmiths and the slaves" (82). Uzong also contends, "Islamic laws and influence have destroyed some of the social institutions of these people," and "[t]he Taureg are known to have been brave and chivalrous to women. The status of women was higher here than in any other African culture or society of the time. This accounted for the general practice of monogamy among this people of Taureg" (83). In regards to "The Fulani," the author argues,
They were found in the Western and some parts of Eastern Sudan, and from Senegambia in the West to Chad in the east, but they gradually spread their influence over most parts of Savannah land including the northern highlands of the Cameroons, Western Sudan, Upper Senegal and into Hausaland. Due to their movement, which was greatest during the Ghana Empire, it is now not easy to identify their own original cultures, since these have been subsequently destroyed by Islamic and other cultural tides (83).
The author then offers ethnographic details about the Fulani, who were "made up of nomadic pastoralists, farmers and cattle owners" (83), before contending that
[t]he only thing about the Fulani of importance to Africology is their language. The Fulani languages, which are similar in structure to those of Sere, Wolof and Biafada, are linked by these anomalous structural features with the Bantu languages, thus proving that the basic structure of the Fulfulde, the Fulani language, was of Negroid origin diluted with Hamitic modes of thought and expression (84).
In this chapter's final section, "Nilo-Hamites and Nilotes," Uzong notes that "[o]ther African races of Negro and Hamitic mixture are found in East Africa and East Central Africa, but here the Hamites were absorbed into the Negro society. This relative predominance of the Negroid side of their ancestry is evident in their darker skin, appearance and culture" (84). Among "the tribes of the Nilo-Hamites," the author observes that "[t]he Masai and Turkana were herdsmen, the Kipsigis, Hull Suk and Teso were semi-sedentary farmers owning cattle," and "[m]any of the rest of the tribes were semi-nomadic, with cattle as their main concern and interest" (84). In regards to the Nilotes, Uzong writes,
The Nilotes occupy[ed] the southern part of the Nile Valley from about 200 miles south of Khartoum to Lake Kougu, with some tribes reaching as far as the north-eastern shores of Lake Victoria, and were also essentially pastoral people. The notable tribes were the Shilluk and Dinka. The Nilotes had less Hamitic characteristics and features than the Nilo-Hamites and were culturally less Hamitic, though their differences were fewer than their similarities (84).
In addition to these significant ethnographic details, the author provides supplementary insight to readers about social organization (for instance, "age-group" systems) and religious beliefs (i.e., "Pantheism") (85-86).
The twelfth chapter, "The History of African Food Crops," is the final chapter in Part Four. Ten figures are included in this chapter between pages 88 and 89: "Fig. 22a. Community fence with trap-gate."; "Fig. 22b. Community fence with trap-gate."; "Fig. 23. ("African Bows" and "Arrows")"; "Fig. 24 Fish traps and basket traps."; "Fig. 25 Cultural and political divisions"; "Fig. 26 Racial divisions"; "Fig. 27. Calabash used as a drinking cup."; "Fig. 28. Wood sculpture--Religious stool of the Luzi [Lozi] Tribe. Museum fur Volkerkunde Hamburg"; "Fig. 29. Negro wood sculpture--stool and bench. Found usually in the village hall or chiefs chambers. West Africa"; "Fig. 30. A devil's mask of the Zezuru Tribes. Museum Fur Volkerkunde, Hamburg". According to Uzong, "The introduction of cereal crops in Africa was an important factor in the social development of prehistoric Africa because it resulted in the permanent settlement of the hunters and the emergence of settled communities in forms of clans and tribes" (87). The author contends that, contrary to the "[m]any scholars on African studies [who] believe that the production of food in the rainforest of West and Central Africa took place after the introduction of American and Asian food plants to the moist tropical lands, and only when metal tools had provided efficient means of clearing and constructing effective inland roads through the forest"--which the author regards as a "presumptuous statement" and "theories [that] were advanced in respect to North Africa" and inaccurately "applied to Africa south of the Sahara"--Uzong argues that "[b]oth linguistic and botanical evidence suggest that certain crops are of the tropical rainforest origin and therefore have their origins in West and Central Africa ....
Waterside sites and the fringes of the forest probably saw the first attempts at tropical agriculture and plan cultivation" (87). The author references the work of G.P. Murdock who "stated in his survey of Africa, its peoples and their culture, that 'Agriculture was independently developed at about 5,000 B.C. by the Negroes of West Africa'. He credited the invention of agriculture in Negro Africa to the Mande people around the headwaters of the Niger" (87). Uzong points out that "Professor Murdock also attributed the invention of the domestication of cotton to the Nuclear Mande people," and the author includes a "list of Nuclear Mande domesticates, as observed by Professor Murdock" in this chapter, with Uzong also indicating that "two main crops had a great social and economic impact on the lives of Africans of the farming age. These two are gourds or Calabash and Yams. Oil Palms came into the economic scene much later" (87-88). The author observes that "[i]t is believed that the first farming areas came directly as a result of 'Bush burning hunting'," providing details about the stages of this method, or "bush burning game technique", in which "the bush was thoroughly burnt and cleared as open fields" along with procurement of "escaping game" and "burnt game" before "the first cultivation of crops took place" when "the top soil was formed into ridges, and sometimes holes were dug for planning crops" followed by "the erection of poles to support crops with soft stems (notably the yam)" (88-89). Description of gender dynamics and divisions of labor are also addressed by the author:
After the bush had been cleared, the ridges made, and the poles erected, the women took over from the men; the clearing of the bush, the making of the ridges and the erection of the poles were regarded as men's work. This practice is still carried on in most parts of Africa where the men clear the bush, till the ground, and erect the poles. The yam was the principal product of this male activity (89).
Noting the contributions of women also to the planting of "[s]ubsidiary crops such as cassava, millet or cocoyams," the author observes the important role that women played in weeding, the latter which "was done more than once in a farm, and... the weeding season could continue until the beginning of the harvest season" (89). According to Uzong, "Time was then measured in farming seasons. Generally speaking, a year was made up of five seasons," which the author denotes as "1. The bush clearing season"; "2. The tilling season"; "3. The planting season"; "4. The weeding season"; and "5. The harvest season" (89). Further, "In certain areas where climbing crops like yams are planted, the pole erecting period is recorded as a season making a total of six seasons in a year" (89). The author also contends that "[a]lthough yam was not yet a commercial commodity, it was regarded as a source of wealth. Apart from cows and goats, a man's wealth was assessed by the number of yam barn poles he possessed" (90). In a section that focuses on the "Calabash and Gourd", the author argues that "[t]he cultivation of gourd and calabash revolutionised the industry by providing containers" (90). Uzong includes a brief analysis of "a legendary story of Okana" in order to illustrate the notion that
[t]his story, like many others, brings to notice the uses and importance of gourds and in particular calabash in ancient African communities. It is evident from this tale that some gourds had been made into very large basins, even at an early date. Even today in the twentieth century, calabash and gourd basins are still used in many parts of Africa. They are still used for fetching and storing water, and for holding palm wine. Many plan wine traders still prefer the use of calabash, rather than bottles, for storing their wine (91).
The author concludes this chapter by noting that "[t]he smaller gourd and calabash also became useful utensils, for use as cooking spoons, plates, and bowls" and that "[f]anciful masks were also made out of calabash" (92). Noteworthy also is the fact that as this book is "Volume One," the author's reference to the following may be indicative of the (prospective) title of the author's (planned) subsequent work: "The laws regarding yam theft are dealt with in Book II dealing with Law and Government" (90).
It is clear that the author situates Africology as the African-centered study of African people from both chronological and thematic perspectives. The absence of Kemet and other classical African civilizations from the author's focus on the trajectory of the development of ancient African cultures is obviously an issue that may surprise contemporary Africologists and scholars from other disciplines (such as historians). The premise of this book points in the direction of insisting that Africology must start from the foundation of continental African phenomena, with the "prehistoric" African past constituting its crux, or foundation--in other words, ancient African cultures before classical African civilizations such as Nubia and Kemet. African cultures before the invention of writing and the emergence of classical African civilizations, in other words, are the central elements from which all studies of African people must stem. Understanding ancient African cultures and their impact on subsequent developments in Africa and its diaspora, then, is axiomatic to Africology. This is perhaps one of the most unique elements of Uzong's study. Indeed, the foundational elements of African societies that one of the founders of African Studies (or one of "The First Africanists") (28) articulated in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries align with Uzong's approach, for Edward Wilmot Blyden argued that "The Family", "Property" ("accessible to all"), "Social Life" ("communistic or cooperative" labor), and "Laws" (addressing both the spiritual and material domains) were the foundations of African societies, or what Blyden referred to as "The Facts in this African life": according to Blyden, "we must premise that we are dealing with the African pure and simple--the so-called Pagan African--the man untouched either by European or Asiatic influence" (Blyden, African Life and Customs, 1908, 10-11). Uzong suggested that Kemet developed at the fringes of interior indigenous African civilizations; the author did not totally ignore it as a part of the development of Africa, but Kemet is regarded by the author as one of the exceptions to African development along with other coastal and borderland regions of Africa. In the author's view, most of Africa's development and African responses to the environment were determined principally by a difficult developmental landscape, which the author regards as being a key difference between African and non-African environments at the earliest periods of (human) history.
This may seem to indicate a non-Kemeticological conception of Africology that is often subject to legitimate criticism, a reflection of the limited extent of the author's comprehensive scope, but the author's African-centered approach focuses on indigenous Africans in prehistoric/ancient periods up to the emergence of farming (around 5,000 CE) in Africa (before the emergence of Kemet, whose origin is indisputably African/indigenous and is a product of ancient African cultures that existed before its time). The author's premise is that the key components that were central to the development of all African civilizations include the following factors - religion, law, and the arts.
Part Five, "African Religious Beliefs and the History of the African Religions," is comprised of four chapters. In the thirteenth chapter, "Introduction to the Study of African Religion," Uzong writes that "[t]here are thousands of ethnic groups and tribes in Africa, and many religious rituals, dances and names for their gods.... It should not be assumed that the religious beliefs of all these tribes have been studied here, but most of the important beliefs of the African major tribes and sometimes very small tribes have been dealt with" (95). Further,
The purpose of these researches has not been to study in detail the methods and conduct of these religious rituals and dances, but to concentrate upon the underlying principal beliefs from which these dances, rituals and worship developed. The aim is to understand why the rituals were evolved, the purpose of the festivities, and the reasons behind these religious ordeals and rites.... To achieve this aim, it is necessary to understand the religious beliefs of the Africans before the arrival of Christianity and Muhammedanism" (95).
Uzong claims, "The dances, the rituals, the offerings and the sacrifices are by themselves not religious beliefs. They are external means for the expression of subconscious beliefs and fears" (95). According to the author,
It is from the religious songs and prayers that the true beliefs of a particular tribe may be evaluated. These songs and prayers are usually handed down from one generation to another, and are in many ways more reliable than the personal account or pronouncements of a Priest or a Juju head man.... The evidence for our four religious beliefs are derived from these prayers, songs, legends and myths of the gods, whom the dances, the rituals and the pleas and prayers are meant to please (96).
