Africa

Category archives for Africa

In search of the elusive Sungudogo …

…Sungudogo is a little known zoological mystery, an “undiscovered” primate living in the remote and rugged region of the eastern Congo, where the Central African Rain Forest fringes the high walls of the western edge of the Great Rift Valley. Sometimes called the “fourth African ape,” Sungudogo is not a Gorilla, not a Chimpanzee, not…

In late November, 1899, a British military unit which included an embedded reporter was ambushed by an Afrikaner unit in what is now Natal Province, South Africa. This was during the Anglo-Boer war, which was to be the largest military adventure to date in the history of the United Kingdom. The British had been traveling…

Some of the people who live in the rain forest of Central Africa are known widely as “Pgymies.” That word…Pygmy…is considered problematic for a few different reasons. It refers to a person’s physical appearance, because it means “small.” The word is sometimes used in biology to refer to the smaller species among a group of…

Pastoralism is the practice of keeping and herding animals such as cattle, goats and sheep, and using the products they produce, including meat, hide, bone, horn and of course, dairy. In the old days, armchair archaeologists thought that pastoralism would have been a phase of cultural adaptation following hunting and gathering and preceding horticulture (the…

As part of a fundraiser for the Secular Student alliance, I’m writing a novel as we speak. I’ll post one chapter per hour (approximately) until it is done. I started several hours ago, so there are as of this writing seven chapters (plus front matter) up for you to read. Please visit “Sungudogo: A Novel”…

A compendium of selected posts written about the Ituri Forest, the Efe Pygmies, and other folks and other things in the region:

Acupuncture is the ancient East Asian practice of poking people with needles in specific places and in specific ways in order to produce any one of a very wide range of results that could generally be classified as medicinal or health related. I don’t know much about it, but Wikipedia tells us:

Wildlife of Southern Africa

Wildlife of Southern Africa , by Martin Withers and David Hosking, is new (August 2011) and good. If you are planning a trip to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana or anywhere nearby, or if you live there and like to go to the bush sometimes, consider it. This is a pocket guide, it is small, has…

I remember my first solar eclipse. I was a kid, and it was the one Carlie Simon sang about, in March 1970. (The eclipse reference is just past three minutes. Some other time we can argue over whether or not Carlie, singing in this video on Martha’s Vineyard, was referring to the March 1970 eclipse…

Floods: Don’t go in them.

As an archaeologist, my expertise in the cognate field of geology includes fluvial processes, so I know something about floods. And I’ve experienced plenty of floods working in the Hudson and Mohawk river valleys … now that I think of it, I’ve got quite a few good flood stories. But the most significant experience I’ve…