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List(s) this item appears in: New Arrivals - 2020 October
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New Arrivals
305.409 Gri 2018 Available T 19147
Total holds: 0

Includes bibliographical references (pages 255-274) and index.

1. Genies, witches, and women : locating female powers --
2. Matrifocal morality : FGP and the foundation of "home" --
3. Gender and resistance : the "strategic essentialism" of FGP --
4. Founding knowledge/binding power : the moral foundations of ethnicity and alliance --
5. Women at the checkpoint : challenging the forces of civil war --
6. Violation and deployment : FGP in politics in Côte d'Ivoire --
7. Memory, memorialization, and morality --
Conclusion : an intimate rebuke: a local critique in the global postcolony.

Throughout West African societies, at times of social crises, postmenopausal women--the Mothers--make a ritual appeal to their innate moral authority. The seat of this power is the female genitalia. Wielding branches or pestles, they strip naked and slap their genitals and bare breasts to curse and expel the forces of evil. In An Intimate Rebuke Laura S. Grillo draws on fieldwork in Côte d'Ivoire that spans three decades to illustrate how these rituals of Female Genital Power (FGP) constitute religious and political responses to abuses of power. When deployed in secret, FGP operates as spiritual warfare against witchcraft; in public, it serves as a political activism. During Côte d'Ivoire's civil wars FGP challenged the immoral forces of both rebels and the state. Grillo shows how the ritual potency of the Mothers' nudity and the conjuration of their sex embodies a moral power that has been foundational to West African civilization. Highlighting the remarkable continuity of the practice across centuries while foregrounding the timeliness of FGP in contemporary political resistance, Grillo shifts perspectives on West African history, ethnography, comparative religious studies, and postcolonial studies.

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