The author then claims that "[t]he general lines on which our research studies are based, will give the student a deeper insight into the underlying principals from which the religious beliefs grew and took shape in the form of rituals, dances and sects, as exist today" before offering clarification on terminology that is employed in Africology that, perhaps, should have been mentioned earlier in the book:
Another factor which I must mention here is the names I have given to these religious beliefs. I am aware of objections to the use of the words "Fetishism," "Jujuism" and "Animism" by some Africans and even by some European scholars.... Fetishism has a Portuguese and Juju has a French origin, but having considered other names, the conclusion is reached that it is less confusing to use familiar and known words.... Another alternative, short of coining entirely new words, would be to use native or local names and words. This is not practicable, due to the linguistic diversity involved (96).
After coming to the conclusion that "in the final analysis, these words, Jujuism, Fetishism, Animism and Pantheism are the only appropriate and known words in this particular field of African Studies" (96), the author reminds readers in a section of this chapter that is titled "The History of the African Religions," that
[m]ention has already been made of the African hunters' religion--Animism--and later developments of Jujuism, Pantheism and Fetishism.... All the indigenous Africans, whether they are, the Negroes, the Pygmies, or the Bushmen can be grouped under these four great religions.... [that gave] rise to Sects and Societies[,]... priests, witchdoctors, sorcerers and medicine men.... For the student to understand the development of this hierarchy and their role in society, it is essential for him [or her] to grasp the doctrine, beliefs and faiths of the four principal religions" (97).
In the previously mentioned chapter eleven, the author's concluding remarks about "Nilo-Hamites and Nilotes" include a definition of Pantheism that is useful to readers' understanding of the author's usage of the term:
Although their [Nilo-Hamites: "the Masai, the Nandi and the Teso"; Nilotes: "the Shilluk and Dinka"] belief in the powers of their supreme God and the spirits was based on Jujuism, their religious ceremonies and worship was that of African Animism. This type of mixed religious faith, called Pantheism, also existed among the farming cultures of the pastoral Nilotes. But the Nilotes had more Animist religious affinities than the Nilo-Hamitic people. These Nilotes believed in the conjugation of the human soul with all its visionary powers, into its animal opposite. They also believed in reincarnation" (84, 86).
The three chapters that follow this one focus on "Animism", "Jujuism", and "Fetishism", respectively.
In the fourteenth chapter, "Animism," the author reminds readers that Animism, as stated before, was the first African religion. It dates as far back as the early hunting age, and is the oldest religion in Africa and probably in the world.... The world of the African Animists, conditioned by a mysterious environment, was contained and sustained by Spiritism.... They believed in the existence of the spirits of their ancestors, in wandering and lost spirits, and in the Supreme Spirit (98).
Uzong divides the chapter into six sections. In "The Supreme Spirit," the author argues that "secret chants by the elevated Animist priests who wish to gain some information or knowledge about a certain urgent case" are valuable sources of information, as "details of the procedure differs slightly from one tribe to another, but the substance of the prayer remains the same, although different intonations and melodies occur at different places"; the chants reveal that "[a]lthough they did not call the Supreme Spirit 'God', these Africans attributed to him all the powers, phenomena and divinity usually attributed to God in later ages" (98-99). The following "is one of the secret chants" that Uzong uses as an example and evidence supportive of his argument:
Oh! thou Supreme Spirit, tell me with thy supreme word, guide me by thy supreme wisdom, for the spirit of my beloved ancestor is now lost. Give to him part of your supreme powers, part of your supreme vision and part of your immortality. Send him forth to protect me, for now I am surrounded by evil spirits, wandering spirits, and lost spirits who come out to harm me and to bamboozle and drive my soul away from me. Oh! thou Supreme Spirit, tell me with thy supreme word, guide me with thy supreme powers (98-99).
In "The Free Spirits," the author observes that
[t]he Free Spirits are the intermediate forces. They have supernatural power subject only to that of the Supreme Spirit, but they have power over the ordinary man because of (a) their supernatural powers and (b) supernatural vision. These two powers are given to them by the Supreme Spirit who alone can take them away from them, but when once they are in possession of these powers, they are free to use them as they please. They can use them for good or evil (100).
Uzong contends, "This is the reason why they are known as free spirits. They are divided into four classes: the good spirits, the wandering spirits, the losing spirits, and the evil spirits" (101). Further,
In the world of the Animist, the activities of the free spirits, [sic] are the main force that keep the world moving. A man's life is a struggle against these intermediate spirits and the life of an Animist is mainly concerned with mastering the tricks, strategy and methods of pitting himself against these spirits and so preparing his soul for a better class, usually the good spirit class.... To the Animist, life on earth is only a preparation for a spiritual life (101).
In "The Unfree Spirits," the author explains that "[t]he Unfree Spirits are the third and lowest class in terms of power and vision" and that "[t]hey are unfree because the Animists believe them to be locked in the human body, but without supernatural power and supernatural vision .... The Animist therefore believes that the human body contains a powerless, visionless soul containing only a force that generates momentum to give the body movement and life" (101-102). Noting that "[t]he Free Spirits can not only cause death, but can inflict harm on the powerless and visionless soul in the body," the author writes in "The Destiny" that
Animism teaches the predestination of man. Every man has a firm and constant purpose to perform, and a firm and constant time in which to perform it. When a man's time is curtailed his duty is uncompleted on earth.... Today, the emphasis is on how to gain protection from premature death and from the evil designs of the bad spirits... The Animist priests, the sorcery and the Animist secret societies and sects derive from this need (103).
In regards to "The Animist Priests," Uzong writes that "[t]he Animist Priest is different from all other African religious priests because of his simplicity and lack of elaborate rituals and ceremonies.... His power lies in concentration and in his ability to develop visionary powers" (103). The author also contends that "[h]is work is intermediary and he only helps the ordinary Animist to communicate with the spirits.... There are several methods of communication. The methods again differ from priest to priest, and from tribe to tribe" (104). Interestingly, Uzong maintains that
[a]s time went by, the priest began to give colour to their profession and like all professions, they developed a mystique which envelops the whole priesthood even till the present day.... Today, a priest, especially in European eyes, is not much different from a witchdoctor.... Another quality which developed around an Animist priest is that of sorcery, but that is a much later development (104-105).
In this chapter's last section, "The Animist Sect--The Man Leopard, Crocodile, Etc.," the author forwards the argument that
[o]ut of Animism grew a very strange and dangerous sect which believes that man can develop powers to equal that of the intermediate spirits and therefore make himself invisible, but without supernatural powers.... This is done by conjugating the empty soul of the body with the visionary soul of its animal opposite, without causing permanent death to the body.... The aim here is to free the human empty soul and conjugate it with the complementary part existing in the animal. The spirit is not allowed to wander away but is locked into an animal. The man is therefore virtually in the animal. From this we get "The Man Leopard" [or "Crocodile, Etc."] (105).
Uzong claims, "The point as to whether these things happen or not, [sic] is not our present aim to investigate. The important fact is that the Animists believe in the existence of this sect and its powers.... Animist sects can be found in West Africa among the Ibibio and Efik tribes" (105).
The author opens the fifteenth chapter, "Jujuism," with the following claim:
Jujuism, like Fetishism, is a religion that entertains rituals and ceremonies, and whose main doctrine is the preservation of life and reincarnation.... Jujuism is an attempt by Africans to understand God as a Supreme Being who manifests Himself in natural phenomena, so that to a believer, the Supreme Being manifests Himself in different ways through different objects to different people and tribes. Because this Supreme Being manifests Himself in natural phenomena, Jujuism is the most localised religion in Africa (107).
S/he also notes, "This is a point which baffles many European Christians. They cannot understand how a human being can worship a stream, a snake, a tree or a stone as Gods, regarding them as Supreme Beings.... The Jujuman does not worship the tree, or the snake by itself. He worships the God who has manifested Himself in the form of that object" (107). The author divides the chapter into four sections. In "The Spirits," Uzong asks,
Does a Jujuman believe in the existence of spirits? Of course, he does, but the Jujuman does not go into the gradation of the spirits as does the Animist.... The spiritual world is known to have only two types of spirits, the evil and the good spirits.... But the Jujuman, like the Animist, believes that the spirits of his departed relations exercise a watchful care over them for a time. It is believed that the spirit lingers around the house for some time after death (108).
Unlike the Animist, the Jujuish people believe that the spirits eat, as do human beings, but like the Animists they believe in the waiting period of the spirit.... This is mainly demonstrated by what is called the 'Feast of the Dead'. Although it is the living people who consume the food, a symbolic gesture is first made by throwing some food and wine to the ground as a libation for the dead relative. Prayers are said and the name of the relative is chanted several times until the people are convinced that he is there with them. The feast then begins. People eat and drink in remembrance of the deceased person (108).
The author also notes "one of the main differences between Jujuism and Fetishism. In Jujuism, offerings are made; in Fetishism sacrifices are required, even to the extent of killing people, especially slaves, to accompany and cheer the lonely spirit in his unaccustomed environment" (108) before focusing on "Reincarnation" in the next section of this chapter. According to the author,
The ultimate evolution of the spirits is reincarnation. Each spirit comes back to its lineage or family, so that, unlike the Animist, the Juju people believe in the perpetuation of the spirit and the eternity of spiritual existence.... "That which lives, must die, and that which dies, must live again," is a well-known maxim among the Juju people .... Existence is a question of a vicious circle between life and death, day and night, consciousness and sleep.... The ancestors ultimately come back to life (108-109).
The author contends that "[b]abies that arrive in the home of the Juju people are carefully watched for symptoms of their potentialities" or signs that reflect "family ancestors" whose names were subsequently given to children (109-110). In the next section of this chapter, "Juju," the author notes that
Juju is the name given to the object by which the Supreme Being manifests Himself. It could be a hill, a tree, or a snake in a creek (commonly a python).... The word "Juju" is now a dreaded word, especially among the Christians.... This fear is partly due to the hate that the missionaries developed towards Juju, and partly because of a misconceived view of Jujuism as an evil religion (110).
Uzong also argues that
[t]oday only illiterate Africans will own this religion, but in the innermost recesses of every African's mind, whether he is educated in New York, London or Moscow, lies the echo, or even the image of Juju and all it represents. It is for this reason that Jujuism must be treated with care.... Juju is not regarded as a mere spirit. He is a divine judicator. He administers justice. He can punish, he can avenge. He controls the forces between the invisible spiritual world and the tangible and visible world (110).
The author elaborates further that "[d]ifferent tribes[,] in fact different villages, have different names for their Jujus" (110). In another note on nomenclature that could have, perhaps, appeared earlier in the book, Uzong writes,
"Juju" is a general term, originally adopted by the first colonial French traders to describe these gods. In the passage of time, and in casual usage, the name was adopted by both the French as well as English African literates to describe the gods and worship of the Africans who revered these divine administrators" (110).
