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Goldsmiths - University of London

Animals and Ancestors: An Ethnography

Morris, Brian. 2000. Animals and Ancestors: An Ethnography. London: Bloomsbury 3PL. ISBN 978-1859734865 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Ever since the emergence of human culture, people and animals have co-existed in close proximity. Humans have always recognized both their kinship with animals and their fundamental differences, as animals have always been a threat to humans' well-being. The relationship, therefore, has been complex, intimate, reciprocal, personal, and -- crucially -- ambivalent. It is hardly surprising that animals evoke strong emotions in humans, both positive and negative. This companion volume to Morris' important earlier work, The Power of Animals, is a sustained investigation of the Malawi people's sacramental attitude to animals, particularly the role that animals play in life-cycle rituals, their relationship to the divinity and to spirits of the dead. How people relate to and use animals speaks volumes about their culture and beliefs. This book overturns the ingrained prejudice within much ethnographic work, which has often dismissed the pivotal role animals play in culture, and shows that personhood, religion, and a wide range of rituals are informed by, and even dependent upon, human-animal relations.

Item Type: Book

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Anthropology

Date:

2000

Item ID:

11786

Date Deposited:

22 Jun 2015 14:16

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2017 12:32

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/11786
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