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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Maurice Briault, Andre Raponda Wlaker and the Value of Missionary Anthropology in Colonial Gabon
Author:Rich, Jeremy
Periodical:Le Fait Missionnaire: Social Sciences and Missions
Geographic term:Gabon
colonial period
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Anthropology and Archaeology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
About persons:Maurice Briault (1874-1953)ISNI
André Raponda-Walker (1871-1968)ISNI
External link:http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/221185206x00067
Abstract:This article analyses Catholic missionary ethnography in Gabon during the colonial era as exemplified by the works of Maurice Briault (1874-1953) and André Raponda Walker (1871-1968) with the aim of sifting them for usable material from the point of view of contemporary Africanist historians. Maurice Briault, a missionary in Gabon at the turn of the 20th century, published a series of books that upheld the image of the wise French priest dragging reluctant Africans towards a confrontation with modernity. His colleague André Raponda Walker, the first Gabonese priest whose research spanned a range of disciplines, actively promoted the idea of a Gabonese national identity through documenting the rich cultural heritage of Gabon. The article in particular reviews how Briault's discussions of mission life expose the gendered struggles of Fang men and women to obtain dependents or retain their own autonomy, and how the legacy of slavery appears as an important theme in Raponda Walker's studies of Gabonese cultural practices. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]