Most descriptions of social life in rural communities in Central Africa contain some references to hunters or hunting practices. Despite the decimation of some wildlife species by rinderpest at the turn of the last century, wildlife continued plentiful in many regions and hunting and trapping were part of the subsistence routines of males in rural areas during the first three decades of this century. During this period in Zambia, European administrators (Gouldsbury and Sheane 1911; Melland 1923; Hughes 1933), missionaries (Smith and Dale 1920), and itinerants (Lyell 1910; Letcher 1911) often interspersed their exploitative accounts of ‘sport hunting’ with descriptions of chants, rituals, magic and other hunting lore of their African associates. These accounts of local traditions, often colored with the latent assumptions of the time, apparently intrigued and fascinated their European readership then mentally riding the crest of colonial expansion and technological superiority. In subsequent decades, large wild mammals declined in numbers and in importance as a subsistence base in most rural areas. Yet information on hunting customs, gleaned incidentally in the pursuit of the researchers' major interests, has been a continuous feature of ethnographies written subsequently by social scientists (Richards 1939; White 1956; Turner 1957; Scudder 1962; Stefaniszyn 1964; Reynolds 1968) suggesting a widespread enthusiasm for hunting even where wildlife is no longer of consequence. These fortuitous bits of information on the subsistence hunter's world still leave many unresolved questions as to the function and frequency of these customs, the numbers and types of hunters in each community, and the nature of subsequent changes.