rss_2.0Ethnologia Actualis FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Ethnologia Actualis Actualis Feed of Story: An Otomi Woman from Hidalgo in Mexico (1886-1974)<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We present the life dynamics of an indigenous woman. Those dynamics, which took place mainly in the post-revolutionary era, have been taken from life stories. They have been built among fragments of memories and empty documentaries. The analysis approaches the sociocultural conditions of a region where ancestral knowledge was vital for family subsistence. This approach allows us to consider the actors, Ángela Tolentino and other <italic>Otomí-Tepehua</italic> [geographic and cultural region from Hidalgo State, Mexico] women natives of the state of Hidalgo, as products of history. We highlight decisive actions to make her life a unique story as an actor in her own social space. Those actions are the formation of a family without the guardianship and protection of a father, a brother, or a husband; becoming the sole economic provider of her children; migrating to experience the gradual abandonment of previous knowledge (including her mother tongue, which gradually became extinct among her descendants); and to live in a political context that fought for the assimilation of indigenous culture because it was considered as a restraint for the development of the country. We recover memories of her life from her descendants, such as experiences and discussions made while walking and traveling from one <italic>ranchería</italic> [small rural settlement] to another, far from rural and urban centers. In this sense, we consider her as the producer of her own story. This is how to interweave the image of an <italic>Otomí</italic>-speaking indigenous woman at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue People of the So-called New World and the Practice of Othering in Czech Written Sources of the 16th Century<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article deals with the issue of representation and the practice of <italic>othering</italic> of the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas – the so-called Indians – in selected Czech written sources from the 16th century. Using the concept this/that/the other by literary historian John Barrell, it examines how the practices of <italic>othering</italic>, i.e., the production of signs of difference, are produced in analysed sources and identifies key discourses for their formation.</p> <p>Applying the concept to concrete textual passages, the article explores its benefits as a tool in textual analysis. It enables to categorise different types of otherness, among which it identifies the interrelationships, and the way power is distributed. <italic>Othering</italic> is produced through discourses of civilization and barbarism, religious discourse, and the discourse of power. Textual discourses are based on existing European literary production, strongly dominated by Christian discourse and the resulting Eurocentric interpretation of the world. European ideas about society and its organization are also transmitted to the New World.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Identity - a Done Deal? Understanding the Contemporary Consolidation of Taiwanese Identity<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Taiwanese identity has been the subject of much scholarly inquiry in recent decades. The rapidly changing political, social and international environment around Taiwan has made the question of what it means to be Taiwanese both more complex (in terms of aspirations for the future of Taiwan) and simple (that being Taiwanese is different from being Chinese). The purpose of this study is to explore the intricacies of Taiwanese identity in the face of recent developments such as changes in education, shifting attitudes towards China as a result of ongoing tensions between Taiwan and the mainland. The study posits that the previously ambiguous Taiwanese identity, which might have been a subject of contention during the 1990s, has now become a distinct and unified construct. This can be attributed to the maturation of Taiwanese society following decades of martial law, leading to a clear consensus among the majority of Taiwanese citizens that they do not wish to be absorbed by the People’s Republic of China. In order to understand the Taiwanese identity, it is essential to examine the collective aspirations and hopes of the Taiwanese population for the future of their nation. This can be seen through the active involvement of individuals in various civic movements and volunteer initiatives. The way in which the Taiwanese people envision their society, government, and place in the world is heavily influenced by their past and present experiences.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Report: Student conference KSA FF UPOL Conference Report“We are Indians, Whores and Lesbians, Revolted and Twined Together.” Decolonial Feminism in Bolivia<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of the text is to analyse contemporary Bolivian decolonial feminism using Cusicanquiʼs model of cultural hybridity. Cusicanqui formulated the concept of chʼixi as an analytical tool for theorizing about the mixing of cultures that maintain distinct aspects but enter a mutual creative dialogue and create new qualities through it. In my analysis, I focus on two streams of Bolivian decolonial feminism, represented by Mujeres Creando and Mujeres Creando Comunidad movements. First, I describe historical roots of Bolivian decolonial feminism with an emphasis on the influence of anarchist ideas both on the formation of the Bolivian workersʼ movement and on strategies and practices of social and indigenous movements at the turn of the millennium. In the following discussion I analyse the ideologies and strategies of Mujeres Creando and Mujeres Creando Comunidad movements using Cusicanquiʼs model of hybridity. I conclude that both movements construct a subversive network of alternative knowledge and practices, within which seemingly contradictory experiences can coexist harmoniously and create a new, non-dichotomous qualities. According to Cusicanqui, these chʼixi spaces are the source of a new, emerging epistemology based on which a radical vision of decolonised modernity can be formulated.