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Ethnologia Actualis
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.24
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1336-569X - ISSN (Online) 1339-7877
Published by Sciendo Homepage  [389 journals]
  • COVID-19 Control: Challenges and Responses of Muslims in Tanzania

    • Abstract: 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.
      PubDate: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • Introduction: Challenges for Social Sciences and Humanities in Africa

    • PubDate: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • Failure of in Modernising Wataturu Community in Igunga from the Early
           1970s to the the Mid-1980s

    • Abstract: Tanzania’s Rural Development Policy which encompassed, among other things, establishment of well-planned Ujamaa 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 Ujamaa, 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 (brediga) - 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 Ujamaa villages were never a reality for the Wataturu who uphold their traditional socio-cultural set-up with great pride.
      PubDate: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • The “Nets and Anchors” on the Indian Community in Mwanza City
           (Tanzania): Ethnographic Challenges and Encounters

    • Abstract: 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.
      PubDate: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • Co-Productive Strategies and Grassroots Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic in
           Urban Settings of Zambia

    • Abstract: 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.
      PubDate: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • Framing of COVID-19 News in Font-Page Headlines of Standard (Hardcore)
           Swahili Newspapers in Tanzania

    • Abstract: 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.
      PubDate: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • Book Review: The Conquest of the African Mind: History, Colonial Racism,
           and Education in Senegal and French West Africa

    • PubDate: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • The Language of the Public Spaces in Tanzanian Universities during the
           COVID-19 Pandemic

    • Abstract: 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., tafadhari nawa mikono 'please wash hands') and safety (Tujilinde '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.
      PubDate: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • “With All The Ghosts that Haunt the Park...”: Haunted
           Recreation in Brent (Ontario)

    • Abstract: When I first visited Brent, the defunct logging village, now campgrounds in the northern reaches of Algonquin Provincial Park I went searching for ghost stories. Often described as a “ghost town,” Brent has been occupied since the earliest days of logging in the Ottawa River/Kiji Sibi Valley and holds an important place in the oral history of the Park. The village was a place where many died after violent accidents during the timber rush of the eighteen-hundreds, where Algonquin Anishinaabe Peoples had camped and likely held a village of their own prior to colonization. Brent was once a bustling community, the former site of the Kish-Kaduk Lodge and an important railway stopover during the First World War. Further, Brent was home to the last year round resident of the Park. Mr. Adam Pitts, known to many local cottagers as the “Mayor” passed away in his home in 1998 one year after the railroad tracks were removed by the Canadian National Railway Company and the electricity was shut off. Now his cottage is a ruin some claim to be haunted by the Mayor’s restless ghost. And there are other ghost stories I heard in Brent that haunt the edges of the colonial imagination, stalking unwary travellers as they meander through what they sometimes assume to be “pristine wilderness.” Common patterns of self-apprehension and identity formation associated with tourism and heritage management in Algonquin Park are imbued with nationalist value through a prismatic complex of cultural appropriation, the denial of complicity in colonial violence, and the contingent obfuscation of Indigenous presence and persistence in the area, a process I call haunted recreation. Countering this complex is critical for working past the historical and intergenerational trauma associated with Canadian settler-colonialism and the contemporary inequities of Canadian society.
      PubDate: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Introduction: Extraordinary, Ambiguous and Unsettling

    • PubDate: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • A Monstrous Morality: and their Relatives as Enforcers of Social Control

    • Abstract: The tzitzimime – as reflected in central Mexican ethnohistorical sources and precolumbian imagery – represent a diverse array of mostly female divinities associated with fertility. Under Spanish influence, they were re-conceptualized as malevolent, mostly male agents of the Christian devil. Related beings attested elsewhere, especially in the ethnography of eastern Mesoamerica, are distinctly monstrous. They are particularly salient in “wild” contexts, outside the realm of culture, and serve as enforcers of social norms. This paper traces the development of these creatures from their quasi-monstrous tzitzimime forbears and considers how they have been – and continue to be – conceptualized in relation to sociopolitical differences in their cultural contexts.
      PubDate: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Monsters, Disaster, and Organic Balance: Digesting History Through Oral

    • Abstract: This paper examines “Coyote, Whirlwind, and Ravine,” a long tale told in the Northern Paiute language by McDermitt storyteller Pete Snapp and recorded by folklorist Sven Liljeblad in the early 1960’s. It weaves in traditional episodes of western Numic folklore to narrate the history of the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone community as witnessed by an elder born shortly after the beginning of the colonization of this area of the Northwestern Great Basin in the western United States. This paper explores how the bodies of certain characters who emanate from landscape, mainly monsters, are tools for the narrative expression of social change, for the telling of history, and the expression of Indigenous spiritual frameworks. It places the experience of the Indigenous social body, embodied by Coyote, through the grinds of the ultra-material Ravine and confronts it to ethereal nefarious powers. Poetics of materiality applied to the body of Coyote operate a structural transformation. Mythical turmoil expresses social experiences and change in the colonial context, but also makes manifest the transformation of the social body that result in the contemporary form of the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone community.
      PubDate: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Automated Monsters of Vengeance: Comparing Goddesses in Ancient Greece and
           Hindu India

