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African Ethnics And Personal Names

Jonathan Musere, Christopher Odhiambo

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ISBN 10: 0964596911 / ISBN 13: 9780964596917
Published by Ariko Pubns, 2000
Used Condition: Fair
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Bibliographic Details

Title: African Ethnics And Personal Names

Publisher: Ariko Pubns

Publication Date: 2000

Book Condition: Fair

Edition: 2nd Rev.

About this title


This book that has entailed broad literary and field research, primarily deals with central, southern, and eastern African peoples. This volume is the first of its kind insofar as the historical and cultural backgrounds of African groups (from the Acholi to the Zulu) are presented, combined with interpretations of approximately 4000 personal names (from Abaga to Zwirimumoyo) that these and other African groups use. This combination is intended to give the reader a diverse understanding and appreciation of African societal dynamics, the book also serving as a naming guide on which those of African descent and those with interest in Africa and Africans can ponder.

The information is presented so as to be easily comprehensible to the general reader. Further, the book would serve as a general circulation and reference book in the academic arena. Many of the African personal names presented have never before been in printed explanatory form. That many African names are associated with proverbs, is an intriguing issue. Various proverbs and associated proverbial names are explored in this book. Those in such areas as anthropology, history, literature, linguistics, political science, psychology and sociology with reference to Africanism can would make good use of this book. This is indeed a multidisciplinary book also relevant to such other related fields as cultural anthropology, etymology, folklore, onomastics, and sociolinguistics.

It is always a draining task to re-establish Africa in its primitive purity, given that her history has significantly involved obliterated or unwritten records, racist and opportunistic distortion of the reality of Africa, and the limited willingness of both Africans and non-Africans to explore and appreciate the value of African intellect and wisdom.

Through naming their newborns, Africans may air anything from grievances to sincere appreciation of their neighbors or kin. Extended family of the newborn can even give the newborn a name that involves casigation of either or both of the parents. More than sweet (or otherwise ugly) sounding appellations, African names recall some prevailing conditions around the time of birth of the person named. Such can be ceremonies, earthquakes, epidemics, famine, harvesting, marital issues, poverty, rainfall, war, the father on a hunting trip or a journey during the birth, etc. Names can establish clan and locational affiliation, the condition or demeanor of the mother during the pregnancy or delivery, esthetic appeal of the child, sequence of birth in the family, the mode of birth, etc. African naming is indeed a complex and intriguing field that has for so long begged for the committed serious study that the indigenous authors Musere and Odhiambo have accorded it here.

About the Author:

Jonathan Musere has written numerous books and articles on a variety of sociological areas that include American nativism and immigration, disease spread, African culture, African proverbs, and African personal names.

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