AZANDE - The Trickster Tales

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AZANDE - The Trickster Tales Powered By Docstoc
By: Amber and Stacey
   Live in south-western
    Sudan, north of Zaire
    and east of Central
    African Republic
   They developed
    sleeping sickness from
    the tse-tse fly, so
    authorities relocated
    them to concentrated
    settlements near roads
History continued
                       The clans that lived
                        along the river were
                        autonomous local groups
                       Azande tell of a person
                        who’s wisdom and
                        kindness, gained him
                        power within the clan,
                        the Avongara, and
                        conquered more than 50
                        other clans which
                        became the Azande
   The home is the focus of their economic system
   They are built of mud and grass framed on wooden
    poles, and thatched with grass
   Each has a granary for millet and are built around
   “Kitchen gardens” are planted adjacent to the
    courtyards, and are used to plant pineapple,
    mango, papaya, and other plants that are used
    immediately after picking
   Courtyards are places for gathering and
   Their upkeep is very important since they are
    evidence of the responsibility and status of their
   It represents the structure of the households which it
    is attached to
   Each women is required to have her own house and
    granary, so in a polygynous household the
    courtyard space is larger, than in a monogamous
   They practice shifting cultivation
   They cultivate maize, millet, gourds, pumpkins,
    manioc, bananas, groundnuts, and beans
   They get their meat from hunting
   In their region there’s plenty of rainfall and springs,
    so usable water is available year-round
   Distance is measured by the number of streams
    between the points in question
Subsistence continued
   The year has two seasons, a rainy and a dry
   Rainy:
     Land   is cultivated
   Dry:
     Crops  grow and are harvested
     More hunting
     Fish, smakes, and crustaceans are caught in the low
   Termites were a favorite food, rich in fat and
   Each family was an independent unit of production
   Iron tools were bride-wealth items
   There was a sexual division of labor
   There was little chance of inheritance of property
    because a person’s things were burned upon death
         repaired the house and granary
     Men-

     Women- maintained the courtyard and gardens

   Woodworking, pottery, making clothing of bark,
    nets and baskets were their most important skills
Kinship and Chiefdoms
   Clan affiliation is not stressed at the local level
   They were organized into chiefdoms, each
    independent from the others
   The Avongara were nobility, chiefs came from this
   Chiefs appointed emissaries (Avongara people)
    who manage sections of their territories
   Chiefs were the military, economic, and political
   Miles of unsettled land
    lay between
    chiefdoms, and this is
    where fights broke out
   In the rainy season
    attacks were made on
    these borders by a
    provincial leader,
    without the Chief
The Oracle and the Spy
   A poison oracle was sought to tell what day and place
    for a raid, the number of casualties, and who should be
    the spy
       An animal would be poisoned and its behavior interpreted
   The spy would act like he is visiting a relative or
    wanting to trade, and gather information of the area
    that would be raided
   They would usually raided on a feast day because the
    men would be unarmed and drunk
   The spy could tell when the feast would be by the stage
    in the brewing process
   When a man wanted to marry a women he sent a
    intermediary to go to her father with the offer
   The father discussed it with his brothers and sisters then
    with his daughter
   If she agreed the money sent with the intermediary was
   Then the suitor would visit his promised bride’s parents,
    bringing gifts
   The bride would also visit the suitor’s home for a “trial
    period” of several weeks, then she would com home
    and make her decision
Marriage continued
   The suitor consulted oracles to determine whether
    the marriage would be a happy one
   If both the bride and the oracle said the marriage
    would be successful, the women and her family went
    to the grooms home where the ceremony was held
     Sealed   by the installation of the wife’s cooking hearth
   The husband was always in debt to his wife’s family,
    and had the responsibility to help in their fields,
    and mortuary obligations if one of them died
Homosexuality and Lesbianism
   Homosexuality has been addressed because the
    unmarried warriors who spent years apart from
    women had relations with their apprentice warriors
     Boy-wives

   After this however they entered into hetero-sexual
   Lesbianism was practiced in polygamous homes
   If the women wished to formalize their relationship
    they could do it in a ritual creating a permanent
   Is defined by Evans-Prichard as “a ghostly being to
    whom the creation of the world is attributed.”
   They have no shrines to Mbori or any materials used
    in worship
   They only have one ceremony that involves his name
    and is not preformed often
The Trickster Tales
   Tales mainly serve to assert and affirm social rules.
   Provided examples of consequence one can expect
    if moral dictates are not observed.
   Told for benefit of children to supplement didactic
    social training.
   Appeals to young audience by featuring main
    character who possess child’s curiosity and
    temptation to break rules.
   Mostly known for belief in witchcraft than any other
    aspect of culture
   Thought to be actual physical property residing
    inside individuals, who might be unaware of their
   Believe if soul of father’s much stronger, the child
    born will be a boy, and same goes if mother’s is
   Supporting framework of entire judicial system
Witchcraft Continued
   Child product of both mother and father, each
    having more of one particular parent
   Witchcraft deployed by sheer willpower
   “soul of the witchcraft” travels so Azande people
    more secure when distant from their neighbors
   Believe witchcraft is base of ALL misfortune
   No concept of “accidental” death, die only as
    victims of murder of either witches or magic of
   Ask for guidance in planning marriage, taking a
    journey, building a house, organizing a raid
   Oracle device for revelation
     Most   powerful benge, poison oracle used only by men
   Older men likely to seek counsel from oracle
   Poison elaborate procedure: poison poured on to
    small chicken. Expert must know how much and how
    much time between doses. Every movement counts
    that’s made from chicken
Oracles Continued
   Termite oracle used often by women and men, and
    even children.
    2  branches cut from different trees, and inserted
      together into termite mound and left overnight.
     Answer indicated by which branch was eaten.

     More of a time consuming procedure because only 1
      question at a time and wait over night to answer.
Oracles Continued
   Least reliable is rubbing-board oracle, made of 2
    small pieces of wood, easily carried anywhere.
    1  piece of wood carved w/ handle, and rubbed across
      top of second piece, fashioned w/ legs to stand on.
     Questions answered as wood is moved, as sticks or
      catches answer revealed.
Accusing a Witch
   2 sorts of accusations of witchcraft:
     When   illness or misfortunate has occurred
     After someone has died

   Chicken dies during benge, wing cut off, placed on
    stick, and taken to local deputy of chief revealing
    the name of individual who has committed crime
Witchcraft as Social Control
   Serves as effective agent of social control
   Acts as leveling mechanism by keeping the wealth
    balanced, thus having the Azande not likely to
    attempt out producing each other

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