In this Book

summary
Throughout West African societies, at times of social crises, postmenopausal women — the Mothers — make a ritual appeal to their innate moral authority. The seat of this power is the female genitalia. Wielding branches or pestles, they strip naked and slap their genitals and bare breasts to curse and expel the forces of evil. In An Intimate Rebuke Laura S. Grillo draws on fieldwork in Côte d’Ivoire that spans three decades to illustrate how these rituals of Female Genital Power (FGP) constitute religious and political responses to abuses of power. When deployed in secret FGP operates as spiritual warfare against witchcraft; in public it serves as a political activism. During Côte d’Ivoire’s civil wars FGP challenged the immoral forces of both rebels and the state. Grillo shows how the ritual potency of the Mothers’ nudity and the conjuration of their sex embodies a moral power that has been foundational to West African civilization.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. Part I. Home and the Unhomely: The Foundational Nature of Female Genital Power
  1. 1. Genies, Witches, and Women: Locating Female Powers
  2. pp. 21-53
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  1. 2. Matrifocal Morality: FGP and the Foundation of “Home”
  2. pp. 54-80
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  1. 3. Gender and Resistance: The “Strategic Essentialism” of FGP
  2. pp. 81-116
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  1. Part II. Worldliness: FGP in the Making of Ethnicity, Alliance, and War in Côte d’Ivoire
  1. 4. Founding Knowledge/Binding Power: The Moral Foundations of Ethnicity and Alliance
  2. pp. 121-151
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  1. 5. Women at the Checkpoint: Challenging the Forces of Civil War
  2. pp. 152-170
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  1. Part III. Timeliness: Urgent Situations and Emergent Critiques
  1. 6. Violation and Deployment: FGP in Politics in Côte d’Ivoire
  2. pp. 175-197
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  1. 7. Memory, Memorialization, and Morality
  2. pp. 198-227
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  1. Conclusion. An Intimate Rebuke: A Local Critique in the Global Postcolony
  2. pp. 228-238
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 239-254
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  1. References
  2. pp. 255-274
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 275-284
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  1. Photographs
  2. pp. 285-292
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781478002635
Related ISBN
9781478001201
MARC Record
OCLC
1029070823
Pages
328
Launched on MUSE
2019-06-23
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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