Further, the author notes,
In order to please the Juju, and to secure protection of the Juju, the Juju people have different rituals, offerings and ceremonies devoted to him. These differ greatly from tribe to tribe and even from village to village, though beneath the colourful rituals and ceremonial activities lie four principal factors that are common to all Juju worshipers" (111).
These fours factors are listed as the following: "The General or Communal Thanksgiving Offering"; "The Communal Request or Petition"; "The 'Prayer' [including "The Plea and The Curse" sub-categories]; "Witchdoctors"; and "Charms and Talismen" (111-115). The author contends,
By the end of 1000 B.C. a group of men specialising in the knowledge of the methods and preparations for a curse developed among the worshippers of Juju.... The new class of specialists who are today called Witchdoctors, [sic] became firmly established in the society by 500 B.C..... From this school of thought came Juju protective charms and talismen [sic]. Eventually it was not only possible to inflict curses, but to guard against them. Myths and taboos grew around this new invention of the witchdoctors, so much so that he became a very special and powerful person in the African community (114).
Another important observation on this topic is the following:
Here again it is important to note that however many witchdoctors existed, there were just as many variations and methods in the preparation of these charms and talismen [sic].... Many people used these charms and talismen [sic] for protection against enemies, devils and evil spirits.... The selling and buying of these charms and talismen [sic] became the most expanding and booming trade, not only in the religion, but to all African internal trade--later superseded only by the slave trade.... Even today, trade in these charms still exists in many African villages.... Most fantastic claims for the potency of these charms and talismen [sic] were made by the witchdoctors (115).
In "The Juju Priests," the final section of this chapter, the author contends that "[t]he Jugu priests, unlike the Animist priests[,] had no visionary powers and unlike the witchdoctors, had no special Juju powers. They were, in the true sense of the word, servants administering the needs of the Juju" (115). After listing eight of their ceremonial duties, the author concludes this chapter with the following argument:
In the early days Africans knew no other social life apart from the Thanksgiving and Petition Offering Ceremonies. The Juju priest was therefore an important figure in the social life of the Juju community. He becomes not only the Juju headman, but the head man in all secular communal activities.... From this class of people came the village head men and sometimes, tribal head men who later became village chiefs or tribal chiefs.... Some of the Juju priests became so attached to their Jujus that they refused to get themselves involved in other political and economic matters, hence remained Juju priests, and never became total chiefs.... Some ambitious Juju priests exploited their position, and made themselves great chiefs. Having attained this powerful position of chieftainship, they appointed their lieutenants as Juju priests and very often acquired witchdoctors to minister their spiritual needs and to strengthen their powers (116).
The sixteenth chapter, "Fetishism," is divided into six sections. Uzong contends that "Fetishism goes deeper into the myth creation and the elaboration of spiritism and spiritdom. It entertains more human sacrifices and is the bloodiest of all African religions" (117). The author "sums up the relationship between man, the Supreme Creator, and the lesser gods" (118) by arguing that "[t]he Fetish Supreme Being is the Supreme Creator" and that "he first created spiritdom and then the spirits" and "the earth, but some of the recalcitrant spirits wandered out of spiritdom to the earth" (117). According to the author, "the Supreme creator, [sic] appointed lesser gods as sentinels over these spirits" (117). The author maintains that "[t]he lesser gods are on the same spiritual level, [sic] as the Juju of the juju people.
The same functions and activities which are normally attributed to Juju, [sic] are attributed to these gods" (117). Further, "[m]en were therefore created to be subject to these gods, and their whole existence revolves around their struggle against the mischief of these rebellious spirits and the demands and activities of the gods" (117). In the first section of this chapter, "The Four Worlds of the Fetish People," the author claims that "[t]he world in which the Fetish people find themselves is therefore on four levels" (118):
The first is the spiritdom in which the Supreme Creator himself lives.... The second is the invisible spiritual world in which the rebellious spirits live.... The third is the world in which the gods and the ancestral spirits live. This is sometimes called the underground world. In this world there are also what the Fetish people call the undersea kingdom.... The third world is therefore sub-divided--the underground world and the undersea world.... The fourth world is the world of the people. This includes all visible and tangible objects, whether human, animal, insect or vegetable (118).
In the second section of this chapter, "The Fetish Sect," the author notes that
[t]he secret Fetish sect is mainly concerned with materialism. This is the link between the fourth and third Fetish world. It is believed that a member of this sect has supernatural powers, which enable him to communicate with, enter and temporary [sic] live in the Underworld or Undersea Kingdom.... There are two aspects of this sect--the good and evil application of the rituals (119).
Next, the author contends that "the methods of application are a guarded secret and unlike the witchdoctors of the Juju people, the members of this sect prefer to remain anonymous and are regards by other Africans as wizards and witches.... To the Fetish priest, witchcraft is an evil rival practice" (119). In the third section of this chapter, "The Fetish Priest," the author contends that "[t]he Fetish priest performs similar functions and duties as the Juju priests" (119) and that "[i]t is difficult to determine which of the two great African religions is the oldest" (120). The author continues,
Nevertheless, to the trained African eye, there remains differences between a Fetish ceremony and a Juju one.... Firstly, the priestly office of Fetishism is hereditary, while that of Jujuism is not necessarily hereditary.... Secondly, Juju people make offerings to their gods, while the Fetish people, [sic] make sacrifices and very often human ones.... Both Fetish and Juju people have temples and shrines of their gods (120).
In the fourth section of this chapter, "The Men and The Spirits," the author notes that "[a] man, or an animal, or a living thing has its own spirit which is in close contact and association with him or it. These spirits are called fixed spirits, and are a part of the fourth and third world. Their functions are equivalent to those of the unfree spirits of the Animists" (120). The author then observes that "[t]he next kind of spirits are those which are split into three categories, with supernatural powers that have no close or permanent material associations" (120):
The first of these categories is that of the ancestral spirits similar to those of the other regions which were once fixed spirits of living people which have parted from their bodies at death and which are believed to be pursuing desires and values similar to those they pursued in life.... The second category of the free spirits is concerned not with lineage or family matter, but with the whole community.... This is the difference between the ancestral spirits and other free spirits.... The second category of free spirits is composed of repentant spirits ...., which are called the "Heroes" and sometimes "The Guide," and in some places "Father Spirit".... The third category of free spirits belong to the Underground or Undersea world.... Unlike the Guide or the Father Spirits, and the ancestral spirits, these Underground or Undersea Kingdom people are identified with particular natural phenomena, such as mountains, rivers, creeks, but never with human groups or human institutions (120-122).
Uzong maintains that "[t]he existence of so many godly spirits accounts for the numerous and elaborate cycle of festivals and activities" and that "[t]he Fetish community have a cycle of customs revolving around the movements of the moon and seasonal weather, in which all the three categories of free spirits are entertained in regular order" (122). In the fifth section of this chapter, "Pantheism," the author argues that "[i]n the strict sense of the word, Pantheism is not a religion. It is rather a state of a social condition based on the premise of the religious beliefs of certain African communities" (122-123). Uzong claims,
There existed therefore certain Africans who attached little importance to any particular doctrines or ideological differences between the existing three religions. To these people Animism, Jujuism and Fetishism are only concerned with the powers of the different gods in Africa.... The worship of these several gods of different religious origin, by a person or village community, is what has become known as Pantheism (123-124).
Interestingly, Uzong argues that
[t]his is why the introduction of Muhammedanism and Christianity in Africa did not, [sic] and has not created much sensation or religious strife in the continent.... It is sometimes difficult for European Christians to understand how an African can reconcile Christianity with either Animism, Jujuism or Fetishism.... Today over 90 per cent [sic] of Africans are more or less Pantheists. Eighty-five per cent [sic] of African Christians still believe in the supernatural powers of other gods and witchcrafts.... The adoption of a new religious way of life is no new thing to the Africans. This adoption of Christianity or Muhammedanism by the Africans was therefore not registered in the subconscious minds of the Africans in the same degree as in those of European Christian converts (124).
According to Uzong,
Many people wonder which of the two new religions--Christianity and Muhammedanism [sic] will eventually take over Africa. The point is, many of these people, [sic] overlook the fact that Muhammedanism and Christianity are not the only religions in Africa and that the alternative does not lie between these two religions alone (124).
In the final section of this chapter, "Conclusion," the author notes that "[t]he development of Pantheism has made it difficult to draw clear territorial boundaries for the African religions, and the further invasion of Muhammedanism and Christianity has made this even more impracticable" and that "[a]nother difficulty in allotting definite areas to specific African religions is due to local variations and different emphasis applied to the general practice of these religions" (125). Despite these caveats, the author provides the following continental overview:
Generally speaking, the Guinea Negroes are more attached to Jujuism and Fetishism, while the Bantus and the Bushmen are more inclined to Animism and a few Juju ideas .... Muhammedanism flows across Northern Africa making some infiltration into North West and Eastern Africa.... Christianity filters through Southern and Western Africa, with some penetration into Central and Eastern Africa.... Pronounced traits of Animism can be found among the Ibibios, the Efiks, the Ogoja tribes, and Sierra Leone tribes in West Africa, among some tribes around the great equatorial lakes of Eastern Africa and among the Kung bushmen of Southern Africa .... Many aspects of Jujuism can be found among the Kikuyu tribes in Kenya, the Cross River people, the Ibo tribes, the Ashanti tribes in Ghana, the Tshi, the Mponqwe and the Dahomey areas.... Many aspects of the practice and worship of Fetishism can be seen in the Berui areas, in some Yoruba tribes, the Kalabari people and many tribes in the Congo areas.... Many of the remainder of the African tribes have a mixture of both Jujuish and Fetish beliefs (125).
The author maintains that "the gods and the spirits have different names in different tribes" and "while one man may be talking to the same Divine Being or Creator, the local names, myths and conduct of worship attributed to him may appear utterly different" (125):
Only by a careful and detailed investigation can one finally realise that the god who manifests himself in Nkissi areas as Nzambi is identical with the one who appears in Tshi as Srahmantu, in Ashanti as Tando, in Dahomey as Shango, in Kalabari as Amateme Teme, and among the Kung Bushmen as Hishe or Gara (125).
Part Six of the book is titled "African Law" and is comprised of one chapter, Chapter Seventeen, by the same title. The chapter is divided into seven parts. Eight illustrative figures also appear between pages 136 and 137, which are labeled as follows: "Fig. 31 A pot with artistic designs on it. This clay pot is used for storing drinking water or palm wine."; "Fig. 32. Wood sculpture--An interesting mask of the Mbunda Tribe--Zambia, mask used for dances."; "Fig. 33 A kneeling female Wood sculpture of the Mawia Tribe, Mozambique--Napvstek Museum, Prague."; "Fig. 34 Well designed food paddles."; "Fig. 35 Paddles with artistic decoration. Ornate African combs"; "Fig. 36. Wooden mask of the Makonde Tribe, Museum Fur Volkerkunde, Hamburg."; "Fig. 37. African musical drums."; and "Fig. 38 Music area divisions." In the first section, "The Principle of Ancient African Law," the author reminds readers, "We have already discussed the customs and social organisations of the different tribes and races in Africa. We have observed that these tribes and races had customs; [sic] family or lineage rules of conduct, tribal customs and religious ethics by which they lived" (129). This leads the author to contend that
A very careful study and analysis of the decisions and judgments or rulings made by chiefs, village councils, customary native courts and by judicial secret societies show a general pattern of moral reasoning based on well known moral maxims. From these moral maxims recognised rules of conduct were enunciated and were sufficiently obeyed as local rules or law. The people knew what they were entitled to and what was expected of others in any of their recurrent situations of life" (129).
