Cultures of travel : Fulbe pastoralists in central Mali and Pentecostalism in Ghana

TitleCultures of travel : Fulbe pastoralists in central Mali and Pentecostalism in Ghana
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsM.E. de Bruijn, J.W.M. van Dijk, and R.A. van Dijk
EditorM.E. de Bruijn, D.W.J. Foeken, and R.A. van Dijk
Secondary TitleMobile Africa : changing patterns of movement in Africa and beyond
Pagination63 - 88
Date Published2001///
Place PublishedLeiden
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrica, Baptist Church, Fulani, Ghana, Mali, migration, mobility, Pentecostalism

In the literature on population mobility, mobility has generally been seen as a temporary phenomenon. However, in many instances, mobility rather than sedentarity is the norm. This is illustrated in the present chapter by two case studies of so-called 'cultures of travel'. The first case concerns the Fulbe, a nomadic cattle-rearing people, in the Hayre area of central Mali. The Fulbe case demonstrates how mobility has been embedded historically in Sahelian cultures under conditions that are marginal, both from an ecological and an economic perspective. It illustrates how people develop economic and cultural strategies marked by a high degree of opportunism. It shows that Fulbe society is, in fact, organized around mobility. The second case, that of Pentecostalism in Ghana, demonstrates how a specific form of culture acts to bring about a particular form of mobility. In this case, it is not a whole culture that is on the move, but individuals who are mobile for personal reasons. Mobility among Ghanaian Pentecostalists is not yet part and parcel of daily life, but presents an example of how people construct cultural forms and means for dealing with everyday problems of mobility. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum

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