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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The fabric of friendship: 'as? ebě' and the moral economy of amity in Nigeria
Author:Nwafor, Okechukwu
Periodical:African Studies (ISSN 1469-2872)
Geographic term:Nigeria
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00020184.2013.776195
Abstract:In this article, the author seeks to problematize prevailing views of what is known as 'as? ebě' in Nigeria, which places emphasis on solidarity and conviviality. In its most common import, as? ebě refers to uniformed solidarity dressing worn by friends and family members to distinguish themselves from the rest during important social events such as weddings, street parties, birthday parties, among others. As? ebě is well-known among the Yoruba and other groups in Nigeria and even beyond, but has received little of the interpretive scrutiny that it deserves in academic scholarship. This article reveals both the prescription and limitations of the moral economy in which as? ebě is produced and consumed. The article shows that as? ebě serves as a specific social currency that mediates two contradictory logics of gift-giving and commodification. By challenging the moral economy of intimacy. The author demonstrates how as? ebě is 'offered' by celebrants 'for sale' as a gesture of friendship and imminent commensality, yet the costs of refusal to buy the as? ebě removes the guests altogether from the cycle of counter-gifts/payments. By employing Herbert Blumer's theoretical model of esprit de corps, and Marcel Mauss' logic of the gifts, the author engages the discourse of solidarity and gift-giving in as? ebě practice. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]