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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Aspects of an African Constructed Environment: Language Use and the Nomadic Process
Author:Eastman, Carol M.
Year:1988
Periodical:African Languages and Cultures
Volume:1
Issue:2
Pages:107-122
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:nomads
dwellings
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1771695
Abstract:From observing nomadic Gabbra, Samburu, Turkana, and newly sedentary Boran in Kenya using and naming materials in recursively deconstructing and reconstructing their dwellings, beliefs about and meaning in living spaces may be discerned. A common set of ideas (e.g. arch, container, wall, entry, male/female side) and actions (e.g. sleeping, cooking, building, moving, having guests) are rendered discrete by the exigencies of life, available building materials, frequency of move, and lifestyle of each group. In the successive habitual actions of constructing/deconstructing domiciles, women reveal a routine action plan. This rule-governed unconscious 'placemaking' was examined by the author during fieldwork carried out in 1985. She shows that, as groups become sedentary, usual realizations of the constructed environment become functional exceptions retained in a symbolic form. In this process, women's expressive role in placemaking is being marginalized. Bibliogr., notes.
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