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The Manon of Guinea: a people living on borderlands

Ligeia Studer - City University of New York, Hunter College - [2002]
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  • Tesi completa: 66 pagine
  • Abstract
    This study provides an extensive analysis of the historical, social, and political events experienced by the Manon communities of Guinea. Looking at the Manon of Guinea as marginal communities residing in the forest area, and looking at their geographical location and history will provide us with important insights into how a group, as one instance among many other groups in Africa, can experience social and economic decline as a consequence of colonialism and territorial separation. Before colonialism, the Manon were in an influential and dominant political position, and had access to regional resources and trade. The present reduced status and economic situation of the Manon and, perhaps, of other communities in Africa might be one cause of conflict and a better understanding such conditions might help in their prevention.
    From an anthropological perspective, I investigate the Manon’s political direction and their ethnic identity through the historical processes which are linked in concrete ways with their experience of living on or near international borders. Political and cultural forces on the local level, often influenced by international forces, give borders a peculiar political structure that might generate a problematic relation with the state. States have to defend and control their borders or run the risk of destabilization. Moreover, people living on state borders might engage in economic and political activities, which often compete with the state and might be a threat to the state’s power.
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