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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Making people bigger: wedding exchange and the creation of social value in rural Mauritania
Author:Wiley, Katherine Ann
Periodical:Africa Today (ISSN 1527-1978)
Geographic term:Mauritania
rural areas
social status
External link:http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=112869630
Abstract:This article examines haratin (ex-slaves and slave descendants) exchange at a rural Mauritanian wedding. Hierarchy is constituted and reworked through exchange, particularly the redistribution of wealth that it allows, which makes it a rich site to examine how rank and status are generated. The author analyzes how people attempt to do this by asserting both themselves and other exchange participants as generous, valued persons. While she focuses on exchanges of material goods, particularly the return of bridewealth, she also explore the ways in which the circulation of nonmaterial goods - especially talk - is essential to these processes as people attempt to extend the effectiveness of their transactions in space and time. Such talk becomes especially important in times of economic volatility, when enduring wealth is increasingly difficult to attain. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]