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Masquerades of ModernityPower and Secrecy in Casamance, Senegal$
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Ferdinand de Jong

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748633197

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633197.001.0001

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Out of Diaspora into the Forest

Out of Diaspora into the Forest

(p.54) 3 Out of Diaspora into the Forest
Masquerades of Modernity

Ferdinand de Jong

Edinburgh University Press

Jola rites of passage produce local subjects. However, many members of the Thionck Essyl community no longer live in the village and are dispersed across all Senegal and beyond. This chapter analyzes the participation of urban and international migrants in the male initiation ceremony. Although such participants may never have lived in the village, they are eager participants in the initiation ceremony. Their participation is a precondition if they are to define themselves as Jola. To that end, the ritual script has been fully accommodated to ensure their participation in the performance. This goes to demonstrate that migrants return to take part in a ritual that produces a translocal subjectivity, performed in a village that is transformed into a site for the enactment of the initiation of city-dwellers: a virtual village.

Keywords:   male initiation ceremony, migrants, Jola, translocal subjectivity

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