Originally published in 1970, this book explores the role of concepts of disease in the social life of the Safwa of Tanzania, particularly through beliefs concerning witchcraft and sorcery. Examining Safwa ideas about the cuasation of disease and death and the use of aetiological terms in actual cases, it demonstrates a parallel between these ideas and terms, on the one hand and the Safwa system of social categories on the other. A descrption of the Safwa environment, way of life and social system is followed by an account of the concepts of death and disease and of their causes as revealed in ancestor rites, divination and autopsy. An analysis of case histories demonstrates that the cause assigned to a particular instance of illness or death depends upon the status relationship between discputing parties who are associated with the patient. The way in which the parallel between aetiological and social categoeis helps to control the outcome of disputes is also examined.
1. An Introduction to Mwanabantu Area 2. Disease, Death, Deviance and the Ancestors 3. Safwa Aetiological Categories 4. Aetiological Categories and the Diagnosis of Empongo 5. A Pragmatic Analysis of the Aetiology of Empongo 6. Conclusion
Routledge is delighted to be re-issuing 79 volumes originally published between 1931 and 1988 in association with the International African Institute. Unavailable outside a few key libraries, many of these republished volumes were at the cutting edge of a fieldwork and ethnographic revolution in African anthropology in the decades after 1930. It involved the production of a wide body of fieldwork-based ethnographic documentation about the cultures of the different societies in Africa. Secondly, it saw a methodological turn to intense, localized investigations of cultural tradition and social change in a rapidly modernizing context. These investigations involved a more sustained and systematic, more professional and ‘scientific’ form of immersion and participant observation, than anything that had gone before. The sites of engagement were urban as well as rural; the pioneering researchers were female as well as male. No longer was the journal essay the repository of the latest research in the discipline, but rich ethnographies running into hundreds of pages.
The volumes are supplemented with maps, which will be available to view on https://www.routledge.com/ or available as pdfs from the publishers.