    • Abstract: 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.
      PubDate: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Trnavský Execír. Historická monografia špecifickej mestskej štvrte
           [Execír in Trnava. Historical Monograph of a Specific Urban District]

    • PubDate: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Growing Appetites and Hungry Subjects: Addicts, the Undead, and the Long
           Arc of Theory in Western Social Science

    • Abstract: 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 grand récits 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.
      PubDate: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Of Anthropophagy and Anthropology: Monsters and Men in and Northwest Coast
           Myth and Ritual

    • Abstract: Monsters can be divided into two categories: human-like and non-human. Non-human monsters tend to be chthonic beings that are associated with the earth and natural forces. Humanoid monsters represent metaphorical transformations of humanity itself, and as such reveal basic cultural values, such as sociability, while displaying their opposite. Humanoid monsters are the more terrifying, precisely because we recognize ourselves in them, although in an uncanny refraction. In the epic poem Beowulf and in myth and ritual of the Kwakiutl and Heiltsuk cultures of the Northwest Coast, manlike monsters play a central role.
      PubDate: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Maíz sólo se come: Contemporary agriculture in Uaxactún

    • Abstract: This paper aims to explore agriculture in modern-day Uaxactún, Petén, Guatemala. The results are based on two types of data – spatial and anthropological. Spatial data are represented in the visualization of recent agricultural features (Milpas) visualized from orthophoto maps, processed in QGIS 3.10.1. Anthropological data were obtained during July and August 2019 in the Uaxactún, as a part of the Regional Archaeological Project of Uaxactún (Proyecto arqueológico regional Uaxactún – PARU). 18 respondents had taken part in the research. The research was conducted by semi-structured interviews and participant observation. To list finds – the average Milpa dimension was described, most interesting crops and agricultural techniques were described, and a model of the local agricultural year was provided. The key find is that, even if one could interpret recent Uaxactún agriculture as traditional, the drives and motivations of the farmers are modern, capitalistic, and monetary oriented.
      PubDate: Tue, 05 Oct 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Taiwanese Identity – Past Factors and Present Circumstances

    • Abstract: Taiwan is an island that off the coast of China. To say that Taiwan is a country is to offend the Communist People’s Republic of China which claims sovereignty over the island and markets it to the world as a “renegade province” which must be re-united with the mainland, by force, if necessary. For people who know very little about Taiwan and its big neighbour across the Taiwan Strait this may even sound convincing, but the truth is more complex. In 1949 the nationalist government (Kuomintang or KMT) having lost the Chinese Civil War retreated from the mainland; the communists have never ruled the island.The settling of the Republic of China’s government in Taiwan and the era of “White Terror” was another one in a series of historical events that were fundamental in forming the modern Taiwanese identity. Whatever the proponents of “one China” claim, the truth of the matter is that there is a shift in attitudes of the inhabitants of Taiwan in how they feel about themselves (Taiwanese, Chinese or both). This is a crucial fact that will have to be acknowledged in the cross-strait relations. The identity argument as such, is independent of any historical claims. And this Taiwanese identity has been evolving and will continue to do so, shaped by the past and the most recent events like the Hong Kong protests, the pandemic, politics and the military aggression and intimidation by the People’s Republic of China. This article will examine these factors in turn.
      PubDate: Tue, 05 Oct 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Book review: Inequalities and Conflicts in Modern and Contemporary African
           History: A Comparative Perspective

    • PubDate: Tue, 05 Oct 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Public Health Policies in the Akyem Abuakwa of Ghana (1850-1957)

    • Abstract: Akyem Abuakwa is one of the largest states of the Akan ethnic group in Ghana. Notwithstanding its size and important contribution to Ghana’s development, historians have paid little attention in doing academic research on the health history of the people. Using a qualitative method of research, this paper does a historical study on public health policies in Akyem Abuakwa from the 1850s to 1957. We utilised documentary and non-documentary sources to discuss the various public health policies implemented in Akyem Abuakwa from the pre-colonial era to the colonial era. We examined the impact of the policies on the people of Akyem Abuakwa and the various challenges faced by the British colonial administration in their quest to implement public health policies.
      PubDate: Tue, 05 Oct 2021 00:00:00 GMT
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