A Research Institute for the Belgian Congo

I. Vincke
1946 Africa - Journal of the International African Institute  
NOTES AND NEWS 117 modern developments in this type of thought. Dr. Gluckman is well aware that when his sample areas are selected the field will be far from covered geographically: there will be gaps. These he will fill when men and money are forthcoming. He hopes, for example, that it will be possible to make a study of the Ila people, partly to supplement the work of Smith and Dale which (as he truly says) ' was weak on economics, land tenure and social organization', and for special
more » ... for special reasons, namely: they are said to be dying out and it is essential to combine sociological and demographical studies of them with any medical survey that may be made, to gauge the correctness of this assumption; the Ila are a true cattle people, unlike the Lozi, and their whole adaptation to the Kafue flats should be compared with the Lozi adaptation to the Barotse plain; they are apparently an intrusion of an East African cattle-complex people in the midst of tribes coming from the Congo-Angola regions; the result of this survey would provide comparative data on the ' progressive ' Tonga, their neighbours, for the Ila are said to be very ' conservative'. Each research-worker will be expected on his first tour to make a general survey of the modern culture of the area assigned to him. At the request of the Government they will give special attention to land tenure. On their second visit they will concentrate on the significant problem which we have outlined. Dr. Gluckman gives a brief indication of ' the writing programme' which comprises both studies of each area and comparative studies, all culminating in a general survey of the economic and social organization of Northern Rhodesia, supplemented, he hopes, by demographic, psychological and other analyses. The whole research is to be the work of a team. The trained sociologist will work hand in glove with an economist; and these with agriculturists, psychologists, medical officers, educationists and lawyers. The Institute is independent of Government but it will have the co-operation of the technical government departments. It seemed to us at one time that the Institute was about to commit the cardinal error of divorcing linguistic from sociological research. The plan says little about language. ' We are prepared to assist where we can' in solving linguistic problems, says Dr. Gluckman; but the evident intention is to leave these to the Education Department while recognizing that mutual help between sociologist and linguist is essential. Only one paragraph of the Plan is given to Nyasaland and little is said in it beyond the statement that a worker will go to the Southern Province; the problems to be studied are similar to those of Northern Rhodesia. The Beit Research Fellow is to study the Shona in a block of reserves east and south of Salisbury. (He is already at work.) We think that Dr. Gluckman is optimistic if he thinks that all the work he has planned can be carried out in seven years. But we are sure that every reader of Africa will wish him the best success possible. His scheme might well provide a pattern for research elsewhere. Research in West Africa MONSIEUR T. MONOD, Directeur de l'Institut Francais d'Afrique Noire, informs us that the ethnologist, M. J. Joire, and a geographer, M. J. Richard-Molard, have recently been appointed to the staff of the Instirut and that appointments of a linguist and two other ethnologists will be made shortly. I.F.A.N. is also organizing, in collaboration with the Service de Sante, an investigation in physical anthropology, directed by Medecin-Colonel L. Pales, among the Fula of Fouta Djallon, the Bambara and the Mossi. The study of dietary questions will be included in the investigation.
doi:10.1017/s0001972000019331 fatcat:gyllffapjbhgvcdiuyeagh7om4