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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Man and beast
Author:Willis, RoyISNI
City of publisher:London
Publisher:Hart-Davis, MacGibbon
Geographic terms:Sudan
Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Lele (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Abstract:In this book the author uses the traditional methods of anthropology to compare man-animal relations in three dissimilar African societies, the Fipa (southwest Tanzania), the Nuer (southern Sudan), and the Lele (Kasai Province, Zaire). He shows how each animal comes to have a special meaning within a cosmos constructed to make sense of the dealings people have with one another. While reptiles, for instance, were reviled by the Ancient Israelites, the Fipa venerate the python, the Lele venerate the scaly ant-eater, and the Nuer venerate the ox. When a human society mediates on its surrounding fauna it has set up a framework for contemplating itself and the book aims to contribute towards an understanding of the animal within us, our biological heritage, and our human nature, defined as it always is, by contrast to animals which are outside and beyond society. This image of the symbolic animal is crucial to man's ideas about himself; and the dualism of the image is at the core of the duality in man.