Séance du 3 juin 2015, 15h à 17h
Site Raspail / IMAF, salle de réunion, 2e étage, 96 bd Raspail 75006 Paris
Francesca Declich, Urbino University
Funerals, initiations and other celebration rituals of well-being and matrilineal societies in several East African contexts
In the sixties anthropological literature concerning matriliny in East Africa suggested that matriliny was doomed to die. Yet, groups were classified as if they were cohesive units broadly sharing a language, a political organization and a kinship system.
In several East African contexts, as to my own ethnographic experience, the main characteristic of matrilineal groupings is that they preside to the organization of rituals of well-being, funerals and initiations. I argue that the core aspects of the organisation in matrilineages seem to pertain the sphere of rituals of well being and the spiritual conception. I shall present ethnographic cases of such rituals as they were performed among communities of descendants of slaves in Southern Somalia now in Tanzania and in areas of nowadays in Northern Mozambique. In this respect I shall also show how joking kinship relationships may work as to include foreigners into the system of rituals of well-being.