Cover image for Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Jenson-Elliott, Cynthia L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego, Calif. : Lucent Books, 2003.
Physical Description:
112 pages ; illustrations ; 24 cm.
Covers lifestyles of Southern African ethnic groups, Arab and European influences, religion, culture, and current problems facing Southern Africa.
Southern Africa, a land of extremes -- Lifestyles of Southern African people -- Indigenous kingdoms of Southern Africa -- Europeans in Southern Africa -- Cultural traditions of Southern African people -- Spiritual traditions of Southern African people -- Southern Africa today, problems and promises.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 10.7 6.0 66699.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DT1054 .J46 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Indigenous peoples have made a living in the diverse landscapes of southern Africa by developing lifestyles, cultures, and political systems suited to the different terrain of the region. From the past to the present, they have used their cultural life skills to meet the challenges presented by climate, disease, colonialism, and the apartheid government.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-The author's intention is to show the effects of colonization and industrialization on traditional societies and how they have helped to transform the economic bases as well as the cultures and belief systems of these societies. Her focus is on the indigenous ethnic groups of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. The book has a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies. The author writes that the Dutch colonized South Africa at the end of the 15th century, whereas they only arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. However, the most egregious inaccuracy is the statement that "In many southern African ethnic groups today, for both boys and girls, initiation often includes circumcision-," and that "female circumcision" is practiced in Lesotho specifically. In a separate highlighted box, the author claims again that "Despite its condemnation by the United Nations, and its illegality in many African nations, many southern African ethnic groups continue to defend the practice as an essential cultural tradition." A U.S. State Department report from 2000 on the subject mentions no country south of Tanzania that practices FGM, and Amnesty International, the author's quoted source, also mentions no evidence of FGM in any Southern African country. The captions for the black-and-white photos and reproductions range from nonspecific and uninformative to incorrect. The wide scope of this book, with its inclusion of so many very different ethnic groups with differing colonial and postcolonial histories, makes for a rather muddled picture of the region, and the number of errors make the book of little use for reports.-Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.