Cannibals, Warriors, Conquerors, and Colonizers: Western Perceptions and Azande Historiography

This paper is an abridged version of the first chapter of the author’s book ‘Vorkoloniale Geschichte und Expansion der Avungara-Azande: eine quellenkritische Untersuchung’ (Cologne, 2000). It critically examines the relevant sources for the history of the Azande. The knowledge on the Azande is still based mainly on works from the early colonial period and on the studies published by Evans-Pritchard, who himself drew on these early works and their theoretical assumptions. A study of the sources clearly shows how the established Western epistemological categories have influenced presentations of the facts, thereby obstructing a scientific view of the culture, and especially the history of the Azande. Here a continuity can be observed between the earliest testimonies, strongly influenced by clichs, and scholarly twentieth century studies. Notes, ref.

Title: Cannibals, Warriors, Conquerors, and Colonizers: Western Perceptions and Azande Historiography
Author: Ivanov, Paola
Year: 2002
Periodical: History in Africa
Volume: 29
Pages: 89-217
Language: English
Geographic terms: Central Africa
Sudan
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3172160
Abstract: This paper is an abridged version of the first chapter of the author’s book ‘Vorkoloniale Geschichte und Expansion der Avungara-Azande: eine quellenkritische Untersuchung’ (Cologne, 2000). It critically examines the relevant sources for the history of the Azande. The knowledge on the Azande is still based mainly on works from the early colonial period and on the studies published by Evans-Pritchard, who himself drew on these early works and their theoretical assumptions. A study of the sources clearly shows how the established Western epistemological categories have influenced presentations of the facts, thereby obstructing a scientific view of the culture, and especially the history of the Azande. Here a continuity can be observed between the earliest testimonies, strongly influenced by clichs, and scholarly twentieth century studies. Notes, ref.