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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Manimory and the aesthetics of mimesis: forest, Islam and State in Ivoirian 'dozoya'
Author:Hellweg, JosephISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
hunting songs
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40027294
Abstract:This article explores the hunting aesthetics of initiated Jula hunters of Côte d'Ivoire who call themselves 'dozos'. It explains how their hunting aesthetic structures their relationship to Islam and the Ivoirian State. Although many Africans approach Islam in the context of tensions between local ritual traditions and modernizing Muslim reform, 'dozos' approach Islam the way they approach the forests where they hunt, assimilating to both in order to tame them. They organize their hunting activities around an aesthetic centred on notions of sweetness and fullness; their contraries, difficulty and emptiness; and the process of mimetic transformation (shape-shifting) that mediates between these extremes. With these categories 'dozos' assimilate themselves to and appropriate power from the forest to kill game. They also link themselves to pre-Qur'anic Muslim figures to legitimize themselves as Muslims. More recently, they tried to assimilate to the Ivoirian State to become a parallel police force. Stories of their tutelary spirit, Manimory, and the texts of their hunting songs, incantations, and epics encode diverse ways for 'dozos' to relate to Islam, leaving room for 'dozos' to eschew it as well. Their texts reveal a dynamic sense of history that defies classification in terms of tradition, modernity or postmodernity. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]