Uzong then notes that "[t]hese moral maxims were also found in some social songs:--
"Leave me alone here where I am content to live with myself. I heard that they [sic] are no men of virtue around this land anymore. They are men of no virtue. Leave me alone here for here I will stay until they learn to be virtuous. For it has been ordered that every member of the society must be virtuous by obeying the moral code of the land. Until then, leave me alone here. I will come when all the men are virtuous. For it must be recognised [sic] that in virtue lies the destiny of our society." (129)
Further, the author writes, "Another song goes thus:--
"What Ohama has done cannot be approved by us. An approval will mean accepting as proper the act of adultery and as natural the tragedy of twin-births. Adultery is not an approved act in this place. The gods have punished her for her act of adultery. We cannot approve the twin-births. Giving birth to two babies like that is unnatural and cannot be approved. Ohama deserves the punishment. She must be ostracised [sic] like any other woman who commits such a wrong. Whether she is the daughter of the chief or not she deserves to be ostracised." (129)
Uzong argues, "These two songs expressed two common principles of African law" (130). Indeed, according to the author,
As every other thing African, there were a variety of localised customary laws and social organisations. But there were also common Africological factors. These common factors were ethical maxims which gave roots to the customs and ethical rules which constituted the African native law. Hence we are going to discuss these African moral maxims which I regard as the Principles of African Law" (130).
In the second section of this chapter, "The Principle of Approval," Uzong argues that
[t]he African recognised that the concrete substance of what is called moral good may change from one race to another, from one tribe to another, from one class to another, from one man to another, or even for one man from one year to another. But the constant fact which remains throughout the moral good is its unvarying relation to approval (130).
The author also contends that
[t]he Principle of Approval is based on the belief that changes in the code of morals of a society are only justified when the sympathy of the majority has been won for the change. Apart from this majority acceptance for change, every member of the society must be virtuous by obeying the moral code of the society. It was their belief that a man was virtuous as long as he fitted [sic] into his society (130).
Indeed, "Virtue was therefore tantamount to obeying the traditions and customs of the society in which one was born," and, according to the author, "The principle of approval leads us directly to the question:--What is to be approved and what is to be disapproved in the context of a moral law which held the African Society together?"; the author then argues that "[t]o determine what was socially and morally approvable, other principles were used for guidance" (130). Accordingly, in the third section of this chapter, "The Principle of Universal Law of Justice," Uzong writes,
The goodness or fairness of an ethical rule or customary law was based on the principle of justice. In this principle the effect of an ethical rule or customary law must be judged on a community as a whole. "What will happen if everybody in the community does a particular thing? What will be the effects of such acts by the people of the Society?" Before a ruling is made on any human activity this question must be asked (130-131).
Further, the author writes that
[t]his principle of universal law of justice is mainly concerned with the right and wrong of the performance or non performance of a known human action on the community as a whole [such as "stealing, breaking promises, telling lies, robbery and murder"]... These act are wrong regardless of circumstances or the context in which they are carried out. Therefore the violation of the principle of universal law of justice will be wrong in any community in the world... It will be equally wrong for any man--a Zuluman, a Karagwe man, a Busogan, an Ibo man or a Yoruba man[--]to kill his fellow man or steal from him. The principle of universal law of justice is for all men of all communities and societies (131).
In the fourth section of this chapter, "The Principle of Consequences," Uzong contends that "[f]or Localised laws or laws applicable only to a particular tribe or community of people, another principle was used for judging approved and unapproved acts. The principle was called the principle of consequences" (132). According to the author, "For any action to be prohibited the effects must be seen to cause suffering to another person or to a group of people. On this principle was based the customary rule that twins could not be allowed to live in certain African tribes" (132). In the fifth section of this chapter, "The Law on Twin-birth," the author writes, "Giving birth to twins was something that brought ill consequences to the mother. In most cases it resulted in her death. Even when the mother survived the delivery she was still faced with the enormous task of bringing up two babies" and that "[t]o carry out her social and economic duties with the two babies proved a great burden which only very few women could bear" (132). According to Uzong,
A woman who gave birth to twins was therefore bound to be a burden to society because she would have to be relived of her duties to the community for over two years. If a considerable number of women in a community were to give birth to twins the consequences would be disastrous to the whole community... The social and economic consequences of twin-births was therefore undesirable to the whole community and harmful to the mother (132).
Uzong maintains that "[o]n the principle of consequences twin-births was prohibited in most African tribes especially in the communities where the women held important economic positions. This law was common amongst the Guinea tribes that lived by farming and where the women carried out important farming work such as weeding, planting and harvesting" (132). Further,
The prohibition of twin-births was a direct result of the social and economic consequences on the family and the community as a whole. Since this was an act which was regarded as a natural accident, to prohibit its approval sanctions on it must be based on the natural law of justice. Twin-births or multiple births were therefore regarded as a direct punishment by the gods or spirits on certain persons or families (132-133).
According to the author, this meant that "[t]win-births or multiple births had to be disapproved not only because of the social and economic consequences but also for the consequences of falling foul of the gods" (133) and, thus, "[i]t was not the woman's fault that she gave birth to twins, but the fault of the gods. Therefore the reason for such acts of gods on persons could only be found in the gods. The sanctions for such acts of gods were therefore the wishes of the gods" (133).
On this issue, Uzong concludes, "Twin-births or multiple births had to be recognised as an act of punishment on those who committed some crime or evil against the fellow men or to those who had wronged the gods. A husband could be punished through a woman he loved or a father through the daughter he loved" (133). In the sixth section of this chapter, "The Principle of obligatory and civic virtue," the author observes that
[t]here were many actions which could not be judged by the principle of universal law or the principle of consequences. There were human actions or activities which I have called neutral actions. Such actions must be desirable to those who perform them but the consequences must not be harmful to the community as a whole. Here emphasis was placed on the individual's freedom and pleasure. The individual was conceived in three planes: man as humanity; man as part of humanity and finally man as the union of human activities (133).
The author explicates this contention in the following analysis:
The individual was regarded as the absolute value of humanity. Human dignity was the attribute of the individual. The respect for the known individual and his inviolable right to partake in humanity and the preservation of his dignity was the main purpose for the application of the principle of obligatory and civic virtue. This principle was concerned with the individual's duty to himself and family and his duty to society (133).
Noting that "[t]he duty to society or community came before duty to the individual" (134), the author contends, "The duty to society was always allowed to override duties to self or other individuals in terms of importance" (134). Uzong seeks to demonstrate this point by looking "a little deeper into the background of the events that gave birth to the institution of polygamy," a marital institution that the author regards as among the "classic examples of the old approved African institutions based on this principle ["of obligatory and civic virtue"]" (134). (29) In the seventh section of this chapter, "Matrimonial Laws and Polygamy," the author argues that
[t]he institution of polygamy became generally approved by the application of the principle of obligatory and civic virtue on matrimonial customs and tradition. The circumstances in which a man had to marry, the role or duties of a wife to a husband and of the husband to the wife, and the duty of both wife and husband to others and society as a whole were all factors which were taken into consideration during the early stages on the debate on the approval and disapproval of polygamy" (134).
The author continues:
For a man to marry more than one wife he must be fulfilling a duty to himself, to his family, to the new wife or to the community as a whole. In fulfilling a duty to any of the persons or person mentioned the consequences to the interested parties and to others in the community must be taken into consideration. These were the real issues of the case for and against the approval of polygamous society.... African marriage was not based on mutual physical infatuation which is very often confused with love in most western societies of today. Its conception was based on a sense of duty (134-135).
In a triadic conveyance of information illustrative of these key points on plural marriage in ancient African cultures, the author notes the following:
(1) "To an African, the motive for marriage was a sense of duty to himself and to his community. It was of paramount importance to both of them that their marriage was in accordance with the rules of the land. Customary celebrations were to be carried out as tradition dictated. They were aware at all times of their duties to each other and must be sure that they were fully prepared and capable of performing their duties to each other" (135);
(2) "The wife must be capable of living with the husband by forgiving his bad mannerisms and appreciating his good qualities. She must be able to serve him satisfactorily both socially and economically. The man must also be capable of living with the wife by forgiving her bad ways as well as appreciating her good qualities. And in addition [he] must be able to provide for her and the family and to protect her from all other external pressures" (135);
(3) "Marriage must be a source of happiness for their parents. A marriage could not be a marriage and should not be allowed if it were to bring about the destruction of other people's, especially the parents', happiness. Parents were therefore allowed to play important roles in arranging the marriages of their sons and daughters. This approval was not just necessary it was crucially essential. They would have to determine first how far away from them their daughters were going to live and the effects of this on themselves, the rest of the family and their clan. This is why, in most African tribes, the marriage was arranged by the parents" (135-136).
The author concludes this section with the contention that "[i]t is this basic difference in attitude to marriages between men and women in western civilisation and the ancient Africans of the farming age that made it possible for the African society to approve of polygamy or multigamy [sic] ....
There were mainly three reasons why polygamy was regarded as an approved act under the principle of obligatory and civic virtue" (136). (30) Uzong explains these three reasons in a conclusion to this seventh section of chapter seventeen in a section titled "A duty to wife" by arguing that, first, "[a] husband had a duty to protect his wife from all pressures and to provide for her. Child bearing in those days was a very tedious task and bringing up a child was a major social problem to all families. Family planning was practised by all wives to avoid having two children within one year" (136). According to the author,
The method of family planning used was that of sexual abstinence. That was the only way of making sure that women did not have two children within a year. For about a year and sometimes two years the wives abstained from all sexual indulgence with the husbands. This was usually the length of time of the breast feeding of the last child, ending when the child began to walk. But some children were slow to walk, taking as long as four years before they were strong enough to walk through the bush tracks to farms.... Unfortunately while the wives could successfully practise sexual abstinence for two or four years, the husbands found it hard to do so. This usually resulted in unnecessary matrimonial discord, causing great unhappiness.... This period of sexual abstinence was the time when wives agreed with their husbands for other suitable arrangements. The husband had a duty to protect the wife from the unhappy experience of having two children within a short time. He must allow the wife the time she required for the child and herself (136-137). (31)
A crucially important element of the author's argument is the community agreement that "the wife also had a duty to serve her husband and to make him happy" and that "[s]he must be prepared to share him temporarily with another woman who was in a better position to give her husband the happiness she had denied him," which Uzong concludes led to protracted and ultimately permanent arrangements due to the birth of a child by the other woman and subsequent marriage:
It would be selfish for the wife to deny the husband that freedom or [refuse] to share him with the other woman. In fact it was regarded as her duty to allow him that choice if it was the only way he could be happy... The husband and the second woman became more and more involved and very often a child came, making it even more unjust to end the sharing... The sharing must continue and marriage was the only answer. In most cases, it was only a question of what the husband desired and what he decided to do about it that mattered. It was left to the first wife to accept the situation or leave. However, the law demanded that the first wife was senior and must be accorded with the dignity of senior when it came to all other matrimonial and family matters (137).
