Evidence for the Indonesian origins of certain elements of African culture: A review, with special reference to the arguments of A.M. Jones

  • Roger Blench

Abstract

The hypothesis that sea-going peoples from the general area of present-day Indonesia contributed to the formation of various aspects of African culture, and in particular to aspects of material culture, continues to be a controversial topic in African studies, and the prominent contribution by ethnomusicologists to the argument makes it of special interest to students of African music. Since it was first formulated by Frobenius at the end of the last century (Frobenius, 1898: a convenient English summary in Frobenius, 1900), new evidence has been adduced by von Hornbostel, (1964, 1971 and 1972). It is not my intention to deal with all the literature on this subject, but rather to focus on musicological and related topics and to scrutinise the validity of the style of argument employed by these authors.

References

Anderson, L.A. 1967 'The African xylophone', African Arts, 1,

Brt, Ch. 1955 Jeux et jouets de L'Ouest Africain, IFAN, Dakar.

Blacking, J. 1966 Review of Jones' 'Africa and Indonesia', 1964 edition, African Studies, Johannesburg, Vol. 25, pp. 48-51.

Blench, R.M. 1983 "The morphology and distribution of sub-Saharan musical instruments of North African, Middle Eastern and Asian origin", Musica Asiatica, IV, O.U.P.

Boone, O. 1936 Les xylophones du Congo Belge, Tervuren.

Bukofz er, M. 1949 'Blasquinte', article in Musik in Geschichte und Gegen wart.

Chamla, M-C. 1958 'Recherches anthropologiques sur l'origine des Malgaches', Mem. du Museum, Paris.

Corbeil, Pe n.d. Bemba instruments, mimeographed sheet issued at Mbala, Zambia.

Dyen, I. 1965 Lexicostatistical classification of the Austronesian languages, Waverley Press, Baltimore.

Frobenius, L. 1898 Der Ursprung der Afrikanischen Kultur, Berlin.
1900 The origin of African civilisation, Smithsonian report for 1898, pp. 637-650.

Golson, J. (ed.) 1972 Polynesian Navigation, Third rev. edition, Wellington.

Hen, F. de 1960 Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda- Urundi, Tervuren.

Hood, M. 1954 The nuclear theme as a determinant of Patet in Javanese music, Groningen.

1965 Review of 'Africa and Indonesia',American Anthropologist,Vol. 67, pp. 1579- 1581.

Hornbostel, E. von 1911 'Uber ein akustisches Kriterium f Kulturzusammenhangen', Zeitschrift f Ethnologie, Vol. 43, pp. 601-615.

1920 "Summary of the theory of overblown fifths", Anthropos, Vol. XIV-XV, pp. 569-570.

Hornell, J. 1928 'Indonesian culture in East Africa', Man, Vol. 28, 11.
1934 'Indonesian influences on East African culture', JRAI, Vol. LXIV, pp. 305- 332.

Hutton, J.H. 1946 'West Africa and Indonesia;a problem in distribution',JRAI, Vol. 76, pp. 5-12.

Johnston, H.H. 1913 A history of the colonization of Africa by alien races, Cambridge history series.

Jones, A.M. 1964 Africa and Indonesia; the evidence of the xylophone and other musical factors, Brill, Leiden. Revised edition, 1971 including a new chapter 'More evidence on Africa and Indonesia'.

1972 'Elephantiasis and music', African Music ,Vol. 5,2, pp. 46-49.
Kirby, P.R. 1966 'The Indonesian origin of certain African musical instruments', Journal for African Studies, 25, pp. 1-21.

Kubik, G. 1963 'Discovery of a trough-xylophone in Northern Mozambique', African Music, Vol. 3, 2, pp. 11-16.

Kunst, J. 1936a German translation of 1936b including additional illustrations, Anthropos, Vol. XXXI, pp. 131-140.

1936b 'A musicological argument for a relationship between Indonesia - probably Java - and Central Africa', Proceedings of the Musical Association, Leeds.

1960 The origin of the Kemanak, Bijdragen, Deel 116,2e Af1.

1973 Music in Java (2 vols.), third revised edition, The Hague.
Laurence, B.R. 1968 'Elephantiasis and Polynesian origins', Nature, Vol. 219, No. 5154, pp. 561- 563.

Laurenty, J.S. 1974 Les aeroph ones de L 'Afrique Centrale', Tervuren.
MacGaffey, W. 1970 'Concepts of race in the historiography of North-East Africa', in Fage, J.D. and Oliver, R.A.,Papers in African Prehistory, Cambridge, 1970.

Meek, C.H. 1931 A Sudanese kingdom, Kegan Paul, London.

Morton, D. 1976 The traditional music of Thailand, University of California Press.

Murdock, G.P. 1959 Africa;its peoples and their culture history, McGraw Hill, New York
Murray, H.J.R. 1952 A history of board games other than chess, Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Sachs, C. 1938 Les instruments de Musique du Madagascar, Paris.
Schaeffner, A. 1951 Les Kissi - une socinoire et ses instruments de musique, Hermann, Paris.

1960 'Situation des musiciens dans trois soci africaines', Les Colloques de Wegimont, Ethnomusicologie, II, Paris.

Shelford, R. 1904 'An illustrated catalogue of the ethnographical collection of the Sarawak Museum', Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, No. 40.

Smith, G.E. 1933 The ancient Egyptians and the origin of civilization, Harper and Bros., London.
1934 Human history, 2nd ed. Cape, London.

Stuhlmann, F. 1910 'Handwerk und Industrie in Ostafrika', Abhandl. des Hamburgischen Kolonial- instituts.

Talbot, P.A. 1926 The peoples of Southern Nigeria, London.
Tessmann, G. 1913 Die Pangwe, (2 vols.), Wasmuth, Berlin.
Villiers, A. 1957 The Western Ocean, London.

Walton, J. 1955 'Iron gongs from the Congo and Southern Rhodesia', Man, Vol. LV, 30.

Willett, F. Ife in the history of West African sculpture, London.
Yupho, D. 1960 Thai musical ins truments, trans. D. Morton, Bangkok.
Walton, J. 1955 "Iron gongs from the Congo and Southern Rhodesia", Man, Vol. LV, 30.

Willett, F. 1967 Ife in the history of West African sculpture, London.
Yupho, D. 1960 Thai musical instruments, trans. D. Morton, Siva Phorn, Bangkok.

Zemp, H. 1972 A re-are, Vol. II, Vogue LDM 30105, notes to recording.
1973 Musique Dan, Paris.
Published
1982-07-07
How to Cite
Blench, R. “Evidence for the Indonesian Origins of Certain Elements of African Culture: A Review, With Special Reference to the Arguments of A.M. Jones”. African Music: Journal of the International Library of African Music, Vol. 6, no. 2, July 1982, pp. 81-93, doi:https://doi.org/10.21504/amj.v6i2.1118.