Date of this Version
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.
Originally published in African Arts © 1981 MIT Press.
Ben-Amos, D. (1981). Review of Joseph C. Miller, The African Past Speaks: Essays on Oral Tradition and History. African Arts, 14 (3), 28-30. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3335635
Date Posted: 22 September 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.