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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dangerous Pursuits: Hunter Associations (Donzo ton) and National Politics in Cote d'Ivoire
Author:Bassett, Thomas J.ISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
Subjects:political conditions
secret societies
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3556871
Abstract:This article examines the resurgence of hunter associations ('donzo ton') in Côte d'Ivoire during the 1990s in the context of game depletion, rising crime rates, and a dysfunctional State. Initiated hunters ('donzow') are widely respected by the general public for their mystical powers and potent amulets which protect them from malevolent forces in the natural and social worlds. The 'donzow''s success in reducing crime in northern rural areas led to an expansion of the 'donzo ton' to the national level, as 'donzow' were increasingly employed as private security guards in the country's major cities. The government and political parties also employed 'donzow' to complement the police and gendarmes in maintaining order during the 1995 presidential elections. The attempt by politicians to manipulate the 'donzo ton' during re-election campaigns was frustrated by the decentralized structure of the hunters' organization and the diversity of its membership. Fearing that the 'donzo ton' would become a politically destabilizing force, successive governments have attempted to restrict its activities to the northern savanna region. The policy of containing the 'donzo ton' to its so-called 'original cultural hearth' is discussed in the framework of the national cultural identity ideology of 'ivoirité' and its xenophobic political manifestations around the 2000 presidential elections. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]