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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gleaming like the sun: aesthetic values in Wodaabe material culture
Author:Boesen, ElisabethISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Niger
consumer goods
External links:https://doi.org/10.3366/E0001972008000454
Abstract:The Fulbe Wodaabe from central Niger - like other nomadic pastoralists - seem to be highly resistant to the influence of global consumer goods, the consumption of modern products being more or less confined to satisfying practical needs. The article presents a notable exception to this attitude of abstinence, the domain of female household goods which are procured on seasonal travels to places as distant as Dakar or Freetown. The Wodaabe case is distinctive in that the gift/commodity model does not adequately describe the forms of acquisition in question. The author suggests a third term: 'booty', implying that, for the Wodaabe, consumer goods are not part of a genuine transaction. In a further step she analyses the cultural appropriation of newly acquired goods by exploring the parallels between the ceremonial exposition of female household items and male dances, showing that the modern elements incorporated into the expositions exhibit a certain aesthetic quality, namely brightness and radiance, which the Wodaabe regard as a characteristic trait of themselves. Thus, the adoption of new things leads here to an intensification of the original cultural expression. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]