- 手話学研究 (ISSN:18843204)
- vol.17, pp.99-112, 2008-09-14 (Released:2016-07-09)
This paper represents a preliminary treatment of the ethnography of African Deaf
communities, focusing on the Deaf community in the Republic of Cameroon.
Ethnographic data on the population, organizations, sign languages, education,
history, vocations and sign language interpreters within this Deaf community are
presented. Certain anecdotes originating from Deaf churches and Deaf schools are
also presented. The historical and cultural characteristics of African societies
underscore the following research interests: (a) the multilingual situation of spoken
languages and of sign languages; (b) the presence of foreign sign languages and the
attitudes of Deaf people; and (c) the " unintentional results " Deaf Africans of low
levels of development. In addition, two ideas to promote cultural anthropological
research based on the fieldwork conducted within Deaf cultures are suggested: (a) the
construction of databases on African Deaf communities and cultures; and (b) the
training of Deaf and hearing fieldworkers who can conduct research in sign languages.