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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Ambiguity and Gendered Practices

Ambiguity and Gendered Practices

(p.61) Chapter 2 Ambiguity and Gendered Practices
The Underneath of Things

Mariane C. Ferme

University of California Press

This chapter explores gendered practices in Sierra Leone, focusing on shifting meanings of objects such as stools and hammocks within the articulation of a Mende social space. It analyzes the temporary gestures and performances through which gender domains are made and unmade and comments on the discourse that links cultural prohibitions to military readiness. The analysis reveals that the division of the world between brave men and senseless women masks a cultural strategy that tends to elite these distinctions when they most matter.

Keywords:   gendered practices, Sierra Leone, social space, Mende, gender domains, gestures, performances, cultural prohibitions, military readiness, cultural strategy

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