Culture and the Senses Bodily Ways of Knowing in an African Community

ISBN-10: 0520234561
ISBN-13: 9780520234567
Edition: 2002
List price: $34.95 Buy it from $13.95
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Description: Adding her stimulating and finely framed ethnography to recent work in the anthropology of the senses, Kathryn Geurts investigates the cultural meaning system and resulting sensorium of Anlo-Ewe-speaking people in southeastern Ghana. Geurts  More...

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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 1/9/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 308
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Adding her stimulating and finely framed ethnography to recent work in the anthropology of the senses, Kathryn Geurts investigates the cultural meaning system and resulting sensorium of Anlo-Ewe-speaking people in southeastern Ghana. Geurts discovered that the five-senses model has little relevance in Anlo culture, where balance is a sense, and balancing (in a physical and psychological sense as well as in literal and metaphorical ways) is an essential component of what it means to be human. Much of perception falls into an Anlo category ofseselelame(literally feel-feel-at-flesh-inside), in which what might be considered sensory input, including the Western sixth-sense notion of "intuition," comes from bodily feeling and the interior milieu. The kind of mind-body dichotomy that pervades Western European-Anglo American cultural traditions and philosophical thought is absent. Geurts relates how Anlo society privileges and elaborates what we would call kinesthesia, which most Americans would not even identify as a sense. After this nuanced exploration of an Anlo-Ewe theory of inner states and their way of delineating external experience, readers will never again take for granted the "naturalness" of sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell.

Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration and Orthography
Map of Southeastern Ghana
Introduction. Cultural Construction of Sensoriums and Sensibilities
Is There a Sixth Sense?
Anlo-Land and Anlo-Ewe People
Conceptualizing Sensory Orientations in Anlo-Land
Language and Sensory Orientations
Moral Embodiment and Sensory Socialization
Kinesthesia and the Development of Moral Sensibilities
Sensory Symbolism in Birth and Infant Care Practices
Person and Identity
Toward an Understanding of Anlo Forms of Being-in-the-World
Personhood and Ritual Reinforcement of Balance
Health, Strength, and Sensory Dimensions of Well-Being
Anlo Cosmology, the Senses, and Practices of Protection
Well-Being, Strength, and Health in Anlo Worlds
Conclusion. Ethnography and the Study of Cultural Difference
Sensory Experience and Cultural Identity
Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index Illustrations

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