Ma parole s’achète

ab 24,90 

Molly Roth

Money, Identity and Meaning in Malian Jeliya

ISBN 978-3-8258-1352-9
Band-Nr. 4
Jahr 2008
Seiten 160
Bindung broschiert
Reihe Mande Worlds

Artikelnummer: 978-3-8258-1352-9 Kategorien: , ,


This study argues that material compensation and caste status are
essential to the signifying practice of Malian jeliw („griots“) and its
continuing relevance. As Mande society’s hereditary „masters of the
word“, jeliw entrance their listeners with accounts of ancestors‘ heroic
deeds, sometimes in the context of epic recitations and sometimes in
popular song. These genealogical narratives function as praise in a
society that understands descent as an essential constituent of
personality. Indexing an imperial social order with inherited bonds of
obligation between patron and client, this praise reproduces the status of
the jeliw. Gifts of cash and goods to the jeliw on the occasions of these
performances concretize the traditional obligations of nobles and, thus,
realize the nobility of the givers. Material compensation makes jeli
flattery true in ways it would not otherwise be. These gifts defy both the
Maussian discussion of gifting and the Marxian analysis of commodity
exchange. The jeliw’s semiosis is performative in the sense that they help
to create the historical imaginary to which their utterances refer. Thus,
performances of jeli praise may help Malians to negotiate the
marginalizing effects of globalization.