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African Voices, African Lives: Personal Narratives from a Swahili Village

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African Voices, African Lives: Personal Narratives from a Swahili Village

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    Available in PDF Format | African Voices, African Lives: Personal Narratives from a Swahili Village.pdf | English
    Pat Caplan(Editor)
African Voices, African Lives explores the world of 'Mohammed', a swahili peasant living on Mafia Island, Tanzania. Through his own words - some written, some spoken - and those of his relatives, including his ex-wife and one of his daughters, he enables us to see the world through his eyes, including the invisisble world of spirits which plays a significant role in his life. This information is gathered by Pat Caplan, the anthropologist, over almost three decades of talking and writing to each other. She acts not only as translator and editor, but also as interpreter, bringing in her own knowledge gathered from field data as well as comparative material from other anthropological work.
By utilising a mixture of styles - narrative and life history, ethnographic observation, and the diary kept by Mohammed at the anthropologist's bequest, African Voices African Lives will make an important contribution to current debates in anthropology by grappling with issues raised by 'personal narratives', authorial authority, and with refexivity.

"In this book, Caplan offers a nuanced response to the 'crisis of representation' loudly decried in the mid-1980s that problematized ethnographic author-ity and advocated the decolonization of anthropological writing. Relinquishing authorship to those whose voices had been captured and squeezed into theoretical models irrespective of fit offered an ethical solution, it was argued, to the problem "Journal of Asian And African Studies."..."the book remains an exciting experiment in ethnographic representation and provides a vivid glimpse into the lives of three complex and often contradictory Swahili individuals."-"Africa Today, July-Dec, 1998

4.4 (11382)
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Book details

  • PDF | 284 pages
  • Pat Caplan(Editor)
  • Routledge; 1 edition (23 Mar. 1997)
  • English
  • 10
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy
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