Politics of the Sacred 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:
Politics of the Sacred Forest

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This chapter deals with the participation of a Senegalese politician in the Jola initiation, and the consequences for a local political contest. It demonstrates that participation in the ritual is important for politicians to create a relationship with their electorate. The electorate, in its turn, relies for its access to the state on the participation of politicians. This goes to show that initiation and political representation have become increasingly intertwined. The Jola initiation ceremony, then, appears to be a means for the incorporation, in a literal and figural sense, of the world beyond the sacred forest.

Keywords: Jola initiation; Senegalese politicians; electorate; political representation

Chapter.  8733 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: African Studies

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