According to the author,
The second reason was a matter of economic logic rather than social convenience. Wives played a major part in working the farms. They were responsible for the planting, weeding and harvesting. It was generally impracticable for one wife to cope with the work in the farm, especially if her husband was strong and ambitious. An average farm needed more than one woman to work it successfully from planting to harvesting season. A wife of poor physique and health needed a help to work her husband's farm (137-138).
Finally, Uzong contends that
[t]he third reason was the factor of the genetical [sic] determination of the sex ratio in a community or tribe. The relationship between sex distribution was an important source for surplus wives at any particular tribe or community. It was generally believed that there were usually more women than men. Under the principle of civic virtue it was accepted that, [sic] the solution for surplus women to men was for the men to be allowed to take on surplus wives (138).
Part Seven, "African Arts," is the final part of this book, and it is comprised of three chapters that focus on African arts, languages, and music, respectively. The eighteenth chapter, "African Arts," is divided into four sections. In the first section, "African Art," the author begins by stating,
Art was, and is still[,] in many communities a part of life. For many years now, Europeans and Americans, [as well as] artists, students and collectors[,] have been aware of the existence of the high aesthetic quality of African works of art. Unfortunately there has been total ignorance of the cultural background and the creators of these works of art. The purpose of this chapter is to supply information about the cultural background that will enable art enthusiasts and students of African art to acquire a richer understanding of these works of art (141).
Uzong perceptively notes, "The most widely known forms of the art of the prehistoric African hunters are rock drawings and paintings which have been discovered on a large scale in South Africa and Rhodesia [sic]. These drawings were done in ochre, red earth, charcoal and white clay, [sic] and depicted several animal forms and men of different cultures" (141). The author then contends,
The rock paintings came to prominence during the hunting age. This was a stage when the African hunter was setting himself towards mastery of his environment. It was the age of danger when man had to prove himself master of all the other animals... It was an age when man began to devise new techniques to trap these animals. This was the cultural background on which these paintings and drawings were made. It has been suggested that these drawings were a direct result of family pressures put on the hunters to share their new experiences with others (141).
Further, according to the author,
As hunters went out and discovered new animals they were impelled by other people's curiosity to illustrate their experiences. Animals were divided into harmless, dangerous and harmful... During those dangerous times the little animals, such as the antelope, were a rare sight due to the competition by men and carnivorous beasts such as the lion for their meat. The demands on these animals were far greater than their existing numbers. Many of the wild animals in Africa today are of recent development in the African animal history. Most of the wild animals which dominated the jungle scene of the hunting age are today extinct. The smaller, new and beautiful animal was therefore a novelty to most communities of the hunting age and were [sic] more likely to induce artistic reproduction than the already well known ugly beasts. This may account for the numerous presentations of the smaller and beautiful animals in the paintings and drawings of African rock painting art (141-142).
In the second section of this chapter, "Stone," the author contends,
The next stage in the work of art consisted of work in stone and burned clay[, and]... this form of work is found in several parts on the continent. The richest finds were made in West Africa. The work was generally the reproduction of roughly carved human heads found in sacred groves and places of religious worship, from Dakar to Lake Chad, and from the Sudan down to the Guinea coast. Notable examples were the stone figures in a sacred grove near Esie, Ilorin Province in Western Nigeria. Some archaeological finds, made in Jos, of such modelled heads have been dated by radiocarbon analysis as about three to four thousand years old (142).
The author also points out that "[a]rt in clay manifested itself into pottery such as that used as containers for Ifa divination among the modern Yoruba. The ancient pots also used as containers for Juju sacred mixtures have designs on them showing small animals and reptiles of particular interest to the Juju gods concerned" (142).
Uzong further contends, "This art of pottery was later developed and modified for domestic use as vessels, mugs and containers for water and food" (142). The author makes it clear to readers the contention that
[t]he stone and clay works of art generally had religious cultural backgrounds. This art came to prominence during the Fetishism age of religious fanaticism. Jujuism and Fetishism were the dominant inspiration for such works of art. In their creation the artist often emphasised the Jujuish or Fetish beliefs, such as the power of nature, deities arranged in a hierarchial [sic] structure or ancestral worship (142).
In the third section of this chapter, "Masks and Figures," the author argues, "Wood sculpture is the classical art of Africa in the purest sense of the word. The Benin Bronze represents a continuation of African wood sculpture. Masks and figures made out of wood and gourds were one of the commonest art forms in Africa" (143). Uzong claims, "This form of art was a direct development of secret societies, Juju and Fetish spiritual sects. The strength of the secret society was its mystery and the 'secret bond' which was shared only by the members" (143). This would have social, cultural, and economic impact, according to the author, for
As long as the "bond" of the secret society remained a mystery to outsiders, the society was sure of commanding authority among the community it represented, because its whole authority very much depended upon its mystery. The chiefs and leaders of these societies realised [sic] this fact and were therefore inclined to overplay this element of mystery and secrecy in their shows and ceremonies (143).
Uzong offers readers the following explanation to support the above claims:
To further perpetuate these fears of the unknown to others, and in particular to women, they adopted a system of wearing masks to conceal their identities during their society dances and ceremonies.... The Fetish and Juju spiritual sects, competing with these secret societies for authority[,] also joined the game of secrecy and began to use wooden figures and masks to conceal the identities of their official dancers in their festivities, sacrificial ceremonies and puberty rites (143).
The author is careful to note that "[a]lthough the cultural background to the development of these masks and figure arts was similar throughout Africa, the pace of development, the extent of the use of these figures and masks to perpetuate the fear of the unknown, [and] their construction, forms and design differ from area to area" (143). The author includes the following examples in order to comparatively illustrate these phenomena in the different regions of the African continent:
(1) "The Congo masks and figures were usually more colorful, and richly decorated to suit their ritual context. The masks were usually part of complicated costumes with extensive raffia manes or grass skirts. These mask-costumes commanded in the people a feeling of dignity and mystery of the deities and spirits they worshipped" (143).
(2) "In West Africa the design and the presentation of details in mask forms was more important than the colouring. Emphasis was placed on the graphic presentation of the religious concepts on masks and figure art forms. The use of masks to enforce social and religious sanctions was common in West Africa" (143).
(3) "In some part of East Africa the masks were oval in shape with an almost straight nose projecting from the flat mask flanked by circular apertures for eyes. The teeth were set in the elongated mouth opening. Very often paint was used on the masks.... Wooden figures, usually of cylindrical bodies with rough forms and modelling [sic], were found in central Tanzania among the Kereme people and the Sukuma tribe" (144).
(4) East and South Africa concentrated more on clay figures than on wooden ones. They can be traced throughout these regions of Africa. The tribes of Chaga, Kikuyu, Pane, Shambala, Zanamo and their neighbors became the main centre of clay sculpture. The clay work here was relatively simple in form and design, roughly worked with no emphasis on details as seen in the wood figures of West Africa" (144).
The author concludes this section of the chapter with the contention that "[i]t is generally believed that it was the clay sculpture of religious and magic cults of these tribes that led to domestic pottery and toy clay figures made for and sometimes by children" (144). The fourth section, "Other Art Forms," concludes this chapter. In this section the author notes that
Apart from masks and figures, there were other forms of art in Africa. Pottery and weaving were carried out as forms of art. Pots were usually decorated with figures. This artistic pottery was extensively used by religious bodies who ordered pots for religious purposes to be decorated with figures of the gods or Juju and Fetish agents for whom they were intended. Domestic pots for water storage and cooking utensils were decorated purely for aesthetic reasons (144).
According to the author, "Weaving was practised in most parts of Africa. Raffia clothes, mats and basket-weaving were the main economic activities of some African communities.... These forms of art introduced a new element of trade into the economy based on barter" (144). Uzong also argues,
The use of colours--red, yellow, orange, white and indigo blue[--]for mats and raffia clothes, as a purely aesthetic exercise, was extensively prastised. This form of aesthetic art was soon extended to include body decoration. Bodies of girls and sometimes young boys were decorated with colorful artistic designs and drawings. For older people this application of imaginative colours was used for religious expression as well as for reflecting their individual impression of the state of the world around them (144-145).
The author concludes this section by also noting, "There were other forms of art which gave the Africans other outlets for aesthetic expression and creative imagination. There were bead-making, plaiting, brass rings, hair dressing, moulded clay pipes, leather work and other decorative work" (145).
The nineteenth chapter, "African Languages," is divided into two parts. In the first section of this chapter, "African Languages," the author begins with the following assertion:
There are more than 1,000 known African native languages in existence. The usual figure of 800 languages given out by some Europeans and American scholars is an underestimate. Apart from the recognised and known languages there exist, even till today, many tongues which have not been analysed and are unknown to scholars. Out of the 1,200 African languages only about 12 languages have been properly studied. These languages are usually the ones which are spoken by the African tribes with a large population and area (146).
According to Uzong,
The Africological relevance of these languages is their use in determining the origins of a particular tribe or race in Africa. This determination of group origin is achieved by some classification of African native languages into a system of relative sounds and meaning. This system is based on the resemblances in grammatical genders and tonal sounds.... Every meaningful structure in a language, either grammatical or lexical, has two sides to its existence--sounds and meanings (146).
Further, the author contends, "Resemblances in both sound and meaning are usually attributed to borrowing through contacts or to adaptation by influence, and not to common origin. But resemblances by grammatical gender, related forms meaning or tonal systems are usually recognised as having some historical origin" (146). Uzong then argues that "[a]lthough classification of African native languages by this system of relative sounds and meaning based on resemblances of grammatical gender and tonal system helps us in certain cases to decide, among other things, the nature of the spread and settlement of the African hunters, there are many inadequacies in this system" (146).
According to the author,
This division of African languages by European and American scholars suffer from wrong syntheses and gross oversimplification. They all try to advance simple syntheses to reduce the number of clearly distinct language groups and families. They use a relatively simple theory of the racial and cultural composition of the continent. There is usually no concrete evidence for their classification because most of their work is based on assumption (147).
