Document Type

Review

Date of this Version

5-1981

Publication Source

African Arts

Volume

14

Issue

3

Start Page

28

Last Page

30

DOI

10.2307/3335635

Abstract

The African past certainly speaks, but in what language? Is it the language of testimonies and accounts, or is it the language of metaphors, of symbols, and of structures? And once identified, what and whose code will decipher the message and unveil the secrets oral tradition both reveals and conceals? Ten scholars—all historians, Vansina vintage—join in this volume to answer these and related questions, and to counter the critique anthropologists mounted against their mentor's historical method. The eleventh contributor is Vansina himself, who has the last word.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Originally published in African Arts © 1981 MIT Press.

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Date Posted: 22 September 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.