In Sierra Leone - download pdf or read online

By Michael D. Jackson

ISBN-10: 0822333015

ISBN-13: 9780822333012

In 2002, as Sierra Leone ready to announce the tip of its brutal civil struggle, the celebrated anthropologist, poet, and novelist Michael Jackson again to the rustic the place he had intermittently lived and labored as an ethnographer on account that 1969. whereas his preliminary main issue was once to aid his previous buddy Sewa Bockarie (S. B.) Marah—a favourite determine in Sierra Leonean politics—write his autobiography, Jackson’s reviews in the course of his remain led him to create a extra complicated work: In Sierra Leone, a fantastically rendered mosaic integrating S. B.’s relocating tales with own reflections, ethnographic digressions, and meditations on historical past and violence.

Though the innovative United entrance (R.U.F.) ostensibly fought its battle (1991–2002) opposed to corrupt executive, the folk of Sierra Leone have been its sufferers. by the point the struggle was once over, greater than fifty thousand have been lifeless, hundreds of thousands extra have been maimed, and over 1000000 have been displaced. Jackson relates the tales of political leaders and usual humans attempting to salvage their lives and livelihoods within the aftermath of cataclysmic violence. Combining those along with his personal wisdom of African folklore, historical past, and politics and with S. B.’s bittersweet memories—of his family’s wealthy background, his imprisonment as a political detainee, and his place in numerous of Sierra Leone’s post-independence governments—Jackson has created a piece of elegiac, literary, and philosophical power.

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We had nowhere to go,’’ one of the Makeni men replied. And then, as if to elicit my understanding, the second man described how well the ruf were organized. ‘‘They would send small boys to spy on prominent people,’’ he said. ‘‘The kids would disguise themselves as cigarette-sellers or petty traders. They would carry messages. We never knew who they were. ’’ ‘‘You know,’’ S. B. ’ ‘No, we don’t,’ everyone said. Even the imam. ’ ’’ The Makeni men both laughed. ‘‘But seriously,’’ S. B. said, ‘‘the slpp expects people to work for the country.

Mansa Morowa, Fayira, Faramata Morowa, Kaima, Manti Kamara Kulifa, Tina Kaima, Tina Kome, S. B. Marah—all were born into a ruling house. ’’∞ Still dressed in his bathrobe and bleary-eyed, S. B. made no comment as he doled out banknotes from his black briefcase, paying the jelis their due. In his studied indi√erence, I thought, he resembled the more astute of his chiefly forebears, for was it not true that many a great man had allowed himself to be stirred to rash deeds by the flattery of praise-singers?

For the Kuranko, this calculus of social distinction was both categorical and unambiguous. People were superior to animals, firstborn were superior to second-born, men were superior to women, adults were superior to children, the patriline was superior to the matriline, rulers were superior to commoners, and commoners were superior to praise-singers, blacksmiths, and leather-workers. At the bottom of the social scale, finabas—the bards and custodians of chiefly traditions—were superior to no one, except perhaps slaves.

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In Sierra Leone by Michael D. Jackson


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