Western exoticism about Africa began with the Greek scholar, HEROD0TUS, who repeated grotesque tales told to him by travellers about Africans as dog-eared men with eyes in their chests. Early Moslem commentators like Ibn BATTUTA (1307-77) attributed his survival in Africa to race: »The pagan hadn't eaten him (a Moslem) solely because of his white colourn (STOLLER 1992, 141 ). Six hundred years later, in the late 19th Century, Joseph DE GüBINEAU ( 1967, 205-6), whose ideas were to prefigure Nazism, reinforced the idea of race as the primary determinant of African savagery. Once accepted as common sense, the myth of the African as uncivilised and barbaric had to be explained. Moral philosophers of the 17th Century, for example, constructed tables of exotic »differences«, projecting images of »primitive« peoples in terms of the (imperial ist) colonial academic agenda. LINNAEUS' 18th Century concepts of genetics, when coupled to ideas of progress and evolution, created the discursive possibility for the emergence of the discipl ine of anthropology.
Tomaselli, Shepperson, Media, Development, Africa, Ontological, Questions