Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-v

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiii

Culture and the Senses would not have been possible without the support of a vast network of people in both Ghana and the United States. I would like to thank Matthew Tsikata for tutoring me as I struggled to learn to hear the Anlo-Ewe language and for opening the door to his family, who so graciously assisted my husband and me while we sojourned ...

Note on Transliteration and Orthography

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pp. xv-xvi

Map of Southeastern Ghana

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pp. xvii-xvii

INTRODUCTION: Cultural Construction of Sensoriums and Sensibilities

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1. Is There a Sixth Sense?

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pp. 3-19

In the West, we often treat the domain of sensation and perception as definitively precultural and eminently natural, one of the most basic of the human psychobiological systems. That is the approach in fields of neurology, biology, physiology, psychology, and even philosophy. Research in these disciplines usually compares human sensory perception ...

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2. Anlo-Land and Anlo-Ewe People

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pp. 21-33

The term Anlo is essential to this study of sensoriums and experience, and yet it is not an easy word to translate or define. It identifies a dialect of Ewe, which is a West African language spoken by many of the people who live in southern Togo and the southeastern corner of Ghana. But for many Ewe speakers in Ghana, Anlo denotes a specific group of Ewe ...

PART ONE: Conceptualizing Sensory Orientations in Anlo-Land

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3. Language and Sensory Orientations

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pp. 37-69

Among the many mↄfialawo with whom I worked, there seemed to be little consensus about a precise cultural category that we could map into our domain of the five senses. In fact, at one point in the middle of my research, I seemed to have nearly as many configurations of sense-data as the number of people I had interviewed. I was fearful that I would never be able ...

PART TWO: Moral Embodiment and Sensory Socialization

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4. Kinesthesia and the Development of Moral Sensibilities

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pp. 73-84

In his work on embodiment, Csordas (1990:40) draws a distinction between his own argument about the body as the existential ground of culture and self and the point of view taken by Johnson (1987), who treats the body as the cognitive ground of culture. While my own use of embodiment follows Csordas to a great extent, I am also interested in ...

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5. Sensory Symbolism in Birth and Infant Care Practices

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pp. 85-107

In many human societies, ideas about health, personhood, and social relations extend into the period before a child is even born, and in this arena Anlo-land was no exception. Conception, pregnancy, birth, and the first weeks and months of a baby’s life were surrounded by ideas about sensory symbolism and meanings ascribed to various interactions ...

PART THREE: Person and Identity

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6. Toward an Understanding of Anlo Forms of Being-in-the-World

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pp. 111-143

In this chapter I concentrate even more intensely on aspects of the world that are thematized in Anlo contexts, beginning with perceptions of their homeland, their migration story, and the ƞlↄ of their appellation but then turning to issues of morality and personhood.1 I explore the themes and motifs consistently presented to me as dimensions of Anlo core culture ...

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7. Personhood and Ritual Reinforcement of Balance

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pp. 144-165

To understand Anlo notions of personhood, I find it useful to meditate on water and salt. Water surrounds their homeland. And as the twentieth century came to a close, the Atlantic ocean was engulfing Anlo-land. If the ground itself disappears, what becomes of Anlo-land? Or if a person does not actually reside on Anlo soil, what is Anlo-land to him or ...

PART FOUR: Health, Strength, and Sensory Dimensions of Well-Being

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8. Anlo Cosmology, the Senses, and Practices of Protection

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pp. 169-200

Here I argue that the local sensorium affects the experience of health and illness and that when we approach their traditional religion as a system of the body, as a set of techniques for sensory manipulation, we better understand the ways in which they know things in and about the cosmos. I hope to demonstrate that definitions of personhood and engagement ...

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9. Well-Being, Strength, and Health in Anlo Worlds

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pp. 201-223

I suggested in chapter 7 that well-being in many Anlo-speaking contexts is dependent on something that Thompson (1966) refers to as “an aesthetic of the cool.” He argues that this principle of a cool, even-tempered stance is not only an important facet of Yoruba art, music, and dance, but it is “comparable to Cartesian philosophy in point of influence and importance” ...

CONCLUSION: Ethnography and the Study of Cultural Difference

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10. Sensory Experience and Cultural Identity

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pp. 227-250

I have used four broad claims concerning sensory orders, embodiment, identity, and well-being to structure ethnographic descriptions of Anlo- Ewe sensory experiences and philosophical thought. I have argued that ...

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Images

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pp. I 1-I 6

Unnumbered pages

Notes

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pp. 251-279

Glossary

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pp. 281-284

Bibliography

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pp. 385-307

Index

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pp. 309-325