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The Earth Shakers of Madagascar : An Anthropological Study of Authority, Fertility and Creation - Oliver Woolley

The Earth Shakers of Madagascar

An Anthropological Study of Authority, Fertility and Creation

Hardcover Published: 1st June 2002
ISBN: 9780826457509
Number Of Pages: 352

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In the empty 'Wastelands' of south-east Madagascar intrepid homesteaders struggle to 'make the land living', striking out into the wilds and building villages and rice paddies. As this pioneering expansion turns a once-barren landscape into a fertile resource for an ever-growing number of flourishing agricultural communities, there is an increasing concern on the part of the competing resident clans to control the act of 'creation' itself.
So great is the perceived need to access supra-human sources of fertility that local leaders are forced by their people to 'sacrifice' themselves in order to harness the life-giving and animating force of 'creation'. Held hostage by their subjects, leaders attempt to recreate in human terms creations most apparently potent and productive reaction; the violent and elemental combination of earth and water that takes place in the flooded rice paddies prior to sowing. The transformative and generative power of this complex ritual of mimicry not only helps explain the unique and curious relationship between 'rulers' and 'ruled' to be found in the region but also allows us to understand how the inseparability of people, land and divinity informs such a political system.

Note on Dialect, Transcription and Orthography
Prologue: Setting the Scenep. 1
Introduction: The Wasteland, Its People and Historyp. 11
The Bigger Picture: Background and Theoryp. 37
The Authority System in the Wastelandp. 77
Competing Idioms of Powerp. 109
Testing: The Process of Becoming a Senior Panjakap. 125
The Potency of the Panjakap. 159
The 'Raising Up' of the Panjaka as Human Alchemyp. 185
Funerary and Commemorative Practicesp. 199
Conclusion: Composite Power and the Cult of Creationp. 225
Notesp. 245
Bibliographyp. 267
Indexp. 277
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780826457509
ISBN-10: 0826457509
Series: London School of Economics Monographs on Social Anthropology (Hardcover)
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 1st June 2002
Publisher: BERG PUBL INC
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.03 x 16.05  x 2.79
Weight (kg): 0.53