9780816038138 / 0816038139

Cultural Atlas of Africa, Revised Edition


Publisher:Checkmark Books



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About the book:

The African continent is huge and varied, so much so that to compress its history and ethnography into a single volume seems an impossibly daunting task. Recognizing this, African historian Jocelyn Murray and 37 specialist contributors nonetheless do a fine job in this richly illustrated atlas of outlining the sweep of hundreds of thousands of years of human activity on the continent. Their narrative incorporates recent scholarship on the emergence of humankind in eastern Africa, an evolutionary tale that can now be traced to 4.5 million years before the present; the history of the great states of prehistory, among them the Asante, Benin, Great Zimbabwe, and Xhosa empires; and the complex pattern of cultural development across the continent. Along the way Murray and company look at such matters as religion, traditional healing, arts and crafts, music, dance, vernacular architecture, and politics. They also consider matters that are of pressing importance to Africa's future, among them resource use and conservation, environmental preservation, economic development, and urbanization. The book includes a nation-by-nation geographical almanac and gazetteer that, while certain to require updating soon, stand as highly useful references for students. The well- annotated maps are especially valuable. --Gregory McNamee

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