It is always dangerous to make generalizations about the people and cultures of sub-Saharan Africa, yet it is necessary to engage in some of this for our purposes. Most of the generalizations attributed to Africa that follow in fact pertain to the Niger-Congo ethnolinguistic group (Green 1980:490-491). This is the numerically largest and geographically most widespread group in Africa, covering most of sub-Saharan Africa except for the Horn and central portions of the Sudan. The Niger-Congo grouping relates the Bantu-speaking peoples of the Congo basin and southeast Africa historically and culturally to the dense population of West Africa, from which area the former group migrated, beginning a few centuries before Christ. Noting the common heritage, historian E. Murphy observes, "The Bantu-speaking peoples share with their West African cousins common fundamental attitudes about God, religion, kinship, the nature of the world, and life" (1972:179).