Out of Diaspora into the Forest

Ferdinand de Jong

in Masquerades of Modernity

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780748633197
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670642 | DOI:
Out of Diaspora into the Forest

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Jola rites of passage produce local subjects. However, many members of the Thionck Essyl community no longer live in the village and are dispersed across all Senegal and beyond. This chapter analyzes the participation of urban and international migrants in the male initiation ceremony. Although such participants may never have lived in the village, they are eager participants in the initiation ceremony. Their participation is a precondition if they are to define themselves as Jola. To that end, the ritual script has been fully accommodated to ensure their participation in the performance. This goes to demonstrate that migrants return to take part in a ritual that produces a translocal subjectivity, performed in a village that is transformed into a site for the enactment of the initiation of city-dwellers: a virtual village.

Keywords: male initiation ceremony; migrants; Jola; translocal subjectivity

Chapter.  9461 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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