A timely introduction to the basic tribal cultures of Africa permits Western students a glimpse of this vast and intriguing continent. The author, curator of American Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, has lived among these tribes and his writing reflects this firsthand knowledge. Beginning with the hunters,- the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert and the BaMbuti Pygmies of the rain forests in the Congo this describes customs and beliefs, cultural variations and economic structure. The next general group under surveillance is composed of the herdsmen- the Shilluk, Nuer, Masai and Watusi tribes whose livelihood depends on the cattle they raise. The farmers, members of more intricate societies -- the Kikuyu of Kenya, the Ashanti of Ghana -- live more complicated lives. Wherever possible, historical derivations are highlighted and specific anecdotes recounted. Richard Powers has illustrated this informative introduction to Africa, and for many students, to the whole subject of cultural anthropology.