The Death of Tears: Mortuary Rites and the Indeterminacy of Dance

in The Intestines of the State

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780226026114
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226026138 | DOI:
The Death of Tears: Mortuary Rites and the Indeterminacy of Dance

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This chapter examines the numerous masks of the peripheral lineages of the outlying villages of the Oku chiefdom in the Cameroon Grassfields and the counterdiscourse that they may engender among those excluded from the palatine hierarchy. It describes the subtle transformations that the dominant palace model of group masking underwent as it devolved to the village. The chapter also analyzes how cadets, in addition to their agonistic engagement with the masks of the palace, contest the elite discourse of masking by producing their own masks and performing their own masquerades in the outlying villages of the chiefdom.

Keywords: masks; Oku chiefdom; Cameroon Grassfields; palatine hierarchy; cadets; agonistic engagement; group masking

Chapter.  11191 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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