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This article describes Timbuktu manuscript condition. Timbuktu, Mali is the legendary city founded as a commercial centre in West Africa nine hundred years ago. Dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries, the ancient manuscripts presented in this article cover every aspect of human endeavour and are indicative of the high level of civilization attained by West Africans during the Middle Ages and the pre-colonial period. The manuscripts are written in various styles of the Arabic script. These styles were developed in Timbuktu and the surrounding regions of Mali and West Africa. The chain of the manuscript redraws the creation process of the manuscripts in the respect of the materials, which make it up. The article suggests that the rehabilitation of the workshops of the scribes for the conservation and the restoration of the manuscripts.
Content available remote Tkaniny pagne jako kulturowe dziedzictwo mieszkancow Togo
tom 95
The paper discusses the role of print cloth in the life of West Africans, especially in Lomé, the capital of Togo. First, it describes the Asian and European origins of print cloth and its expansion in West Africa. While the technical production is European in origin, the symbols and ornaments are entirely African. This kind of cloth is of major importance for social life in Togo and it is highly valued. Every pattern has its name, which gives the cloth a symbolic significance. The colour of print cloth is sometimes prescribed for certain ritual and social occasions. The second part of the paper concerns the group of textile tradeswomen, called „Nana-Benz” in Lomé. Up to the 1980s they controlled the whole trade of wax prints from Europe. The last part presents the use of textile prints in fashion.
This article explores issues of knowledge production, its limits, and uncertainty and suspicion in ethnographic field research through the lens of what anthropologists conventionally call “sorcery” beliefs and practices involving a love target, its treatment, and its aftermath of “shapeshifting”, occurring in the social context of gossip, rumour, and suspicion among the Tuareg, sometimes called Kel Tamajaq after their language, in Niger, West Africa. Sorcery, I show, provides a useful lens for exploring how gossip and rumour can reveal social critiques and ways in which a crisis is handled. In these processes, matters of “truth” and “ignorance” are complex, thereby allowing scope for broader discussion of ontology. The focus is on an unexpected, serendipitous field encounter with sorcery similar, though not identical to the re-directing of power of Islamic objects, words, and writing in some other African Muslim communities, with emotions awakened and then cast away in a puzzling outcome. The analysis explores how far and in what ways sorcery and responses to it, like conspiracy theories, allow the creation of multiple narratives about political tensions. This analysis is inspired by, but also hopefully builds on approaches to ontological ambiguity and uncertainty and approaches to the role of gossip and rumour in reviewing “reality” from different sense modalities and philosophical assumptions. The challenge here is to interpret events and avoid, or at least minimize imposing the observer’s own concepts of “truth” onto endogenous knowledge and its local expressions.
The contemporary socioeconomic upheavals push societies to make a new link between the local situations and the global situations without crossing by the stage formerly necessary of the national. There are two spatial dimensions that we find perfectly in the border zones at the same time limit space in the world of States but opening space in the globalized system. Africa is a continent where the border spaces play this economic and social role more than politics. Can the socioeconomic activity carry politics? The recomposition of the cross-border public action essentially in the field of the town and country planning could be the federative element missing to the cross-border territorialization, and, more, the transformation of the State.
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