Contradiction and Forgetting in Yewéssey Culture
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Anthropologists are now inescapably aware of conflict, contradiction, and negotiation in even the most seemingly "traditional" socio-cultural orders. The literature on "memory" is particularly rich in illustrations of how contradictory evocations of the past undergird conflicting performances and assertions of interest in the present. This study of the traditionally nomadic Yewéssey people documents a genre of performance seldom discussed in the anthropological literature—the ritual performance of forgetting as a means of resolving intractable conflicts and cultural contradictions. This essay is written with an undergraduate or lay audience in mind and is intended to introduce anthropological comparative method, and some of its most important vocabulary, in accessible language. Questions for classroom discussion are provided at the end.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1525/tran.2001.10.2.2
Publication InfoMatory, J Lorand (2001). Contradiction and Forgetting in Yewéssey Culture. Transforming Anthropology, 10(2). pp. 2-12. 10.1525/tran.2001.10.2.2. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6502.
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Lawrence Richardson Distinguished Professor of Cultural Anthropology
Specialties Anthropology & History, Africa, African Diaspora, Transnationalism, Social Theory Research Summary Anthropology of religion, of ethnicity, of education and of social theory; history and theory of anthropology; African and African-inspired religions around the Atlantic perimeter; ethnic diversity in the African-descended population of the US; tertiary education as a culture; gender, religion and politics; transnationalis