Anthropology: LOST AFRICA

THE CONTINENT'S AGE-OLD TRIBAL CEREMONIES ARE DISAPPEARING--BUT MANY HAVE NOW BEEN PRESERVED ON FILM

Different disciplines of science measure Africa in different ways. Geographers point to a climate that ranges from the burning Sahara to the steamy rain forests of Zaire to the dry savannas of Kenya. Biologists note the astonishing abundance and variety of the continent's wildlife. Epidemiologists speak with horror and fascination of deadly viruses like HIV and Ebola that have come out of the jungle, and of countless undiscovered microbes waiting to emerge.

For anthropologists, however, Africa's most impressive statistics are the ones that measure the enormous diversity of its people. Some 1,300 languages are spoken on the continent, about a third...

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