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Title: Two Changing Institutions in Bassari Society: Descent Groups and the Age-Grade System
Authors: YAMADA, Shigechika
Keywords: Age-grade system
Descent group
Issue Date: Apr-2007
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African Study Monographs
Volume: 28
Issue: 1
Start page: 1
End page: 31
Abstract: Two institutions relate Bassari cultivators of the Senegal-Guinea border area to one another: the descent group and the age-grade system. Today, these two institutions appear to be changing. The age-grade system does not seem to be functioning properly. Many Bassari consider age-grade activities to be useless, and age-grade-based dances have decreased in number. Some terms specific to the age-grade system are now also used outside the system. Words usually used between people initiated in the same year may now be used between people who have no connection through age-grade initiation. This paper examines changes in descent groups and the age-grade system in Bassari society. After describing these institutions, I examine how they have changed and the meaning of these changes. In doing so, I argue that personal relationships are changing in accordance with institutional changes in Bassari society.
DOI: 10.14989/68256
Appears in Collections:Vol.28 No.1

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