Children and Their Doubles

Mariane C. Ferme

in The Underneath of Things

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780520225428
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925717 | DOI:
Children and Their Doubles

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This chapter examines the Mende representations of childhood. It argues that central to the social construction of infancy is the perceived relationship of infants with the world of spirits which generates loyalties in conflict with the world of the living and explains that infants are presumed to develop unusual powers of visions and the powers to move across different sensory domains. It suggests that infant and children, such as kpako, are believed to operate according to a modality of concealed powers that triggers an aesthetics of wonder and repulsion.

Keywords: childhood; Mende; infancy; world of spirits; powers of visions; infant; children; concealed powers

Chapter.  9681 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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