Publishing in 1969, the author writes, "However, this is still the best system of classifying African languages according to their Africological relevance in which only the criteria relevant in the light of group origins is required" (147). Uzong then argues, "Using this system of resemblances of grammatical gender and tonal systems, Africa can be divided into five major linguistic groups and seven smaller ones, making a total of 12 language groups" (147). According to the author, "The 12 linguistic groups are" as follows: "1. The Niger Congo"; "2. The Afro-Asiatic"; "3. Mano-Sudanic"; "4. Central Sahara"; "5. The Bushmen--Hottentot"; "6. The Songhai"; "7. The Maban"; "8. The Fur"; "9. The Koman"; "10. The Kordofanian"; "11. The Nyangiya"; and "12. The Tensainian" (147). After noting, "For our study we are mainly concerned with the Niger-Congo, the Mano-Sudanic and the Bushmen-Hottentot tongues" (147), the author observes additional "families which can be divided into smaller families" among the Niger-Congo, Mano-Sudanic, and Bushmen-Hottentot groups (147-148). In the second and final section of this chapter, "Special Features of African Languages," the author contends,
A knowledge of one or two African languages, although useful in applied Africology, is not essential to the study of Africology, though a knowledge of the special features of African languages is relevant to this general study... It is also important to note that these typical features are not to be found in every African tongue and that some typical features can also be found outside of Africa (148).
Among these special, typical features, Uzong lists ten, two of which are "1. One feature peculiar to most African languages is the use of kp and gb sounds. To these may be added the click sound of the southern African Bantu languages." and "10. To use the word idioms or metaphorical terms with two different meanings is also common to most African languages. For example, most languages use one word to mean meat and wild animals, and also use it as an abusive term for stupid or useless persons." (148-149).
The twentieth chapter, "African Music," is the final chapter of the book, and it is divided into nine sections. In the first section, "Definition," Uzong contends, "Much has already been said by other writers about African music. Unfortunately, great emphasis has been laid on the comparative study of African music; [sic] rhythm, melody and form, scale, harmony and description of African musical instruments" (150). Thus, in this chapter the author seeks to "deal with the much ignored aspect of African music--the aspect of functional and Africological relevance in the context of African culture" (150). The author then asserts that "African music is song or ballad originating from the African natives, illustrating ordinary life as known to the people. These songs or ballads also act as records of legendary or historic events or some aspect of human life" (150). Uzong also argues that "African music is a non-composed music but a natural communal product of native musical idioms, of aims and ideals and of the African life. No African music is a composition of one individual as is in the western world, but a product involving many people with tribal and territorial affinities" (150). In the second section of this chapter, "Special Features of African Music," the author notes,
Because it is unwritten, African music lives only in the minds and memories of those who sing it. It is also subject to growth, with each singer unconsciously contributing something of his own experience to every song he sings. These contributions by the singer are either imitated by other singers if they appeal to them and express their own feelings, or are ignored if their appeal is limited (150).
The author subsequently claims that "African music is therefore being continually moulded into conformity with the taste of the community; thus it is a communal music and not an individual creation" (150). In the third section of this chapter, "The Meaning of African Music," Uzong argues, "African music was born in response to the human need for self-expression. The primitive African singer did not give much thought to the notes nor to the reflection, the exact pitch, or to the order of the song. He sang to please and satisfy himself and to express his feelings" (150-151). Further, according to the author,
Modern music has become an efficient instrument of expression, and men know it as something that has a separate existence altogether different from the purpose that it serves. They now analyse its structure and formulate laws and syntax, so that what originally grew up by human instinct is now manipulated consciously, and developed by reason (151).
The above contention precedes the following claim:
The New Order has not, however, totally replaced the old, and African music is a supreme example. The Africans are still making and singing their own songs, unaffected by the growth of modern art music. In the interior of the continent, where the ordinary uneducated Africans live, the common people preserve their own music just as they have kept their own speech. The history of African music and African language has been very much the same (151).
In the fourth section of this chapter, "Modern Art Music and African Music," the author contends, "Many people think that because African music has been made without composition by defined rules or laws that it must on this account be second-rate. This is wrong, [sic] because the unconscious expression is the true form of the human mind; [sic] always real and sincere" (151). Uzong then argues that "[i]n determining the true nature and character of the African mind and psychology, African music is most likely to give a genuine reflection of the people, their feelings and attitude to life in general" (151). In Uzong's view, "The unconscious music of the African is really true art, wholly free from the taint of artificial manufacture.... African music helps very much in uncovering the general beliefs of the people and is of great value in the study of other fields of African studies" (152). In the fifth section of this chapter, "Evolution," the author presents a critical observation about the social dynamics of African musical expression:
Although a particular song or ballad may not have been exactly as it was at its inception, it will have retained most of its characteristic qualities and message or story. Individual angles and irregularities are usually gradually rubbed off and smoothed away by communal effort. The themes or stories told by the singers have, at every stage of evolution, been tested and weighed by the community and either accepted or rejected (152).
This social and cultural dynamism is regarded by Uzong as being of major importance, as "[t]he life history of African music has therefore been not only one of steady growth and development, but also a growth of tendencies to shape it to a form which shall be at once congenial to the taste of the community and expressive of its feelings, aspirations and ideals" (152). In the sixth section of this chapter, "Sources," Uzong puts forward the idea that "[t]o many Africans music was not only a form of self-expression but a means of recollecting past experience" (153). For example, the author writes,
During my research work in Africa, I met a boy in Senegal who was singing a song that sounded strange to me. I asked him what type of song it was, and he said it was something he had made up earlier that day to narrate a remarkable recent event.... Rhythm and metre also aids memory. An African mother once said to me "Because I cannot write things down for future reference as you do, as I am not educated, I have to turn them into songs so that I may remember them" (153).
In the seventh section of this chapter, "Function," the author notes that "[m]usic played a part in all aspects of African culture, including religion, social functions and politics, in the form of songs sung in praise of chiefs and leaders who were heroes" (153); further, according to Uzong,
Music thus became part of life. In European and North American societies music is divorced from most aspects of every-day life. As a result of this separation of music from other aspects of life we have come to regard music as "pure art", the singer is the "artist" and the musician is the "craftsman". A further distinction is also made between the artist and the audience. In Africa this distinction and specialisation is not so profound or marked. Participation is the rule, and music is a part of life (153).
In the eighth section of this chapter, "Music as the Press--Means of Communication," the author contends, "Socially, music was used as a means to control behaviour. This was one of the most important functions of African music. Music then performed the same services of public moral guidance that some of the press and radio carry today" (153). Uzong then argues that "songs were sung to record events and to tell stories, but they were also used to speak against bad leaders. They were often highly critical of those in authority who neglected their duties. They were directed against thieves. They were also used as protest against social injustices" (153). This part of the author's argument is illustrated in the following manner:
Just imagine a wrongdoer when faced by a person or sometimes a crowd of people singing about him and his misdeeds. Imagine such a song being sung during a great ceremonial occasion when the whole village is present. All the people singing "Toma steals, Toma is no good, Toma is a thief. Toma keep away from me, my family and my property. Toma go. Go. Go." And what would happen to Toma if he were there facing the whole village jeering at him (153-154)?
The author also argues that "[a]part from reprimand conveyed to a wrongdoer by music, news was spread by music. Songs of current events were used to spread news and gossip; [sic] and sometimes used as blackmail or as some kind of notice" (154). In the ninth and final section of this chapter, "Work," the author contends, "Songs were used as aids to co-operative labour such as canoe paddling. Music also acted as aid to 'work-order' and 'time and motion' work regulator" (154). Uzong further notes that "[m]usic was used in religious rites and ceremonies. This function of music is already well known to everyone interested in Africology, [sic] and does not therefore require detailed study in this chapter" (154). Thus, the author observes that "[s]ongs were the main carriers of history" and that "[t]here are songs for each occasion--songs of joy and songs of grief and sorrow, war songs and victory songs, religious songs and love songs, popular songs dealing with current events and songs dealing with historical events" (154). Uzong closes the chapter and the book by arguing that
Both instrumental soloists and groups of instrumentalists as well as singers exist all over Africa.... One of the most important features of African music is the application of musical instruments. Drums are the most popular. The combination of different sizes of drums and time-beats to produce a required sound is an art by itself.... Much has already been written about African musical instruments in specific localities; the study of musical instruments of particular groups of tribes and the large display of these instruments in museum collections has made it unnecessary for us to deal with African musical instruments and music areas, but there is still much research work to be carried out into the origin and evolution of instruments, to include distribution and description of instruments within political and geographical areas (154-155).
In terms that are representative of common Africological factors as the author conceives and presents them in this book, this chapter on African music concludes this book with the following observation: "Although many differences exist from area to area, there are many features in African music such as the art of drumming, and percussive-rhythmic technique, which are generally common to all areas, thus giving African music an idiosyncratic musical system" (155). This book also contains a three-page Index that includes 187 entries.
Conclusion: Major Points, the Author, and the Roots of Africology
This introductory descriptive review of disciplinary ancestry (32) argues that readers of E. Uzong's book will find a valuable resource for defining Africology and a useful reference for teaching and learning at all levels of individual, community, institutional, and global organization. The book makes a strong case for insistence on the importance of knowledge of Africology, as it emphasizes an appreciation of the continental and global dimensions of indigenous African life, history, and culture; moreover, the author claims that the impact of ancient continental African phenomena should be considered a central part of understanding contemporary African people, everywhere. The book is a pioneering conceptual articulation of Africology that also includes content that is reflective of the theory that became Afrocentricity two decades after its publication.
Major points in the book that can help to shape the direction of the Africology discipline today include the following definitions and arguments:
"Africology is a name used to designate that department of African studies that deals with African cultural and social changes and development. Applied Africology deals with African social and economic problems and solutions" (3). "Africology is mainly the study of the common factors and common problems of prehistoric and literate Africa, their interconnection, the explanation of African psychology in terms of human actions and their relevance to human conditions and progress today... Africology is therefore that part of African studies which reveals the nature and degree of those interconnected factors which underlie the whole body of events and human actions in past and present Africa" (3) "The hunting age occupies most of the African past.... If history is just a record of the doings of Kings and Emperors and of wars, then the hunting age of the African will never contribute much more to African history than it has done so far. But if history is about people and the story of man's struggle against nature, against wild beasts and the jungle, then the hunting age is an important period in the history of the African people. It was the most trying period for the Africans. It was the period that helped to shape the destiny of Africa, and of the African people. No one will ever fully understand Africa and its people until they understand the human activities in Africa during the hunting age, the struggle of the hunters for survival, the African environment, and how it affects the African way of life, imagination, and ways of thoughts" (53).
And, as I previously stated in this review:
"The premise of this book points in the direction of insisting that Africology must start from the foundation of continental African phenomena, with the 'prehistoric' African past constituting its crux, or foundation--in other words, ancient African cultures before classical African civilizations such as Nubia and Kemet. African cultures before the invention of writing and the emergence of classical African civilizations, in other words, are the central elements from which all studies of African people must stem. Understanding ancient African cultures and their impact on subsequent developments in Africa and its diaspora, then, is axiomatic to Africology. This is perhaps one of the most unique elements of Uzong's study."
