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Ethnography, Theory, Experiment
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How Aesthetics Shapes Politics in Mursiland, Ethiopia
Translated from French by Andrea Davoust and Wendy Ribeyrol
Foreword by Philippe Descola
346 pages, 32 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-168-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2021)
eISBN 978-1-80073-169-1 eBook
Loving cows, then killing them. The relation with cattle in Mursi country is shaped by the dichotomy between the value given to it during life and the death imposed upon it. The killing of cattle may be brief and inflicted with few words, but it is preceded by a series of intense aesthetic practices, such as body painting and adornments, colour poetics, poems and oratory art. This book investigates the link between the nurturing and killing of cattle with Mursi daily life and finds that these rituals cut across pastoralism, social organisation and politics in forming the very fabric of Mursi society.
Jean-Baptiste Eczet is a lecturer at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris where he is the Chair of Political Arts. He has been carrying out research in Ethiopia since 2008.
Subject: Anthropology (General) Cultural Studies (General) Development Studies
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