The title page of Schaller's (1973) rather popularly written but very well illustrated ethnography on the region demonstrates that the derogatory term Kirdi was still used in ethnographic writing around this time. The image shows a Mafa blacksmith.
Writings in French
The change in the production of French ethnographic
texts from colonial officers to academic ethnographers coincides with
the end of colonialism. Proper academic publishing begins with Podlewski’s
demographic work in 1961. Ethnographic research is dominated by ORSTOM/CNRS
geographers (Boutrais, Boulet, Hallaire, Seignobos, Iyebi-Mandjek),
demographers (Gubry) and linguists (Barreteau, Tourneux, Colombel).
Writings in German
Although Hinderling worked among the Mafa
in the 1950s and 60s, he published a mongraph only in 1984. Graffenried’s
PdD thesis on the Zulgo and Gemjek was published in 1984. Muller- Kosack’s
MA and PhD thesis on the Mafa are from 1987 and 1997. The Habilitationsschrift
of Godula Kosack (1998) deals with the social images of Mafa women.
Writings in English
Professional ethnographic writing in English
begins with Meek in 1931, followed by a long gap, until the beginning
of the Mandara Archaeological Project in 1984. A result of the ethnohistorical
research of the project are the PhDs of MacEachern and Gavua from 1990.
The leader of the project is Prof. Nicholas David, who published extensively
on the Northern Mandaras.
Writings in Dutch
Dutch ethnograhic writing begins with van
Beek’s PhD thesis on the Kapsiki in 1978. It is van Santen who follows
him by working among the Mafa since the mid 1980s, and publishing articles
on the Mafa from a feminist perspective. Schaaftsma (1998) and Roymans
(1997) produced MAs about the Mafa.
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