Sources of Africa History

Topics: Writing, History Pages: 10 (3081 words) Published: June 6, 2012
Sources of African History Author(s): James Mulira Reviewed work(s): Source: Current Anthropology, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Mar., 1979), pp. 227-229 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2741903 . Accessed: 06/06/2012 09:42 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

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Write: Keith Pratt, School of Oriental Studies, Durham DH1 3TH, England. August10-17. 43d International Congress of Americanists, Vancouver,B.C., Canada. Deadline for abstractsNovember 15, 1978. Write: AlfredH. Siemens,Departmentof Geography,Universityof British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1W5. August12-18. International PoliticalScienceAssociation, 11th WorldCongress, Moscow,U.S.S.R. Write:IPSA Secretariat, % Universityof Ottawa, Room 320, Tabaret, Ottawa, Canada KiN 6N5. 5. August20-September 14thPacificScience Congress, KhaU.S.S.R. Theme: NaturalResourcesof the Pacific barovsk, Ocean-For the Benefit Humanity. interest anthroof Of to pologists:Social and PoliticalAspectsof Utilization Natof ural Resourcesof the PacificOcean; Processes of Population, Urbanization,Migration.and Policy; Problems of Cooperationof the Pacific Countries; Destinies of Small Peoples and Minority Groups; Ecological Problemsof the Pacific Relationsand Traditional Cultural Societies;Ancient of Migrations;Prehistoric Archaeology SoutheastAsia and Relations betweenAsia and America; Ethnic Odontology of the Pacific Peoples; Languages of the Pacific Region. Write: Organising Committee,14th Pacific Science Congress,44 Vavilov St., 117333 Moscow, U.S.S.R. Last week in August.International MusicologicalSociety,3d Themes: (a) Transplanted Symposium, Adelaide,Australia. HistoEuropean Music Cultures-Towards a Comparative in riography, ArtNouveau and Jugendstil Music. Write: (b) A. D. McCredie, University Adelaide, Adelaide, Ausof tralia. First week in September. International Conference Tradion tional Asian Medicine, Canberra,Australia.Write: A. L. Basham,Department Asian Civilizations, of Australian NationalUniversity, P.O. Box 4, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600, Australia. 3-7. 2d Anthropological September Congress dedicated Ales to Hrdlicka, Prague and Humpolec, Czechoslovakia.Write: V. V. Novotny,Salmovska 5, 120 00 Prague 2, Czechoslovakia. Septemnber 7th International 3-8. Congressof Classical Studies, Budapest,Hungary. Themes: AncientGreece from650 to 550 B.C.; The Mediterranean World in the Hellenistic Epoch; The End of the Roman Empire. Write: J. Harmatta, MagyarTudomanyas Akademia, Hattyuu. 2, H-1015 Budapest,Hungary. September17-21. International Folk Music Council Study Group on HistoricalSources of Folk Music, 6th meeting, Austria.Write: W. Suppan,Hochschulefur Siuddal-Matien, Musik und Darstellende Kunstin Graz,Palais Meran,Leonhardstrasse A-8010 Graz,Austria. 15, September. 24thInternational Congress the Historyof Art, of Bologna, Italy. Write: Cesare Gnudi, Soprintendenza alle Via Belle Arti56, Bologna Italy. Gallerie, First week of October.Conference the International of Associationof BuddhistStudies,Shanti Niketan,India. Write: A. K. Narain,University Wisconsin-Madison, of Madison, Wis. 53706,U.S.A. October 11-13. 4thAnnualEuropeanStudiesConference, Omaha, Nebr., U.S.A. Deadline for abstracts: May 1. Write: Anthony...