The author of Africology is an unknown person. Ongoing efforts to identify the author have, so far, resulted in inconclusive information. (33) Similar definitions of Africology emerged and became rooted in different parts of the African world. (34) Uzong's pioneering definition of Africology pointed to the kind of definitions of the concept that exist in the present moment (the twenty-first century CE), such as the following: "An interdisciplinary academic discipline that studies the history and culture of African people around the world." (35)
Tracy Keith Flemming, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of African/African American Studies, Area and Global Studies Unit, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Grand Valley State University Allendale, Michigan
(1) E. Uzong, Africology, The Union Academic Council Series, African Studies, Volume 1 (London, United Kingdom: Union Academic Council for African Studies, 1969); Ntaate Kgalushi Koka, Afrikology: The Logical Study of Afrika in Her Totality (Johannesburg, South Africa: Karaites Institute of Afrikology, [2001?]); Ntate Kgalushi Koka, The Logical Study of Afrika in Its Totality (Johannesburg, South Africa: Karaites Institute of Afrikology, nd); Dani Wadada Nabudere, Afrikology, Philosophy and Wholeness: An Epistemology (Pretoria, South Africa: Africa Institute of South Africa, 2011); Dani Wadada Nabudere, Afrikology and Transdisciplinarity: A Restorative Epistemology (Pretoria, South Africa: Africa Institute of South Africa, 2012); Dani Wadada Nabudere, From Agriculture to Agricology: Towards a Glocal Circular Economy (Johannesburg, South Africa: Real African Publishers on behalf of Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), 2013); Molefi Kete Asante, African Pyramids of Knowledge: Kemet, Afrocentricity and Africology (Brooklyn, New York: Universal Write Publication LLC, 2015);
Molefi Kete Asante and Clyde Ledbetter, Jr., Editors, Contemporary Critical Thought in Africology and Africana Studies, Critical Africana Studies: African, African American, and Caribbean Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Studies Series (Lanham, Maryland, Boulder, Colorado, New York, New York, and London, United Kingdom: Lexington Books, An imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2016); Victor Oguejiofor Okafor, Towards an Understanding of Africology, Fifth Edition, (Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2017).
(2) For a "descriptive review of fifty peer-reviewed journals from the online content they provided in relationship to Africology (i.e., African Diaspora Studies, African Studies, Africana Studies, African American Studies, Afro-American Studies, Black Studies, Pan African Studies, etc.)," see Itibari M. Zulu, Sr., "Scholarly Journals in Africology: An Introductory Descriptive Review," Africology: Journal of Pan African Studies, Volume 10, Number 3 (May 2017): 9. See also Asante and Ledbetter, Jr., Editors, Contemporary Critical Thought in Africology and Africana Studies, viii; Maulana Karenga, Introduction to Black Studies, Fourth Edition (Los Angeles, California: University of Sankore Press, 2010; 1982), 12-15; 'Niyi Coker, Jr. (Director, Producer and Writer), Black Studies USA. Birmingham, Alabama: Production Plus, 2005; "Africology and African American Studies Ph.D.," Temple University Bulletin 2017-2018, accessed August 20, 2017, http://bulletin.temple.edu/graduate/scd/cla/africology-african-american-studies-phd; "History," Temple University Department of Africology and African American Studies, accessed August 20, 2017, http://www.cla.temple.edu/africanamericanstudies/about/history; Itibari M. Zulu, Sr., "Leadership in Africology: Setting the Record Straight," Journal of Pan African Studies, Special Edition on Leadership in Africology, Volume 5, Number 7 (October 2012): 1-2; Oba T'Shaka, "Africana Studies Department History: San Francisco State University," Journal of Pan African Studies, Volume 5, Number 7 (October 2012): 13-32; Itibari M. Zulu, Sr., "Afrocentricity," in Itibari M. Zulu, Sr., Editor, Africology: A Concise Dictionary (Los Angeles, California: Amen-Ra Theological Seminary Press, 2007), 23 (original emphasis); Molefi Kete Asante, Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change, Revised and Expanded (Chicago, Illinois: African American Images, 2003; 1980). According to Asante,
Afrocentricity is a mode of thought and action in which the centrality of African interests, values, and perspectives predominate. In regards to Theory, it is the placing of African people in the center of any analysis of African phenomena. Thus, it is possible for any one to master the discipline of seeking the location of Africans in a given phenomenon. In terms of action and behavior, it is a devotion to the ideas that what is in the best interest of African consciousness is at the heart of ethical behavior. Finally, Afrocentricity seeks to enshrine the idea that blackness itself is a trope of ethics. Thus, to be black is to be against all forms of oppression, racism, classism, homophobia, patriarchy, child abuse, pedophilia, and white racial domination.
See Asante, Afrocentricity, 2 (original emphasis).
(3) Eve Darian-Smith and Philip McCarty, "Beyond Interdisciplinarity: Developing a Global Transdisciplinary Framework," Transcience, Volume 7, Number 2 (2016): 1-26; Eve Darien-Smith and Philip C. McCarty, The Global Turn: Theories, Research Designs, and Methods for Global Studies (Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2017), 60; Zulu, Sr., "Scholarly Journals in Africology," 9; Itibari M. Zulu, Sr., "Transdisciplinarity in Africology: Demonstrating Elasticity and Durability (an editorial)," Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, Volume 10, Number 5 (July 2017): 1-2, accessed August 20, 2017, http://jpanafrican.org/docs/vol10no5/10.5-1-Editorial.pdf.
(4) Task Force for Measuring Impact in Africology, "Black Paper 101," August 7, 2017. See http://thevanguardjournal.com/public_html/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Black-Paper-101.pdf and/or http://www.jpanafrican.org/docs/2017/Black_Paper_101.pdf for access to this document on the websites for Vanguard and Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, both accessed November 23, 2017.
(5) Uzong, Africology; Dani Wadada Nabudere, "Towards an Afrokology of Knowledge Production and African Regeneration," International Journal of African Renaissance Studies - Multi-, Inter- and Transdisciplinarity, Volume 1, Number 1 (2006), 7-32; Molefi Kete Asante, "Afrocentricity and Africology: Theory and Practice in the Discipline," in Jeanette R. Davidson, Editor, African American Studies, Introducing Ethnic Studies Series (Edinburgh, Great Britain: Edinburgh University Press, 2010), 35-52; Baba A.O. Buntu, "Claiming Self: The Role of Afrikology in Social Transformation," Scriptura, Volume 112, Number 1 (2013): 1-12; Ronald Elly Wanda, "Afrikology and Community: Restorative Cultural Practices in East Africa," Journal of Pan African Studies, Volume 6, Number 6 (December 2013): 1-25; Victor Oguejiofor Okafor, "Africology, Black Studies, African American Studies, Africana Studies, or African World Studies? What's so Important about a Given Name?" Journal of Pan African Studies, Volume 6, Number 7 (March 2014): 209-224; Viola C. Milton and Winston Mano, "Towards participatory Public Service Broadcasting models in Southern Africa: Afrokology and PSB," 8th Biennial RIPE (Reseaux IP Europeens) Conference, 2016, University of Antwerp (Belgium), accessed May 11, 2017, http://ripeat.org/library/2016/7024-towards-participatory-public-service-broadcasting-models-southern-africa.
(6) According to Winston Van Horne,
Africology is the study of the centrality of Africa in the emanation of Homo sapiens as sentient beings capable of constructing concepts of right and wrong (these terms are not used here as solely ethical-moral ones), which guide life-preserving contra life-destroying behaviors that have been and are transmitted trans-generationally, trans-millennially, and universally. It describes and explains the spread of initial Africans across the planet over millennia, and makes known forces that have occasioned the rise, persistence, interaction, and extinction of separate and distinctive groupings of Homo sapiens.
See Van Horne "Africology: A Theory of Forces" (JPAS, Volume 7, Number 3, September 2014, 3-47), 4, accessed May 17, 2017, http://www.jpanafrican.org/docs/vol7no3/7.3-3-Van%20Horne.pdf. Van Horne has been widely acknowledged for coining the term "Africology". According to Itibari M. Zulu, Sr., "Africology" as used to Van Horne was
concerning the Afrocentric study of phenomena, events, ideas, and personalities related to Africa; an area of academic inquiry concerning Africa and people of African descent; a normative and empirical inquiry into the history, life and prospects of people of African origin throughout the world; the Afrocentric examination of phenomena related to African people that fuse academic content and institutional organization (Van Horne 2005: 59-61; Asante 1993: 111; 1990: 195, 197).
Zulu also notes "Afrology" as
the crystallization of the notions and methods of Black orientated social scientist and humanist; an approach, method and functional perspective to the study of Black people. Molefi Kete Asante coined the term in reference to the Afrocentric study of phenomena, however after re-evaluation, he and others view the term Africalogy as a more accessible term. The current variant of both is Africology (Asante 1980: 67; 1990: 195).
See Africology: A Concise Dictionary, Edited by Itibari Zulu, Sr. (Los Angeles, California: Amen-Ra Theological Seminary, 2007, 19, 25). It has also been noted that "The term Africology seem[ed] to originally appear in 1969 when E. Uzong wrote Africology. The Union Academic Council Series, African Studies Volume 1 (London: The Union Academic Council for African Studies). Second, the late Winston Van Horne of the Department of Africology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee advanced and defined the term further in 2005 in the Encyclopedia of Black Studies and in publications in 2007, and most recently in our journal (vol.7, no.3). Molefi Kete Asante and others have endorsed the term in its academic applications" (November 18, 2015).
And, "The first book to discuss Africology is perhaps: Uzong, E. Africology. The Union Academic Council Series, African Studies Volume 1. London: The Union Academic Council for African Studies, 1969. Should anyone have the opportunity to read and locate the book, please inform us" (December 14, 2015); see Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies [A:JPAS], Facebook, November 18, 2015, and December 14, 2015, respectively, accessed April 25, 2017 and May 15, 2017. In response to the second quote from A:JPAS's Facebook page, Patrick Delices notes, "I believe that the term 'Africology' was first coined by Haitian scholar / public intellectual Jean Price-Mars in 1928 with the publication of 'Ainsi parla l'oncle' ('So Spoke the Uncle')." And, "Price-Mars used the term Africology in his book "So Spoke the Uncle" which was published in 1928." see Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies [A:JPAS], Facebook, March 4, 2016 and March 14, 2016, respectively, accessed May 15, 2017. See Jean Price-Mars, So Spoke the Uncle (Ainsi Parla l'Oncle), Translation and Introduction by Magdaline W. Shannon (Washington, District of Columbia: Three Continents Press, 1983; First Edition in French: France, Imprimimerie de Compiegne, 1928), for references to "English Africolgists" (19) and "English-speaking Africologists" (51).
(7) Kevin Shillington, History of Africa, Third Edition (Basingstoke, United Kingdom and New York, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; 1989), 9.
(8) References to direct quotations of Uzong's nomenclature and terminology in this review remain. Republication of the book should, perhaps, revise terminologies.
(9) For more insight on indigenous African knowledge systems (which Uzong describe as "Jujuism Fetishism") and ethnic/linguistic groups (which Uzong refer to as "tribal groupings") referenced in this note's corresponding quotations, see Nana Osei Bonsu, "African Traditional Religion: An Examination of Terminologies Used for Describing the Indigenous Faith of African People, Using an Afrocentric Paradigm," Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, Volume 9, Number 9 (November 2016): 108-121, accessed November 24, 2017, http://www.jpanafrican.org/docs/vol9no9/9.9-Nov-8-Bonsu.pdf.
