africa

Leo Frobenius and German Ethnography

Leo Frobenius and German Ethnography

On June 29, 1873, German ethnologist and archaeologist Leo Viktor Frobenius was born. He proposed a theory that culture evolves through stages of youth, maturity, and age. He helped to spread knowledge of West African art and culture throughout Europe. He made a series of twelve major expeditions throughout Africa, gathering knowledge of art and culture, travelling across the deserts, savannahs and rain forests of Africa and South Africa, the River Nile and…
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Harry Johnston and the “Scramble for Africa”

Harry Johnston and the “Scramble for Africa”

On June 12, 1858, British explorer, botanist, linguist and colonial administrator Sir Harry Johnston was born. His interest in zoological specimens gave him a lucrative part-time income, illustrating books for the new sciences of biology, geography and anthropology. Moreover, he is probably best known for being one of the key players in the “Scramble for Africa” that occurred at the end of the 19th century. Harry Johnston was born in London, the eldest…
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Bartolomeu Dias and his Trip into the Pacific Ocean

Bartolomeu Dias and his Trip into the Pacific Ocean

On May 29, 1500, Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias passed away. Dias sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, reaching the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic, the first European known to have done so. Not too much is known about the life and achievements of Bartolomeu Dias. He was a Knight of the royal court, superintendent of the royal warehouses, and sailing-master of the man-of-war, São Cristóvão. In October 1487, it…
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Jane Goodall and the Chimpanzees

Jane Goodall and the Chimpanzees

On April 3,1934, English primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace Dame Jane Morris Goodall, was born. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. Jane Goodall was born in London in 1934 and it is said that she received a toy chimpanzee as a child, which initiated her…
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Gorillas in the Mist – The Life of Dian Fossey

Gorillas in the Mist – The Life of Dian Fossey

On December 26, 1985, American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist Dian Fossey was killed. She is best known for her extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years in they mountain forests of Rwanda. Her 1983 book, Gorillas in the Mist, combines her scientific study of the mountain gorilla at Karisoke Research Center with her own personal story. “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what…
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Albert Schweitzer and his Hospital in Africa

Albert Schweitzer and his Hospital in Africa

On March 21, 1913, theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa Albert Schweitzer together with his wife Helene start their voyage to Africa, to establish a hospital in Equatorial Africa. “The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war and through politics.” Radio appeal for peace, Oslo, Norway (30 March 1958) Albert Schweitzer was born on January 14, 1875, as the second child of a…
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Mungo Park and the Waters of the Niger

Mungo Park and the Waters of the Niger

Mungo Park(1771 – 1806) On September 11, 1771, Scottish explorer of the African continent Mungo Park was born. He is best known for being the first Westerner to encounter the central portion of the Niger River. Moreover, Mungo Park’s adventures on the Niger are the subject matter of Water Music, a richly detailed comic adventure novel published by T.C. Boyle. Mungo Park grew up in a religious home and against his parent’s…
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