This chapter presents an alternative to silence and the single story with an introduction to a deeper historical vision of women and gender relations, over 205,000 years, in a region of sub-Saharan Africa that stretches from Angola in the West, through Central Africa to Tanzania, and to Mozambique in the East. It contributes to the aims of Gendering Knowledge in Africa and the African Diaspora. The chapter introduces the concept of the Bantu Matrilineal Belt as a fruitful region for researching and understanding the histories of women and gender in precolonial Africa. It intends to show by way of select examples useful ways in which scholars might imagine rethinking and reconstructing early African women and gender histories. The chapter employs five themes that include concepts that are familiar to readers such as economics, technology, religion, worldview and politics. It also considers key ideas and practices that may be less familiar, including heterarchy, matrilineality, sororal groups, brideservice and life stages.