(10) Ali Mazrui, The Africans: A Triple Heritage (Washington, District of Columbia: WETA-TV and BBC-TV, 1986); Ali Mazrui, The Africans: A Triple Heritage (Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown, 1986).
(11) Molefi Kete Asante, Revolutionary Pedagogy: Primer for Teachers of Black Children (Brooklyn, New York: Universal Write Publication LLC, 2017), 17.
(12) Molefi Kete Asante, "Decolonizing the Universities in Africa: An Approach to Transformation," in Asante and Ledbetter, Jr., Editors, Contemporary Critical Thought in Africology and Africana Studies, 1-14.
(13) Molefi Kete Asante, The History of Africa: The Quest for Eternal Harmony, Second Edition (London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2015), 9, 13-70.
(14) Ibid., 2-5.
(15) Perhaps most controversially, Uzong argues, "Even to this present day, some Europeans cannot live in tropical Africa. The tropical climates of Africa are therefore unsuitable to European settlement. This factor of the unsuitability of the African climate to the European races was another reason for the delay in the exploration and European immigration to the African interior." See Uzong, Africology, 31. According to the historian John Iliffe, "Africans have been and are the frontiersmen who have colonised an especially hostile region of the world on behalf of the human race. That has been their chief contribution to history. It is why they deserve admiration, support, and careful study. The central themes of African history are the peopling of the continent, the achievement of human coexistence with nature, the building up of enduring societies, and their defence against aggression from more favoured regions." John Iliffe, Africans: The History of a Continent, Second Edition, African Studies Series (New York, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007; 1995), 1. The historians John Parker and Richard Rathbone note, "Many of [Africa's] ecological zones have indeed proved tough-going for human habitation" (12); for more insight on "The lie of the land: environment and history," see John Parker and Richard Rathbone, African History: A Very Short Introduction (New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2007), 10-16.
(16) Parker and Rathbone write, "'Africa' may well have been an invented idea. But it is also a physical reality: a diverse range of environments and landscapes that have formed the context for its human history. Environmental history has been very much in vogue in recent years. Its prominence is due in part to escalating concerns about global climate change, population growth, famine, and ecological crisis." See Parker and Rathbone, African History, 10.
(17) A similar observation was recently made by Molefi Kete Asante. He notes,
The universe, the scientists say, is 18 billion years old. The earth [is] 5 billion years old. In the universe, there are hundreds of thousands of galaxies. In fact, our Milky Way galaxy is really on the fringes of the universe, and we orbit the very small, medium-sized sun. 5 billion years old: that's how old the earth is. Hominids, humanlike creatures--the oldest fossils found were found in Africa in Chad--Sahelanthropus tchadensis [are] 7.2 million years old. But Homo sapiens, humans like us, are only 250,000 years old... So human beings were not here when the dinosaurs were here... Dinosaurs left 65 million years ago... Before 70,000 years ago, everybody on the earth was Black. That's science. All the DNA in the world today of 7 billion people, all of it, goes right back to Africa.
See Molefi Kete Asante, "Crown Forum: January 26, 2017" (23:07-25:05), Morehouse College YouTube Channel, February 28, 2017, accessed May 19, 2017, https://youtu.be/WPv11rh-1xg. This point also recently emerged in an interview of Richard Leaky (Turkana Basin Institute) by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Gates: "So 80,000 years ago, the human community was Black." Leaky: "Wherever they were in the world." See Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Africa's Great Civilizations, Origins, Hour One (PBS Distribution, 2017, approximately 9:37-9:44). See also Carl Zimmer, "Oldest Fossils of Homo Sapiens Found in Morocco, Altering History of Our Species," New York Times, Science, June 7, 2017, accessed November 24, 2017, https://nyti.ms/2rVSXhl; Jean-Jacques Hublin et al., "New Fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the Pan-African Origin of Homo sapiens," Nature, 546 (June 8, 2017): 289-92, accessed November 24, 2017, https://www.nature.com/articles/nature22336; Daniel Richter et al., "The Age of the Hominin Fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the Origins of the Middle Stone Age," Nature, 546 (June 8, 2017), 293-296, accessed November 24, 2017, https://www.nature.com/articles/nature22335.
(18) For details on "Human evolution," "Evidence: fossils, dating and climate change," "The earliest hominins," "The Australopithecines and early evolution of Homo (man)," "Technology and the 'Stone Ages' of Africa," "Climate change and the evolution of modern humans," "Homo sapiens populate the world," the emergence of "Homo Sapiens, the hunter-gatherer," "Hunting," "Fishing," "Gathering," "Social organisation," and "Further climate change, adaptation and the ancestry of African languages," see Kevin Shillington, "Chapter 1: Early prehistory of Africa," in Shillington, History of Africa, 9-21. See also Jose L. Carballido et al., "A new giant titanosaur sheds light on body mass evolution among sauropod dinosaurs," Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences (August 9, 2017), accessed November 24, 2017, http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1860/20171219;
The Associated Press, "Behemoth dinosaur proclaimed biggest ever discovered," CBS News, August 9, 2017, accessed August 10, 2017, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/behemoth-dinosaur-proclaimed-biggest-ever-discovered/; "Gigantic dinosaur proclaimed biggest ever discovered," CBS News YouTube Page, August 9, 2017, accessed August 10, 2017, https://youtu.be/7p3wU6LMZaU; Shaena Montanari, "New Dinosaur Species Was Largest Animal Ever to Walk the Earth," National Geographic, August 9, 2017, accessed August 10, 2017, https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/08/largest-dinosaur-ever-titanosaur-fossil-patagotitan-science/.
(19) Molefe Kete Asante, "The Pursuit of Africology: On the Creation and Sustaining of Black Studies," Dr. Molefi Kete Asante website, January 26, 2015, accessed January 4, 2016, http://www.asante.net/articles/59/afrocentricity/.
(20) Brannon Bragga, Director and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Narrator, "Standing Up in the Milky Way," Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Season 1, Episode 1 (March 9, 2014).
(21) It should be noted, here, that, according to Molefi Kete Asante,
There was never a biological or cultural group that could be called Rhodesioid, although Cecil John Rhodes and his followers would have liked to follow up the naming of the territory that became Zimbabwe "Rhodesia" with a Rhodesian hominid. One sees the callousness of this type of history when it is known that the name [J.D.] Fage assigned to Africans "south of the Sahara" was based on the name of a white man, Cecil John Rhodes, one of the key British imperialists in Africa.
Asante, The History of Africa, 18.
(22) For additional insight on "the Hamitic hypothesis," see Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms: Social and Literary Manipulations of a Religious Myth, Revised Edition (University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania University Press, 1993; 1982), 189. According to the historian Kevin Shillington,
The Nilo-Saharans may also have been responsible for domesticating the wild cattle of the Red Sea hills between about 9000 and 8000 BCE, although so far there is only one piece of archeological evidence supporting this idea. If true, however, this would have been 1000 years earlier than the domestication of cattle in Asia. They grazed the cattle on the grasslands bordering the Nile and their herding practices eventually spread westwards into the central Sahara.
Shillington also notes,
One important factor in the spread of pastoralism in certain parts of tropical Africa was the presence or absence of the blood-sucking insect called the tsetse fly.... The tsetse tended to congregate in the most low-lying valleys and thickly wooded regions where they found plenty of wild game on which to prey. The drier open savannah grasslands of the southern Sahara and the eastern and southern African plateaux were thus generally the regions where specialised pastoralism tended to develop.
See Shillington, "Later prehistory: farming and pastoralism in tropical Africa and Ancient Egypt," in Shillington, History of Africa, 26-27.
(23) Current scholarship on this topic highlight the continental Pan African origins of humanity. Zimmer, "Oldest Fossils of Homo Sapiens Found in Morocco, Altering History of Our Species;" Hublin et al., "New Fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the Pan-African Origin of Homo sapiens;" and Richter et al., "The Age of the Hominin Fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the Origins of the Middle Stone Age."
(24) Basil Davidson, Africa: The Story of a Continent, Episode 1: Different but Equal (approximately 11:00-14:27) (Chicago, Illinois: Home Vision Select, 1997; Africa: A Voyage of Discovery, BBC Channel 4: 1984).
(25) Both Shillington and Uzong note the "Khoesan" and "resistance to new [farming] culture . exemplified by the resistance of some of the Bushmen tribes in Southern Africa," respectively. See Shillington, History of Africa, 24-25; Uzong, Africology, 63.
(26) Shillington, History of Africa, 25.
(27) Moses, Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms, 189.
(28) Charles Ambler, "A School in the Interior" African Studies: Engagement and Interdisciplinarity," African Studies Review, Volume 54, Number 1 (April 2011): 2.
(29) The other example listed by the author is "The institution of Secret Societies"; Uzong indicates, "We shall discuss the institution of Secret Societies in more detail under the section on legal sanctions in Volume II" (134). However, a second volume by Uzong does not appear to have been published.
(30) According to Uzong,
The attitude of the western society to marriage is that of possessing. The two partners possess or own each other. They belong to each other and nobody else. It is only to each other they owe duty and to nobody else. In their arrangement there is no room for sharing either happiness or love. With this attitude to marriage, it has been very difficult for most westerners to approve, entertain or even try to understand the institution of polygamy (136).
(31) The author noted, "I can still remember the noises in the middle of the night caused by a man in the village I was staying, in Cameroon, who kept on beating his wife every night for two weeks because she was still in her abstinence period after 3[1/2] years. The man could no longer bear it and had to continually beat the wife every night for two years before he brought her to submission" (137).
(32) Nana Kobina Nketsia V asked "the conferees, [and/or] the participants" at the African Studies Association of Africa 2nd Biennial Conference on October 12, 2017, during an opening address, "Whose experiences are you bringing to this table, to this conference? Is... your mind the product of your ancestors or the product of somebody else's ancestors?" See Nana Kobina Nketsia V, "ASAA [African Studies Association of Africa] 2nd Biennial Conference Opening Address," African Studies Association of Africa 2nd Biennial Conference, University of Ghana, Legon, October 12-14, 2017, ASAA Conference 2017 YouTube page [1:12:50-1:23-41], October 12, 2017, accessed November 25, 2017, https://youtu.be/VlZT61fHO8o.
(33) Itibari M. Zulu, Sr. (Senior Editor, Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies), "Re: Africology by E. Uzong," Message to Tracy Flemming, September 23, 2017, E-mail. My reading of a book titled The Scramble for Shelters (1967) by E.Uzong did not lead to a conclusion about the author's identity; it is also not clear if The Scramble for Shelters, a book about housing discrimination and immigrant in Britain, is a work by the same author of Africology (1969). See E. Uzong, The Scramble for Shelters, Book One (London, United Kingdom: Ivory Bonds Ltd., 1967).
(34)See notes 1-6.
(35) "Africology," Wiktionary: The free dictionary, accessed November 25, 2017, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Africology.
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|Author:||Flemming, Tracy Keith|
|Publication:||Journal of Pan African Studies|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2017|
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