References: CARR, EDWARD 1967. What is history? New York: Random H. House. GREENBERG,J. H. 1972. Linguisticevidence regardingBantu origins. Journal of AfricanHistory 13:189-216. HERSKOVITS, J. 1959. Anthropology M. and Africa: A wider perspective.Africa29:225-57. LOWIE,R. L. 1915. Oral tradition and history:Discussion and correspondence. AmericanAnthropologist 17:597-99. OGOT, A. 1967. History of the southernLuo. New York: InterB. national PublicationsService.
The Shadow theBrowl of
by BJORNKURTE 'N Department of Geology, Universityof Helsinki, Snellmaninkatu 5, SF-00170 Helsinki 17, Finland. 18 ix 78 Now, when any one with no coveringon his head... strivesto the utmost to distinguish broad daylight. . . a distant object, he in almost invariablycontractshis brows to prevent the entranceof too much light. CHARLES DARWIN, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals His hat, his plume, his sunburntface, The shadow of his eyebrows 'trace . . . J. L. RUNEBERG, The Soldier Boy (translated C. W. Stork) by
The supraorbital torus is foundin all species of Homo (as well as in manyotherprimates)exceptin H. sapiens of modern type.It is difficult findany mechanical(architectonic) to function for it. One possible and indeed probable function maybe deducedfrom Darwin 's (1872) remarks the frown. on He (and beforehim Gratioletand Spencer) pointed to the eye-shading effect the contracted of brows.From such beginnings,then,the frownacquired a second and even more importantrole as an "expression emotion"or. in ethological of parlance,a threatdisplay.FollowingDarwin 's reasoning, von Haartman (1974) suggeststhat the torus originatedas an adaptation protect eyes from to the directsunlight a steppe in landscape. The torusmusthave affected visual imageof the living the face in a profoundmanner, may be seen in various life as reconstructions. tendto read a menacing into most of We air them,and we may suspect that some of the lay reluctance to accept an evolutionary originof man stems not a little from sucha subconscious influence. civilised Did humanbeings descend from such aggressive-looking brutes? As Guthrie (1974:267) says, "Even in humans,the exaggerated protrudingbonybrowsof an old male gorillaconnote awesomeintimidation,whichhas made it easy for writersto portrayit as a dangerous beast, even thoughit is a vegetarian and rather shy." What we experience an "intimidation as stare" perhaps reachesits acme in the eagle,where, Lorenz (1943) shows, as the effect due to a combination two eliciting is of key stimuli: the shadingbar over the eye, which casts a shadow like a deeplypulledbrow,and the apparently tight-lipped, "grimly" closed mouth. In the case of the eagle, these are "super1 1 thankLars von Haartman and David Pilbeam for discussion.
stimuli," but, as von Haartmanhas shown (1974), it is this kind of picturethat springs mind fromthe poet 's descripto tionof the soldierboy 's dead father(and farmoreeffectively den brunahyn/ in theSwedishoriginal: Hans hatt,hansplym, Och skuggan franhalns dgonbryn). traitsin fossilman of The ethological significance structural Guthrie(1974) has providedus with has been littleexplored. intimidation an excellentdiscussionof status-enhancing charstrucactersin modernman. Amongthese,visiblyprotruding tures (especiallyin males), e.g., nose, chin,beard,penis (see part. It is interalso Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1973), play a prominent estingto see that such features are oftenstressedin Palaeoto lithic art, and here not only with reference males: the may also exaggeration femalecharacters "Venus" figures of in and suggest status-enhancing effects. notedby bothGuthrie As Eibl-Eibesfeldt, social-signal the function genitaliaand secof ondarysexual characteristics tendedto be overlooked. has torusof say, NeanIt is easy to see that the supraorbital with appropriatefacial display, dertal man, in combination produces highly a effective intimidation stare,as is pointedout by Guthrie(1974:267). While agonisticto hostile strangers, have a reassuring effect deon the displaywould presumably pendents (the soldier boy warmingto his father 'sgallant image). However, shadedeyes might the also assistotherkinds of mimicaldisplay.A well-known Neandertalreconstruction by McGregor (1926, profile:see discussionin Kurth 1958: witha touch 222) seemsto emanaterespect-inspiring sagacity of the wily. Further, the shadingof the eye mightassist in the disguising exact direction the stare (see Guthrie1974: of of 269 fora discussion theethological of significance an analomay be put forgous case). No doubt additionalsuggestions ward. a On the otherhand,it is evidentthatthe torusimparts certhusreducing range the to tainstereotypy thefacialexpression, in of possiblesignals.This might give the condition H. sapiens an adaptive advantage.It may be added that the torus-less conditionis paedomorphic(the characteris not presentin small Neandertal children). As Lorenz (1943) has shown, traits aggression-inhibiting hencepotenare and paedomorphic tially adaptive in a species which had by then acquired a efficient fairly armoury. torusis presentin both sexes,with only The supraorbital Its slightdimorphism. loss could perhapsimplya shiftfrom a comparatively dichotomyto a stereotyped adult-juvenile trichotomy, with morehighly articulated male-female-juvenile an increaseddifferentiation social roles. of Aggression threatdisplay is oftena sham. The obserby vation that the "grimand proud" eagle is in fact,to a great a in extent, carrion-feeder (Lorenz 1943) is parenthetical this connection, but Guthrie 'sobservation the shynessof goon to rillasis thought-provoking. Could it be thatthe disposition is in aggressiveness inverseto its apparentexpression display? the of Whateverits significance, reduction the supraorbital new departure in a torusin H. sapiens represents completely of the evolutionary important history our genus and suggests of ethological change.We are reminded the "punctuated-equilibrium" of so by theory evolution ably put forward Eldredge evoluand Gould (1972). According the theory, to significant tionary changeis mainlyassociatedwithallopatricspeciation, in the especially smallmarginal populations. This favours view of H. sapiensas a speciesdistinct from hominids torus-bearing and pointsup the complexity the Gestaltof hominid evoluof tion discussedby D. Pilbeam at a 1978 Nobel symposium in steps in the Bofors.(Whether forms like Skhuil man represent appears processof differentiation resultfrominterbreeding or not to have been definitely settled.)PerhapsI shouldadd that regarding neandertizalensis a distinctspecies need not H. as reflect the least upon our view of this species as an expoin nentof highly evolvedhumanity. all we know,Neandertal For 229
Vol. 20
N 1 * March 1979 No.
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