Mediation and the Performance of Religious Authority in Senegal
Abstract:In her insightful study of the anthropology of African texts, Karin Barber states that with regard to language, "writing is not what confers textuality. Rather, what does is the quality of being joined together and given a recognisable existence as a form." In this essay we are concerned with one of the myriad ways in which Wolof discourse in Senegal is given such a recognizable existence and how the resultant form, namely that of verbal mediation, is deployed to enhance the religious and political authority of important Muslim shaykhs, known locally in French as marabouts, and in Wolof as sériñ.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2010
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