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Abstract Jan Vansina was born in Antwerp, Belgium on September 14, 1929 and received his Ph.D. in history from the University Leuven in 1957. He is a major figure in the study of Africa. He published twenty monographs, over two hundred articles, and was the co-author, editor, compiler, annotator etc. of many other works. His extensive fieldwork and study of oral tradition established the context and methodologies for reconstructing African history through the use of oral tradition. The Jan Vansina...