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Freedom in Fulani Social Life

An Introspective Ethnography

Translated by Martha Fuller
Paul Riesman’s Freedom in Fulani Social Life is based upon his two years of residence among the Jelgobe, a group of semi-nomadic Fulani of the Sahel in Upper Volta, western Africa. Since its original publication, this classic study has profoundly influenced the field of anthropology through its re-examination of the enthnographer’s personal input on his research.

"Freedom in Fulani Social Life richly documents how the ethnographer’s own personal and cultural background is implicated in the research process. . . . For this reason, [Riesman’s] book will be of paramount interest to all ethnographers."—Philip L. Kilbride, Reviews in Anthropology

"A remarkably well-written and insightful account of Fulani life. . . . In addition to using the conventional approaches of participating in and observing the daily activities of the Jelgobe . . . Riesman enriches his account by examining his personal feelings about particular incidents."—Library Journal

"An interesting and provocative study."—Choice

At the time of his death in 1988, Paul Riesman was an anthropologist who taught at Carleton College.

320 pages | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1977

African Studies

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Table of Contents

Note on Transcription
Part One: The Tawaangal of the Jelgobe
1 Climate and Technology
2 The Social Organization of Jelgoji
3 Fulani Social Structure
4 Life in the Wuro: Categories of People and Tasks
5 Authority Relations in the Wuro
6 Religion
7 Pulaaku and Semteende: Fulani-ness and Shame
Part Two: Life as Lived
8 Jelgobe Attitudes toward Life
9 Keeping Society Going
10 Relations between People
11 How to Resist Others
12 Wuro and Ladde: The Village and the Bush
Glossary and Index of Fula Terms

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