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Bantu Africa

3500 BCE to Present

Catherine Cymone Fourshey, Rhonda M. Gonzales, and Christine Saidi

Publication Date - 02 October 2017

ISBN: 9780199342457

208 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

The African World Histories series enriches the study of African history by providing an indigenous, problems-based perspective on the past


Combining history, archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics, Bantu Africa: 3500 BCE to Present, synthesizes current scholarship on one of the most important cultural zones in world history--an area larger than the United States--whose traditions span several thousand years. The authors show how Bantu cultural ideas continue to shape modern realities in new contexts. By examining the cultural, political, religious, economic, and social issues in the Bantu world, Bantu Africa gives students an understanding of the long-term history of an immense cultural zone. The book also addresses the types of social relationships Bantu-speaking people had with people of distinct linguistic and cultural traditions, the kinds of innovations that came out of those cross-cultural interactions, the tactics they used to negotiate societal tensions, the ways in which gender and seniority dynamics influenced societal institutions, and the extent to which Bantu-speaking people shaped Atlantic and Indian Ocean History.

About the Author(s)

Catherine Cymone Fourshey is Associate Professor and holds the John D. MacArthur Chair in History and International Relations at Bucknell University.

Rhonda M. Gonzales is Professor of History at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Christine Saidi is Professor of History at Kutztown University.


"This concise and comprehensive introduction to the history of Bantu Africa breaks new ground in several ways. It is a brief but rich history of a region as large as the United States, extending across several thousand years. It provides detailed and valuable information on African societies, addressing several areas of their culture in a coherent narrative. In addition to the book's strength in portraying space, time, and society, it also conveys in useful and understandable fashion the methods used to reconstruct Bantu history, including linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, and other fields."--from the Foreword by Patrick Manning, University of Pittsburgh

"A path-breaking volume in scope and accessibility, Bantu Africa follows one of the largest and most important migrations in human history, skillfully narrating how Bantu-speaking peoples came to inhabit most of sub-Saharan Africa over the course of more than four thousand years. By deftly weaving together different types of historical evidence, the book recreates not only a history but also an entire worldview, allowing a general audience to understand the past from the Bantu point of view. This compelling volume explains how to reconstruct the past using linguistics, archeology, anthropology, and genetics in an understandable way that will make it an invaluable guidebook on historical methodology for students of African and world history alike."--Christina Mobley, University of Virginia

Table of Contents


    Chapter 1. Reconstructing Bantu Histories of Expansion

    Chapter 2. Historicizing Social Values and Structures Over the Longue Durée: Lineage, Belonging, and Heterarchy

    Chapter 3. Knowledge: Educating the Generations

    Chapter 4. Inventions of Technology and Art

    Chapter 5. Hospitality