By Paul Stoller

Anthropologists who've misplaced their senses write ethnographies which are frequently disconnected from the worlds they search to painting. for many anthropologists, Stoller contends, tasteless theories are extra vital than the savory sauces of ethnographic existence. that they have got misplaced the smells, sounds, and tastes of the areas they learn is unlucky for them, for his or her topics, and for the self-discipline itself.The style of Ethnographic issues describes how, via long term participation within the lives of the Songhay of Niger, Stoller finally got here to his senses. Taken jointly, the separate chapters converse to 2 vital and built-in matters. the 1st is methodological—all the chapters display the rewards of long term examine of a tradition. the second one factor is how he turned more true to the Songhay via elevated sensual understanding.

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Extra info for The Taste of Ethnographic Things: The Senses in Anthropology

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A section of text , usua l l y a Preface or Afterword , which describes the context of i n vestigat ion ; 5 . a focus on everyday l i fe con texts represe n t i ng the Other's rea l i ty to justify the fit of the analytical fra mework to the ethnographic si tua­ t ion ; 6 . an assertion that the ethnography represents the native's poi n t of view ; 7 . a general izing style i n which events are rarely described idiosyncra t­ ical ly, but as typical man i festat ions of marriage , ki nsh ip, ritual , etc .

S t i l l considered too young for marriage ( most Songhay men do not marry unt i l they are 30) 2 1 -year-old Morn was a musician whose earnings were erra t i c . " Morn and Djebo brought much shame to Adamu Jeni tongo's compound . A l though first-t i me brides are not expected to be v i rgins, they are expected to avoid shaming their fam i l ies. Adamu Jeni tongo could have asked Djebo to leave, but he did not . By the t i me S tol ler arrived i n December 1 98 2 , Djebo was visibly pregna n t .

F. Bacon 1 The Taste of Ethnographic Things CO - AUTHO R ED B Y CH E RY L O L K E S A l l meats that can endure i t I l i ke rare , and I l ike them high , even to the poin t of sme l l i n g bad i n many cases . 1 Montaigne Like other peoples in Sahel ian West Africa, the Songhay take great pride in their hospitali ty. "A guest is God i n your house , " goes the Songhay adage , and so when strangers are accepted as guests i n most Songhay compounds they receive the best of what their hosts can alford to offer.

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