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The Underneath of ThingsViolence, History, and the Everyday in Sierra Leone$
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Mariane Ferme

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520225428

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520225428.001.0001

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Children and Their Doubles

Children and Their Doubles

Chapter:
(p.197) Chapter 6 Children and Their Doubles
Source:
The Underneath of Things
Author(s):

Mariane C. Ferme

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520225428.003.0007

This chapter examines the Mende representations of childhood. It argues that central to the social construction of infancy is the perceived relationship of infants with the world of spirits which generates loyalties in conflict with the world of the living and explains that infants are presumed to develop unusual powers of visions and the powers to move across different sensory domains. It suggests that infant and children, such as kpako, are believed to operate according to a modality of concealed powers that triggers an aesthetics of wonder and repulsion.

Keywords:   childhood, Mende, infancy, world of spirits, powers of visions, infant, children, concealed powers

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