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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Six days towards the polar star: orientation among Tubu Teda
Author:Musch, TilmanISNI
Year:2015
Periodical:Journal des africanistes (ISSN 0399-0346)
Volume:85
Pages:282-310
Language:English
Geographic term:Niger
Subjects:Tubu
Teda
deserts
nomads
travel
Abstract:In social and behavioural science, there is an ongoing debate discussing whether mental mapping or practical mastery is preferentially used for orientation. In particular in anthropology, dead reckoning, as a third principle of orientation, is often neglected by scholars, whereas it seems to be the most important one in scarcely-or not-inhabited large-scale environments, as for example deserts. Based on observations, and also on oral and drawn evidence gathered during fieldwork in Niger, the present paper studies orientation among Tubu Teda. The evidence indicates that dead reckoning is their basic principle of orientation when navigating in the desert. During navigation, landscape patterns acquire a polyvalent function, as they not only allow verification but also serve as temporal and directional indices and thus support a line and a circle of position. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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