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Sources of african history A source of history can be divided into two big groups, remnants and storytelling which usually are called primary and secondary sources. The primary sources, remnants and written documents are counted as more reliable than the oral history. African history has been a challenge for researchers because of scarce written sources in many regions, especially sub – Saharan Africa. Prejudice against black Africans in particular, which goes far back in history, has meant that African history has been dictated by Eurocentric or even racist research.

According to many of the historians with a Eurocentric perspective there was no history in Africa, or so to say nothing they would refer to as history before the white man came to the continent, before it was only “dark” and the high mobility of the sub – Saharan Africa was described by some as “barbaric tribes senseless circling”. It wasn’t until the 1960: s that African researchers started to write African history themselves, before that the views were strongly Eurocentric.

Previously many argued that Africa simply had no history because of the lack of written documents and the fact that most cultures around sub – Saharan Africa had no written language. When European explorers in the mid – 1800:s were exploring Africa they came upon the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, they refused to believe that Africans had built them, instead they made up theories that it had been developed by Arabs or medieval Europeans who strayed down to the west coast of Africa.

The Afro centric movement was created during the 1960: s, one of their goals was to rewrite the African history with a focus on Africans, rather than the Europeans history on the African continent. To solve the problem with the lack of written sources led them to seek alternative sources of information like oral tradition which can be found throughout Africa, linguistics, archeology, anthropology and art. By studying linguistics you can find resemblance to other languages, one example is the Bantu language.

It is believed that Bantu languages originated in Nigeria and Cameroon in West Africa. Around 2500 – 3000 years ago began the group of speakers of the Bantu language migrate to the east and south. Many historians believe that the Bantu migration played a significant role in populating the Sub – Saharan area. By using archeology you can also find evidence that proves that the Bantu people were farmers, by studying the soil the historians today argue that the Bantu movement was a gradual, generation to generation spread of agricultural communities in the search of fresh soil and wetter areas.

Art, such as rock paintings have been a great help to date prehistoric times, but also to help us understand the temporal spread of cultures across a wide geographical area where you can find rock art. These cave paintings might mark a territory, enact rituals or to record events or stories. This type of historical art can be found at various places on the African continent, from rock paintings and stone carvings we can receive information about ancient times, the people, their society, rituals and lifestyle with the help of archeology we can date these paintings and carvings.

Artifacts are also a great source of African history. The term artifact is closely related to the concept of material culture and that may have a cultural interest. Stone tools, pottery vessels and jewellery are examples on these remains, studying them can give us a hint on how they looked, worshipped and what they ate. Another important source of African history is oral tradition. Oral tradition is culture, traditions, events and stories passed on from generation to generation. They may take form in

Oral tradition, and oral lore is cultural material and traditions transmitted orally from one generation to another. [1][2] The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants. In this way, it is possible for a society to transmit oral history, oral literature, oral law and other knowledges across generations without a writing system. . . Definition of a source of history A source of history can be divided in to two big groups: remnants and Types of sources Sources of African history

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