Women's Paths & Places among
the Kasena of Northern Ghana
Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology, No. 39
By Ann Cassiman
Uppsala University Press
Distributed By Coronet Books
336 pages, Illustrated, 6" x 8 3/4"
$67.50 paper original
What does it mean to create a home, or turn a space into a meaningful place? What can the built form teach us about the cultural construction of people's lives. This monograph presents a detailed analysis of the practices, discourses and meanings of daily life as it unfolds in and around the domestic space of the Kasena of northern Ghana.
Building on years of research, and with a great sense for ethnographic detail, the author explores the lifecycle of the Kasena house, the sensuousness of its material shape, its emplacement within natural, social and cultural geographies, the complex interactions between houses, and the specific ways in which the social biography of the house is interwoven with the lives and works of its inhabitants.
Throughout this analysis of the culturally constructed ontology of Kasena lifeworlds, teh author privileges a female perspective. In particular she focuses on women's paths and movements in and between houses, carefully drawing out the analogies that exist between the social body of the houseand the female body in each phase of their existence (from birth and marriage to death). The book conveys how the house, as a living body, constantly enables the regeneration and replenishing of ongoing cycles and flows of gifts, goods and people, and thereby forms a prerequisite for the never-ending renewal or stirring of life itself.
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