When African students arrive at an American college, one of the first questions they are asked is, "What tribe do you belong to?" The African students usually respond happily until they discover that the American idea of tribe is much different from theirs. Contemporary African tribes are just that, contemporary. Most scholars of Africa have, in fact, abandoned the term tribe as too confusing and inaccurate. They fear that if they were to use the word in the African sense, they would be understood in the American sense. Indeed, many scholars see the almost knee-jerk American association of Africa with tribe as our most salient stereotype about Africa. British administrators in the 1920s did not consider themselves to be doing violence to African political organizations. For Americans, one of the confusing aspects of modern Africa is that ordinary Africans continue to use the word tribe.