Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The largest remaining groups of mobile hunter-gatherers live in central Africa. More than 350,000 foragers (historically called 'Pygmies') from at least 13 distinct ethnolinguistic groups occupy diverse environments in the Congo Basin. This article begins with an overview of these groups, their cultural commonalities, and genetic relationships. Next, it summarizes the personal backgrounds and research trajectories of leading researchers from four national anthropological traditions: Britain, Japan, France, and the US. The Congo Basin has attracted particular kinds of researchers and they have influenced how the region's peoples are represented. The article compares and critiques traditions, illustrates the strengths of different approaches, and identifies common research biases. These biases include a strong emphasis on ecological studies, conducted predominantly by male researchers, representing a relatively narrow range of national traditions. The article reviews major topical and theoretical issues of the last 50 years of central African anthropology, suggesting avenues for future research.

Keywords: central Africa, Congo Basin, hunter-gatherers, Pygmies, traditions

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.