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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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Politics of the Sacred Forest

Politics of the Sacred Forest

(p.74) 4 Politics of the Sacred Forest
Masquerades of Modernity

Ferdinand de Jong

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter deals with the participation of a Senegalese politician in the Jola initiation, and the consequences for a local political contest. It demonstrates that participation in the ritual is important for politicians to create a relationship with their electorate. The electorate, in its turn, relies for its access to the state on the participation of politicians. This goes to show that initiation and political representation have become increasingly intertwined. The Jola initiation ceremony, then, appears to be a means for the incorporation, in a literal and figural sense, of the world beyond the sacred forest.

Keywords:   Jola initiation, Senegalese politicians, electorate, political representation

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