HISTORY 277 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Bantu Languages, Equatoria

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19 Jan 2018
The Art of Living in the Inner Congo Basin
I. Sources and methods for early African history.
1. Comparative Historical Linguistics is the primary way used to piece Africa’s
unidentifiable history together.
2. Central Africa was mentioned in the book “Art of Darkness” this part of Africa was
thought to have no history by most Europeans and Scholars. This idea is false.
3. There are 1500-2000 languages in Africa.
II. Great Lake Bantu language- There are 500-900 related languages in Africa. These
languages are all bantu languages. Over 300 million people speak them.
1. We know this through reconstructing the vocabulary. There are borrowed words, similar
words, and words with changed meanings.
2. In Africa as languages spread so did cultural and economic practices.
III. Equatoria Africa
1. There are 450 different people groups.
2. There are 25 types of political entities that all seem to emerge from one political system.
IV. House in Equatorial Africa
1. The “house” is led by a Big Man who is usually a very influential person.
2. A “house” is a unit of production.
3. The Big Man is essentially a manager.
4. To attain membership one must either be a friend, a part of a clan, or a dependent.
V. Village
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