PAPER: Deaf People in African Histories c. 960s – 1960s
Individuals interested in investigating the history of Deaf, deaf, or hard of hearing people in any African nation may wish to read the paper entitled, “Deaf People Living and Communicating in African Histories, c. 960s – 1960s” by M. Miles (2005).
The abstract for this paper is as follows:
“Glimpses of the lives and communication of deaf and hearing impaired people are seen in one thousand years of history across Africa. Textual evidence of 100 historical deaf adults and children, of hundreds more in groups, and of gestural communication and formal Sign Language, appears from 42 African nations, sourced in travellers’ accounts, legal and genealogical records, government reports, institutional and missionary archives, academic theses, linguistic studies, folklore, ethnography, novels, religious narrative, mime and dance. The data may assist in construction of valued identities and evidence-based cultural histories. Uses and interpretations remain for deaf people to discuss and choose according to their own varied interests and objectives.”
The article has 190 references, and notes some Africa-wide activities of deaf people, including in relation to deaf studies and sign language studies.
The author, M. Miles, has suggested that organizations of deaf people in each African nation should build their own archives and records of deaf people in order to help create an understanding of what it means to be deaf in Africa in the late 20th and early 21st century.
Read the full text of the article at:
Thank you to the author, M. Miles, for announcing this article on the DeafStudies-Africa email-based discussion list.
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