Welcome to the Shikanda portal
  this portal accommodates Wim van Binsbergen's various websites, which previously were scattered over a number of free but desperately unreliable domains. Concentration in one domain will hopefully mean permanent availability all over the world, and easy cross-referencing from one site to the other

'...Prove all things; hold fast that which is good' (1 Thess. 5: 21)
'Mwana wa hakati ka jivumo' ('A child is of the womb's centre' -- Nkoya proverb)

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1. Internal Search Facility
This search facility provides a complete electronic index of all of Wim van Binsbergen's websites in the present domain, and moreover enables you to search the entire Internet quickly and effectively; simply enter the word(s) you require into the blank search box, and press 'Search'

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2. Site Map
Having grown out of a number of different websites in over five years, the present Shikanda portal is as extensive, complex and rambling as its owner's intellectual and literary production. There are, in principle, five threads of Ariadne to guide the visitor through this labyrinth:

  1. The short bio-/bibliographical note below provides links to the main fields of the site owner's activity, and the constituent websites devoted to them
  2. Further below, these various websites are also listed serially in a table (where also the old, now obsolete names of the websites are given)
  3. Still further down, an extensive internal search facility allows the visitor to search for any word or name throughout the hundreds of webpages, articles and books incorporated in the present Shikanda portal
  4. Since 2002, a detailed log has been kept of the site owner's projects and publications, with extensive text links and illustrations
  5. The site owner's full bibliography (click to open it) is to provide links to all those of his publications that are incorporated in the present Shikanda domain; this process recently made dramatic progress, but will still take months to complete -- therefore use the internal search facility together with the bibliography: most of Wim van Binsbergen's publications and seminar papers are in fact available on this website

3. Short bio-/bibliographical note linking to the various websites in this domain

Wim M.J. van Binsbergen (*1947, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) is life Honorary Fellow at the African Studies Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands, and Emeritus Professor of the Foundations of Intercultural Philosophy, Philosophical Faculty, Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research interests include: religion in Africa (both traditional African religion, Christianity and Islam -- with emphasis on divination, ecstatic cults and healing, and more recently with special emphasis on (cosmogonic) myth, animal symbolism, shamanism, and long-range comparison, across continents and across millennia, searching for deep structures that go back to the Upper Palaeolithic and further – and using recent developments in molecular genetics, long-range linguistics, comparative mythology, and archaeology as auxiliary sciences); intercultural philosophy especially epistemology; African and Ancient Mediterranean history; Afrocentricity; ethnicity, ancient and modern statehood; globalisation, commodification, virtuality and mediatisation. He has pursued these ramifying interests during extensive fieldwork in Tunisia, Zambia, Guinea Bissau, and Botswana, besides historical projects on South Central Africa, the Ancient Near East, the world history of geomantic divination and shamanism, the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Mediterranean (ethnicity and artisanal cults; the Presocratics and their world-wide antecedents). In the last few years he has travelled extensively in South, South East and South Asia in order to document Asian-African continuities -- leading to a 2012 International Conference at the Leiden African Studies Centre (now being prepared for publication). He held professorial chairs at Leiden, Manchester, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Durban-Westville, and directed Africanist research at the Leiden centre throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, most of them also available from the present website . His books include: Religious Change in Zambia (1981); Theoretical Explorations in African Religion (with Schoffeleers, 1985); Old modes of Production and Capitalist Encroachment (with Geschiere, 1985); Tears of Rain: Ethnicity and History in western central Zambia (1992); Black Athena Ten Years After (1997; expanded and updated reprint as Black Athena Comes of Age, 2011) on Martin Bernal's 'Black Athena' thesis concerning the intercontinental antecedents of classic Greek civilisation); Modernity on a Shoestring (with Fardon and van Dijk, 1999) on globalisation outside the North Atlantic region; and Trajectoires de libération en Afrique contemporaine (with Konings and Hesseling, 2000); van Binsbergen's 2003 magnum opus entitled Intercultural Encounters: African and Anthropological Lessons towards a Philosophy of Interculturality; moreover The Dynamics of Power and the Rule of Law (2003, on African legal anthropology and traditional leaders); Situating Globality: African Agency in the Appropriation of Global Culture (with van Dijk, 2004); Truth in Politics: Rhetorical Approaches to Democratic Deliberation in Africa and beyond (with Salazar and Osha, 2004), on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Commodification: Things, agency and identities: The Social life of Things revisited (2005, with Geschiere); and Lines and rhizomes: The transcontinental element in African philosophies (2007). The year 2009 saw the publication of Expressions of traditional wisdom from Africa and beyond: An exploration in intercultural epistemology (Brussels: Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences. A major result of his recent work in comparative mythology appeared in 2010: New Perspectives on Myth (with Venbrux). In 2011 appeared: Ethnicity in Mediterranean Protohistory (with Woudhuizen, British Archaeological Reports Int. Series No. 2256). The year 2012 saw the publication of Spiritualiteit, heelmaking en transcendentie: Een intercultureel-filosofisch onderzoek bij Plato, in Afrika, en in het hedendaags Noordatlantisch gebied, vertrekkend vanuit Otto Duintjers boek Onuitputtelijk is de Waarheid, and of Before the Presocratics: Cyclicity, transformation, and element cosmology: The case of transcontinental pre- or protohistoric cosmological substrates linking Africa, Eurasia and North America. On the occasion of Zambia's 50 years of independence Wim van Binsbergen finalised and published a detailed study of kinship and marriage in a Noya village, originally drafted in Dutch (Het dorp Mabombola: Vestiging, verwantschap en huwelijk in de sociale organisatie van de Zambiaanse Nkoya, 2014) and now being translated into English of inclusion in his imminent magnum opus on the Nkoya people: Our drums are always in my mind: Nkoya culture and history, Zambia (700 pp., to appear 2017). In the most recent years, two massive collections of Wim van Binsbergen's scholarly output have been published as part of his academic testament: Vicarious reflections: African explorations in empirically-grounded intercultural philosophy (2015, 702 pp.); followed by Religion as a social construct: African, Asian, comparative and theoretical explorations -- A testament in the social science of religion (2016, 712 pp.) Finally imminent is the publication (originally scheduled for 2012!) of: Researching Power and Identity in African State Formation: Comparative Perspectives (with Doornbos, UNISA Press). Another work now undergoing final editing for publication is: Islam and society in north-western Tunisia 1800-1968, I: Kinship, spatiality, and segmentation, II: Cults of the land in the context of Islam, while (complementary to the 2012 conference) an extensive authored book on transcontinental explorations in pre- and protohistory has now been drafted. Also the long-standing project on the global ramifications of African geomantic divination has now largely been completed and the published chapters are now being integrated into a book complementary to Before the Presocratics. Wim van Binsbergen has been the Editor of Quest: An African Journal of Philosophy / Revue Africaine de Philosophie since 2002. He is a published poet/ novelist in Dutch (anthologised in the authoritative Komrij / Pfeiffer canon); his recent books of poetry include Vanuit een nieuw lichaam van verlichting (2010), Dendrogram (2012) and Verspreide gedichten (2015). Since 1990 he has been a certified and practising (also e-based) sangoma diviner-healer-priest in the Southern African tradition.

