Sacred Rice: An Ethnography of Identity, Environment, and Development in Rural West Africa by Joanna Davidson

Sacred Rice: An Ethnography of Identity, Environment, and Development in Rural West Africa

byJoanna Davidson

Paperback | August 28, 2015

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Sacred Rice explores the cultural intricacies through which Jola farmers in West Africa are responding to their environmental and economic conditions given the centrality of a crop - rice - that is the lynchpin for their economic, social, religious, and political worlds. Based on more than ten years of author Joanna Davidson's ethnographic and historical research on rural Guinea-Bissau, this book looks at the relationship among people, plants, and identity as it explores how a society comes to define itself through the production, consumption, and reverence of rice.It is a narrative profoundly tied to a particular place, but it is also a story of encounters with outsiders who often mediate or meddle in the rice enterprise. Although the focal point is a remote area of West Africa, the book illuminates the more universal nexus of identity, environment, anddevelopment, especially in an era when many people--rural and urban - are confronting environmental changes that challenge their livelihoods and lifestyles.

About The Author

Joanna Davidson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Boston University.
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Title:Sacred Rice: An Ethnography of Identity, Environment, and Development in Rural West AfricaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:August 28, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199358680

ISBN - 13:9780199358687

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Sacred Rice1. A Rice Complex2. Ampa Badji and Nho Keboral3. "We Work Hard"4. Cultivating Knowledge5. Of Rice and Men6. Transgressive Segregation Revisited7. Jopai, and the Limits of Legibility8. Conclusions: Structural UncertaintyGlossaryNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Sacred Rice is well thought-out and developed. It combines classic issues and themes in anthropology with an exploration of contemporary problems that will endure. Davidson shows the power of compelling story-telling to illustrate analytical abstractions. I would recommend this book to mycolleagues."--Eric Gable, University of Mary Washington