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The cultures of the native peoples of Africa are best viewed through the lens of “history from below,” an approach that emphasizes the microhistory of each region as essential to an understanding of global history. For both African and non-European peoples, scholarly accounts of developments, transformations, and civilizations before the Age of Exploration (from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century) and of encounters with Europeans are significant in debunking stereotypes and negative notions about indigenous people. The entries in this section provide a clear sense of the cultures, histories, and current status of the native peoples of Africa, pointing the way to further avenues of exploration.