Click here for a detailed log of Wim van Binsbergen's current and imminent publications and projects.

(explore the clickable links above; updated 22.1.2017 11:07)

4. Contact information
At various points in the various constituent websites, an e-mail address is given for the site owner. This address may often be obsolete. Click here for the correct current address.

5. Table of websites incorporated in the present domain:


site name

general hyperlinked and categorised list of publications, Wim van Binsbergen, 1960s-present
0 WHAT IS NEW? News on the Shikanda portal and on Wim van Binsbergen (weblog from 2002 to current date)
1 Foundations of Intercultural Philosophy
2 African religion
3 Ethnicity, identity & politics in Africa
4 Ancient models of thought: In Africa, the Ancient Near East, and Prehistory
5 Afrocentricity & Black Athena debate
6 The sangoma tradition of Southern Africa: Background and personal consultation
7 literaire teksten / literary texts
8 Kazanga: Tatashikanda's Nkoya website (formerly at: http://www.kazanga.bravehost.com/index.htm [ expired ], now finally  incorporated in the Shikanda portal)
9 Reticulum: website of the Intercontinental PhD Network on Intercultural Philosophy (discontinued due to retirement)
10 Historic Berber culture: Wim van Binsbergen's webpage on Khumiriyya (N.W. Tunisia, North Africa), late 18th - mid-20th century
11 Geomancy in Africa and world-wide: Comparative studies in history, anthropology and intercultural philosophy (webpage under construction)
12 Nederlandstalige wetenschappelijke en spirituele teksten van Wim van Binsbergen (webpage under construction)


Francistown, Botswana: Research into traditional religion, housing, urban culture and globalisation; contains both English and Dutch texts
Francistown, Botswana: Onderzoek naar traditionele religie, huisvesting, stedelijke cultuur en globalisering; bevat zowel Nederlandse als Engelse teksten


Ethnicity in Mediterranean protohistory (van Binsbergen & Woudhuizen, 2011, British Archaeological Reports International Series)


International conference: 'Rethinking Africa's transcontinental continuities in pre- and protohistory', Leiden 12-13 April 2012 -- conference to mark Wim van Binsbergen's retirement from the African Studies Centre, Leiden, after 35 years


Connections in African knowledge (2006)


Shikanda Press and Shikanda Press literair / literary )


Essays: Texts in the noman's land beyond academia / Teksten in het niemandsland voorbij het academisch bedrijf -- a new bilingual webpage established 12-2013 / een nieuwe tweetalige webpagina ingesteld 12-2013 /


Wim van Binsbergen, 2015, Vicarious Reflections: African Explorations in Empirically-Grounded Intercultural Philosophy (702 pp.)


Wim van Binsbergen, 2003, Intercultural Encounters: African and anthropological lessons in intercultural philosophy (600 pp. )


Wim van Binsbergen, 2012, Before the Presocratics: Cyclicity, transformation, and element cosmology: The case of transcontinental pre- and protohistoric cosmological substrates linking Africa, Eurasia and N. America (400 pp. )


Wim van Binsbergen, 2016, Religion as a social construct: African, Asian, comparative and theoretical excursions -- a testament in the social science of religion (712 pp.)
These sites are self-contained and each have their own 'index' page, which may also be called 'home page'. The distinct nature of each site is clear from its unique layout, background, vignettes etc. In order to move from one of these sites to the other within the present www.shikanda.net domain, you must click on the leopard vignette which appears near the top, and at the bottom, of each index/home page.

6. Current and imminent projects and publications
Since 2002,
a detailed log has been kept of the site owner's projects and publications, with extensive text links and illustrations

7. Bibliography
site owner's full bibliography (click to open it) is to provide links to all those of his publications that are incorporated in the present Shikanda domain; this process always lags behind and the site visitor is advised to check the Topicalities pages for up-to-date bibliographic information (including clickable links) for Wmi van Binsbergen's production of the last few years


the leopard theme in the background and vignette of this website reflects Wim van Binsbergen's research in progress on the global historical analysis of leopard symbolism, informing his forthcoming book The leopard's unchanging spots: Long-range comparative research as a key to enduring patterns of African agency  

page last modified: 06-04-2017 17:04:02