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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: 27 September 2021

Strategies of Incorporation

Strategies of Incorporation

Marriage and the Forms of Dependence

(p.81) Chapter 3 Strategies of Incorporation
The Underneath of Things

Mariane C. Ferme

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on marriage and forms of dependence in Sierra Leone. It argues that without understanding the emergent legacy of slavery embedded in the idiom of Mende marriage and kinship, one cannot make sense of the ambivalence with which many people approach these intimate relations. It explains that the jural rights and inheritance in Mende are by and large transmitted partilineally and that residential patterns of marriage are virilocal. It suggests that individual autonomy and independence threaten the larger units of society with infertile and unproductive splits, such as those represented by husbandless women and by strangers who have less at stake in the domestic group in which they are dependents.

Keywords:   marriage, dependence, Sierra Leone, slavery, Mende, kinship, jural rights, inheritance, autonomy

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