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7 - A Distant Episode: Religion and Belief in Moroccan Ethnography

Afterword by Kevin Dwyer Edited by Davi Indiana University Press ePub

Religion and Belief in Moroccan Ethnography


It was a bright June day in Fes, with perfect blue skies, just before the heat of summer would lie on the Ville Nouvelle1 like an unquiet conscience. Today my Moroccan mother-in-law, Jamila, had been promising to take me to the tomb of Sidi Bou Ghalib in the medina. For weeks I had been interviewing medical doctors, herbalists, midwives, and women about reproduction, but this would be my first visit to the tomb of a saint known for his baraka (the spiritual power a dead person once possessed) and his abilities to heal those who could not have children. My romantic preconceptions about saints' tombs, known locally as marabouts or sayyids, had begun in my first days in Morocco as an undergraduate, when I can remember being enchanted with the white-domed tombs rushing past the window of my train compartment: round, alien, and mysterious against flat landscapes of winter wheat. Over the years I variously imagined them to be places of magic, of sources of religious power and influence for women, or of local resistance to the homogenizing influences of global Islam. Other people must not have been immune to their beauty either: the Editions Lif postcards that used to be ubiquitous in Moroccan tabac shops frequently sold pictures of the tombs, and I had my own collection of postcards, which I tacked up on various refrigerators during my graduate school days to remind myself of what lay “out there” still waiting to be researched. Yet although I had timidly tiptoed around a tomb near a village outside of Tata, where a Peace Corps friend was based, I had never focused directly on these tombs in my research. I had done related work: after college, I spent a year on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship trailing various Sufi groups through Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Senegal, and Morocco, and I certainly saw plenty of saints' tombs during this time, but none of them ever lived up to what I speculated must be happening in the fictional tomb of my imagination.

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1 Introduction: Race and Violence in Brazil and Its Navy

Zachary R. Morgan Indiana University Press ePub

Because Uncle Tom would not take vengeance into his own hands, he was not a hero for me. Heroes, as far as I could then see, were white, and not merely because of the movies but because of the land in which I lived, of which movies were simply a reflection: I despised and feared those heroes because they did take vengeance into their own hands. They thought that vengeance was theirs to take.

JAMES BALDWIN, The Devil Finds Work, 1976

WHAT DID IT MEAN FOR BRAZIL WHEN A GROUP OF MEN, overwhelmingly poor Afro-Brazilians, violently rose up and demanded their right to citizenship? For generations, Brazilian sailors were pressed into service and forced to work under the direct threat of the lash. But then, at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, they seized the navy’s battleships and held hostage Brazil’s capital city of Rio de Janeiro. These sailors, overwhelmingly Afro-Brazilians, demanded that their white officers stop “the slavery that is practiced in the Brazilian navy.”1 They staked a claim for citizenship and rights that should have resonated throughout the Atlantic; yet the story of the Revolta da Chibata (Revolt of the Lash) remains largely untold and has been until very recently, even for most Brazilians, forgotten.

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2 Heritage Folk Costume in Sweden

Pravina Shukla Indiana University Press ePub

FOLK COSTUMES IN EUROPE MATERIALIZE CULTURAL PRIDE AND resistance in the face of globalizing homogenization. Once worn as daily dress, beautiful garments have become symbols of heritage in many parts of Europe, particularly in the northwestern and eastern nations of the continent.1 Traditions of folk costume are especially robust in Scandinavia, with Norway and Sweden as the prime locations for exuberant displays of elaborate clothing, generally marked regionally by form, color, and motif.

Afro-Brazilian carnival costumes developed out of a historic clash of cultures in a new locale, a place of imperialistic expansion, colonialism, slavery, and prejudice. By contrast, regional costumes in Sweden are set comfortably in place. Their journey has carried them forward in time, most notably in the parish of Leksand in the province of Dalarna, which has become the core of Swedish resistance and preservation of folk costume. The goal has been the maintenance of heritage through the purposeful acts of committed individuals: artists, museum professionals, church authorities, craft teachers, musicians, and local culture brokers. Through willed actions, the costume communicates aesthetics, identity, and community. The tradition of Swedish folk costume in Leksand is spearheaded by one extraordinary individual: Kersti Jobs-Björklöf. In this chapter Kersti teaches us about her famous costume: white linen blouse, laced bodice, wool skirt, and an assortment of colorful aprons.

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1 Women Living with HIV

Anna Aulette-Root Indiana University Press ePub

This Book is about women living on the margins. Already pushed to the edges by systems of inequality and oppression through global politics, social class, racism, and gender injustice, they are forced even further from the center by their HIV-positive status. This book is also about women who have devised strategies to bring themselves back to “normal” and to challenge what is considered normal. The women whose voices we hear in the text are living with HIV in Cape Town, South Africa, an area hard hit by the HIV pandemic. By listening to their stories we are made aware of new ways to think about HIV, and, most importantly, we learn lessons that are essential for understanding HIV and determining effective routes to its demise.

At the February 2010 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego, research fellow Dr. Brian Williams, of the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modeling and Analysis in Cape Town, announced that if we could aggressively distribute antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) to everyone who is HIV positive, we could stop the virus from spreading and eventually eliminate it from the globe. ARVs reduce the viral load, the amount of HIV detectable in blood, so dramatically that those who are HIV positive become nearly noninfectious (BBC, 2010). This is a bold and apparently valid idea, but it is a goal that cannot be met if we do not take into consideration the social and political character of the human community, perhaps especially the factor of gender injustice.

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IV. Birds from the Forest Margins

Ricardo Rozzi and collaborators University of North Texas Press PDF

CD 1 / Track 24

In the forests of southern Chile and Argentina, inhabits a Chilean Pigeon or Kono, an endemic pigeon larger than the domestic one so common in the world’s cities. Kono has a beautiful, reddish-chestnut coloration, orange eyes, and an elegant white band at the nape of the neck with a metallic green patch below. It is gregarious, and lives in flocks high in the trees where they eat fleshy fruits like the peumo (Cryptocaria alba), the lingue (Persea lingue), the Winter’s Bark (Drimys winteri) or the olivillo

(Aextoxicon punctatum). They nest in the trees, constructing small platforms of small, dry sticks, where they incubate and then feed their chicks with a kind of “milk” from the digested seeds of fruit.




Chilean Pigeon

Hidden in the foliage of the trees, the pigeons emit their sonorous cooing that so typifies the austral forests—the sound was heard by Spanish conquistadors and caused them to believe that kono was the most abundant bird. Places such as Conumo (37º16’S; 73º14’W) in the mountains near Arauco, and the town of Pucón (39º15’S; 71º58’W) on the shores of Villarrica Lake express with their names of

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