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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:When Nomads Lose Cattle: Wodaabe Negotiations of Ethnicity
Author:Loftsdottir, KristinISNI
Year:2004
Periodical:African Sociological Review (ISSN 1027-4332)
Volume:8
Issue:2
Pages:52-76
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Niger
West Africa
Subjects:ethnic identity
Bororo
migrant workers
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
sociology
nomads
Bororo (African people)
ethnicity
Migrant labor
Pastoral systems
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24487447
Abstract:Scholars have increasingly focused on travel and translocation, as simultaneously they have deconstructed essentialized notions of cultures and ethnicities. WoDaaBe pastoral nomads in Niger base their ethnic identity strongly on reference to cattle and a nomadic lifestyle but many have since the 1980s become migrant workers in cities. This paper explores how these migrant workers renegotiate their own cultural traditions and identities, thus emphasizing how cultural traditions are constantly articulated within social processes of flow and translocation. The paper demonstrates how even typological notions of ethnicity, such as shame and taboos, are renegotiated within new contexts, suggesting that migrant work is no longer seen as shameful by the WoDaaBe migrant workers in that it prevents them from behaving as WoDaaBe herders. Migrant work is emphasized as a part of the mobility and flexibility which is so crucial to pastoralists' survival. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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