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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A note on Vansina's invention of matrilinearity
Author:MacGaffey, WyattISNI
Year:2013
Periodical:The Journal of African History (ISSN 0021-8537)
Volume:54
Issue:2
Pages:269-280
Language:English
Geographic terms:Central Africa
Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:traditional society
matriarchy
historiography
anthropology
About person:Jan Vansina (1929-)ISNI
Link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853713000303
Abstract:Jan Vansina's 'Paths in the Rainforests' (1990) provides an instructive example of progress in overcoming the continuing burden of nineteenth-century evolutionary theory in studies of precolonial Africa in both historiography and anthropology. This article focuses on a critical section of the book, which outlines social evolution and 'the invention of matrilinearity' in the area around the lower Congo, showing both the strengths and the weaknesses of Vansina's approach. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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