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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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(p.1) Introduction
The Underneath of Things

Mariane C. Ferme

University of California Press

This introductory chapter explains the coverage of this volume, which is about the links between a violent historical and political legacy and a cultural order of dissimulation in the Mende-speaking southeastern Sierra Leone. This volume analyzes how strategies of concealment permeate multiple levels of discursive and spatial practice, from the real world of regional politics to the more mundane realms on domesticity and productive activities. Central to this book is the politics of cultural meanings contested between different orders of knowledge and communication as they are negotiated between different individuals, social categories, and the sexes. The analysis of “the underneath things” focuses on the material bearers of meanings inscribed onto the rural Sierra Leonean landscape.

Keywords:   violent legacy, cultural order, dissimulation, Sierra Leone, cultural meanings, regional politics

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