Reviewed Resources for Students and Teachers


Africa, African Anthropology - General Resources


By peoples


By peoples L through Z  go to A through K  


The peoples of Africa are often described in terms of their ethnic background or their languages.  There are several thousand ethnic groups in Africa, ranging in physical stature from the short Pygmies to the tall Maasai, each with its own cultural traditions.  Here are only a few of them.

Laka   Lega   Lobi   Luba   Luchazi   Luluwa   Lunda   Luvale   Lwalwa  Maasai  Makonde   Mambila   Mangbetu   Manja   Mbole   Mende   Mitsogo   Mossi   Mumuye  Ngbaka   Nkanu   Nok   Nuna   Oron  Owo   Pende   Pokot   Punu   San   Senufo   Shambaa   Shona   Songo   Songye   Suku   Swahili   Tabwa   Tuareg   Urhobo  We  Wimiama   Wodaabe   Wolof   Woyo   Wum   Yaka   Yombe   Yoruba   Zaramo   Zulu




Please note:  Some of the peoples and associations presented here are so closely related that more than one topic heading may apply.  For example, The Akan people are given a page of their own, yet the Asante ( Ashanti ) are also an Akan people, as are the Akuapem.  So, a full search for the 'Akan' may involve looking at pages dedicated to sub-groups as well.  Some sub-group pages may contain only a link or two, but they are still part of a much larger picture.

You will find a similar relationship among some of other peoples listed here.  This is a case where a little advanced knowledge of the subject may be an advantage when using these pages.

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Competitive Gift Exchange among the Mambila __ "The importance of gift-giving in the establishment of political and social relationships in a number of societies has long been recognised by anthropologists, and the element of competition inherent in these exchanges has not been ignored. To the best of my knowledge, instances of diadic relationships characterised by competitive gift-exchange have not been recorded for any West African society. Among the Mambila-speaking peoples of the former British Cameroons, relationships of this type are of considerable social significance." You will find full text of the paper. - From CSAC -

Language Museum - Mambila __ A sample and translation of written Mambila. - From -

Mambila __ "The 25,000 Mambila, farmers and stockbreeders, occupy the region bordering Cameroon and Nigeria, to the north of Grassland. Land, every family’s property, is distributed by the group’s chief. The primary cereal crops include sorghum, rice, and millet." A brief overview. - illustrated - From - 

Mambila avatars and the ancestor cult - TOC __ You will find a very interesting read in African anthropology. "" the Mambila have ancestors?" My initial responceis a proposition which borders on sophistry: that Mambila have andhad ancestors but not an ancestor cult. In the text which followsI try to explain why I have arrived at this conclusion, and I exploresome of the problems of historical reconstruction." Full text of paper. - From -

Mambila People __ "Linguistic evidence indicates that Mambila ancestors were members of the original Bantu linguistic split that occurred approximately 2,000 years ago. It is also probable, given the close similarities between languages spoken in the immediate area of northern Cameroon and adjacent Nigeria, that the split occurred in this very region." You will find material related to art, culture, history, religion, political structure and more. - From University of Iowa -


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