Memories of the Slave Trade: Ritual and the Historical Imagination in Sierra Leone

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University of Chicago Press, 8 de abr de 2002 - 312 páginas
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How is the slave trade remembered in West Africa? In a work that challenges recurring claims that Africans felt (and still feel) no sense of moral responsibility concerning the sale of slaves, Rosalind Shaw traces memories of the slave trade in Temne-speaking communities in Sierra Leone. While the slave-trading past is rarely remembered in explicit verbal accounts, it is often made vividly present in such forms as rogue spirits, ritual specialists' visions, and the imagery of divination techniques.

Drawing on extensive fieldwork and archival research, Shaw argues that memories of the slave trade have shaped (and been reshaped by) experiences of colonialism, postcolonialism, and the country's ten-year rebel war. Thus money and commodities, for instance, are often linked to an invisible city of witches whose affluence was built on the theft of human lives. These ritual and visionary memories make hitherto invisible realities manifest, forming a prism through which past and present mutually configure each other.
 

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Conteúdo

The Atlanticizing of Sierra Leone
25
Spirit Memoryscape
46
Roads to Life Roads to Death
70
Diviners Knowledge Diviners Lives
103
A Thing under the Water
149
The Hidden Ritual Process
170
The Production of WitchcraftWitchcraft as Production
201
Cannibal Transformations Experiencing Colonialism
225
The Politician and the Diviner
247
Remembering Modernity
263
Notes
269
Bibliography
285
mtec301
301
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Sobre o autor (2002)

Rosalind Shaw is an associate professor of sociocultural anthropology at Tufts University. She is coeditor of Syncretism/Anti-Syncretism: The Politics of Religious Synthesis and Dreaming, Religion and Society in Africa.

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