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Review: Religions in Contemporary Africa Bedouin Lifestyle and Identity Concept in the Conditions of the Social and Cultural Changes of the 21st Century<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Since the beginning of the last century, there has been an increase in the number of Bedouins who prefer a settled way of life. As a result, their daily life is gradually changing, and clan and tribal ties are slowly being broken. Settled Bedouins born into a nomadic family strive to continue to apply the principles of Bedouin ethics and viable old traditions in the new environment, as they are deeply rooted in them from an early age. However, some traditions of their ancestors are gradually changing and being modified due to new socio-cultural and economic conditions. On the other hand, there are traditions that continue to survive, although Bedouins now must cope with rapid technological progress. Bedouin families tend to settle and adapt their lifestyles to the conditions of the 21st century. Bedouins are proud of their origins and even in the conditions of a settled way of life they try to keep their traditions. This study analyzes the way of life and the identity of Arab nomads in the process of social and cultural changes. It focuses on Bedouin communities living in the Syrian Desert. In the last decade, however, it has been the wars in the Middle East that have pushed the Bedouins out of their natural environment, restricting the application of their cultural traditions in everyday life. This study builds on previous findings of repeated field research stays in the Syrian Desert where the first author lived among Bedouin families with whom he currently maintains virtual contact as the war situation interrupted further planned research stays.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue A Survival Strategy among the Gweno People during the Early Colonial Period in Tanganyika<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Traditions and customs carry socio-cultural and economic values of the community where they are practised. Infanticide was a traditional practice among the Gweno people in Kilimanjaro, northern Tanzania. This practice had socio-cultural, political, and economic significance which persisted. As a global phenomenon, infanticide has attracted enormous scholarship from different disciplines covering mostly its practice, its associated beliefs, and its eradication campaigns. Despite the popularity of infanticide practices among the Gweno people, particularly during the early colonial period, little has been revealed and documented on how it was practised, associated beliefs and the socio-cultural, political, and economic significance it carried in this community. Benefitting from research findings collected in 2015 through historical and ethnological methods such as oral traditions, interviews, archival materials, and anthropological accounts, this paper uncovers the socio-cultural, political, and economic grounds of infanticide practices among the Gweno people. The paper is built on the argument that infanticide practices served as cultural, socio-political, and economic survival strategy of the Gweno people.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Strategies and Grassroots Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic in Urban Settings of Zambia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper focuses on the systemic and grassroots response to the COVID-19 health crisis in the urban settings of Zambia. The research examines the cooperative strategies of local actors – traditional health practitioners, pastors and prophets of Pentecostal and Spirit-type churches and actors of non-governmental and state health organizations in addressing the COVID-19 crisis in Zambian urban settings of Lusaka and Livingstone. The paper explores the levels of perception and conceptualization of the disease held by local community authorities (cultural brokers) and explains how they may differ from state-orchestrated medical explanations and recommendations. The authors argue that local cultural epistemologies, which are activated in times of crisis, can be seen as co-productive strategies in the systemic and executive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue “Nets and Anchors” on the Indian Community in Mwanza City (Tanzania): Ethnographic Challenges and Encounters<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The use of “nets and anchors” framework requires a researcher to get a broad perspective of life in the case-study area through everyday observations and conversations with its residents before attempting an in-depth perspective of life as it is narrated by the key respondents of community groups. This framework was adopted in a study conducted among the Indians living in Mwanza City, Tanzania during the period of COVID-19 pandemic. This paper discusses the challenges encountered when conducting ethnographic research on the socio-cultural practices of Indians in Mwanza. The paper points out that COVID-19 pandemic among other factors hindered the process of collecting data through participant observation and interviews on the Indian community in Mwanza City.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Challenges for Social Sciences and Humanities in Africa of COVID-19 News in Font-Page Headlines of Standard (Hardcore) Swahili Newspapers in Tanzania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>COVID-19 pandemic rampaged the health of the world population for a very short period, from December 2019 to-date. Since the pandemic attacked each nation, in this article I discuss the representation of COVID-19 information in the headlines of front pages in “Habarileo”, “Mwananchi” and “Uhuru” newspapers circulated in Tanzania. Much of the information entrench transmission and prevention, as most of the verbs and nouns frame them. The contents of the headlines reinforce the political matters surrounding the disease, health and medication for the pandemic and economic turmoil emerging due to COVID-19 in Tanzania. The conclusion is that the pandemic had been entrenched in the Swahili society of Tanzania in that utility of Swahili terms have become part of the culture of the nation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of in Modernising Wataturu Community in Igunga from the Early 1970s to the the Mid-1980s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Tanzania’s Rural Development Policy which encompassed, among other things, establishment of well-planned <italic>Ujamaa</italic> villages across the country, was a nation-wide agenda implemented immediately after the Arusha Declaration of 1967. The Arusha declaration marked the actual beginning of <italic>Ujamaa,</italic> a socio-economic policy based on egalitarian principles of traditional African societies practiced in Tanzania from 1967 to the mid-1980s. Contrary to government’s intentions, the Wataturu negatively responded to this programme since it conflicted with their socio-cultural set-up. Scholarships on this subject converge on the failure and success of the programme, its ecological impact as well as land disputes and social unrest resulting from the implementation of the policy. Yet, little is known about the extent to which the socio-cultural life, perceptions, beliefs, and cattle economy determined the responses, participation and mobilization among the Wataturu (<italic>brediga</italic>) - Datooga of Igunga. This paper exploits ethno-historical accounts from Igunga district and archival materials collected as part of a PhD project to fill this gap. The paper establishes that modernisation through the resettlement scheme and establishment of <italic>Ujamaa</italic> villages were never a reality for the Wataturu who uphold their traditional socio-cultural set-up with great pride.