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CENTRAL AFRICAN HUNTER-GATHERER RESEARCH TRADITIONS - page 6 / 43

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short stature, but Walker et al. (2006) used life history theory to develop to explain diversity in human stature, suggesting that short stature could be selected for in a context of high mortality. Migliano et al. (2007) tested the hypothesis among Pygmies, but their data and interpretation of life history theory were problematic (Becker et al. 2010).  

Personal trajectories and national research traditions

Before we examine research issues in Congo Basin forager research, we provide biographical sketches of the most prolific Congo Basin forager ethnographers. An understanding of their personal interests and academic backgrounds provides insights into research issues/questions and how Congo Basin foragers are represented. We focus on research in the last 50 years, i.e., since 1960.

British traditions

Colin Turnbull (4 monographs and first author on over 15 journal articles and book chapters on Congo Basin foragers) is probably the most recognized scholar of forest foragers because of his best selling book, The Forest People. Even though it is based on research with the Mbuti in the 1950s it is still a popular text in some introductory anthropology courses. Turnbull was trained as a British social anthropologist at Oxford University. As an undergraduate he majored in politics and philosophy and spent considerable time with Indian students. After completing his undergraduate degree he received a scholarship to Banaras Hindu University in India to study religion with two famous Indian saints and eventually received an MA in Indian Religion and Philosophy. From India he traveled to Kenya where he started on a motorcycle journey across Africa with a friend. They were interested in African music and ended up in the Ituri forest in what was then the Belgian Congo at a hotel run by Patrick Putnam, a Harvard-trained

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