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Language of the Public Spaces in Tanzanian Universities during the COVID-19 Pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The language of public space in Tanzania is increasingly reported to be dominated by English in the bottom-up signage for maintaining the higher status quo. At the same time, the utility of Kiswahili predominates for the top-down signposts that aim to pass information to the public quickly. While the literature shows the utility of Kiswahili is skewed towards the communication intended message, the COVID-19 situation expanded this utility in the public universities in the country. The expression of statements that select Kiswahili words is primarily associated with a warning (e.g., <italic>tafadhari nawa mikono</italic> 'please wash hands') and safety (<italic>Tujilinde</italic> 'Let us protect ourselves). Therefore, English words are not featured in the signposts, except for the statement produced by manufacturers of the handwashing machines. Apart from texts, visual pictures are provided in the COVID-19 signposts to reinforce the text message.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Review: The Conquest of the African Mind: History, Colonial Racism, and Education in Senegal and French West Africa Control: Challenges and Responses of Muslims in Tanzania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>COVID-19 in Tanzania was both a health and religious puzzle. The government insisted all citizens regardless of their religious affiliations to join hands in fighting the disease through prayers and by adherence to the health measures. Muslims in Tanzania complied with the disease control measures instituted by the government. These measures in turn affected their prayers and fasting rituals. In this context, Muslims turned to religious texts and scholarly interpretations to seek for guidance and clarification (fatwa) on how to practice Islam under COVID-19 situation. Consequently, this shaped Muslims’ perceptions and responses towards the pandemic. This article analyses challenges of COVID-19 to Muslim rituals and the role of religion in shaping their responses during the first four months of the onset of COVID-19 in Tanzania. The article uses online publications, religious teaching provided through social media, interviews and personal observation in Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro regions. The article argues that the role played by Islamic religion in understanding COVID-19 pandemic justifies the importance of involving faith-based communities in solving health related problems.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Monsters of Vengeance: Comparing Goddesses in Ancient Greece and Hindu India<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Monsters that act “automatically,” without thought or conscious awareness, constitute a category whose primary exemplar in American culture is the zombie. However, automaticity can be found in other realizations of the monstrous, including in ancient Greece and contemporary India. This paper compares the two. In Greece, the beings known as Eryines hunt and attack people who are guilty of crimes against members of their own kin group. One of the best examples is Orestes, whom the Erinyes pursue relentlessly because he killed his own mother, Clytemnestra. On the southeastern coast of India, among members of the Jalari fishing caste, there is a spirit called Sati Polalmma, who, like the Erinyes, attacks those who have broken oaths made to kin, especially oaths that concern sexual fidelity. The Erinyes and Sati Polamma are chthonic beings, associated with the earth, and are said to predate the patriarchal order of male deities. The paper explores automatic action as a characteristic of one category of the monstrous.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Extraordinary, Ambiguous and Unsettling Appetites and Hungry Subjects: Addicts, the Undead, and the Long Arc of Theory in Western Social Science<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper explores the Western philosophical idea of “appetites” through the lens of “addiction.” I begin with a brief ethnographic description of a woman whose subjectivity seems to emerge only in the play of her unmanageable desire for various pharmaceuticals. In other words, she is a self-described “addict.” I then look at the relationships between addicts and the undead, especially vampires and zombies, who are seemingly enslaved to their appetites. This leads me to an analysis of the centrality of what I am calling “recursive need satisfaction” in much of Western (especially Anglophone and Francophone) Social Theory that, I argue, relies on a particular understanding of “appetite” in establishing the political-economic subjectivity that lies at the heart of market-oriented state. This same understanding also pushes this formation in a specific historical direction of increasing growth and organisational and technological complexity. As a globalised Western society in the last few decades has become ever more anxious of its place in the world, its impact on various interdependent systems, and the validity of the <italic>grand récits</italic> that served as its charter, such growth and complexity have emerged as objects of anxiety, even apocalyptic fear, and the terms “addict” and “addiction” have seemed ever more useful for modelling these concerns. I end with some reflections on how we use both zombies and addicts to think through some of the same issues of unchecked and damaging consumption.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrueý Execír. Historická monografia špecifickej mestskej štvrte [Execír in Trnava. Historical Monograph of a Specific Urban District]