Is there such a thing as “Continental Identity”? • American/North American • European • Asian • Latin American • African • Middle Eastern
What about National Identity? • American, Canadian • British, French, German, Russian, etc. • Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc. • Brazilian, Chilean, Mexican,Cuban, etc • Nigerian, Kenyan, Ethiopian, Malawian, etc. • Saudi Arabian, Israeli, Iraqi, Egyptian, etc.
Continental and National Identity • American/North American (American, Canadian) • European (British, French, German, Russian, etc.) • Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc.) • Latin American (Brazilian, Chilean, Mexican,etc.) • African (Nigerian, Kenyan, Ethiopian, Malian, etc.) • Middle Eastern (Saudi, Israeli, Iraqi, Egyptian, etc.)
Anthropologist Jacques Maquet asks • Can geographical unity be translated into cultural unity? • What conceptual tools are necessary to grasp this unity?
Two anthropological concepts: Society • A group of persons whose organized activities ensure that the material and psychological needs of each of its members will be satisfied. • Its members regard themselves as forming a unit with well-defined boundaries.
Culture • The complex totality of material objects, items of behavior, and ideas acquired in varying degrees by each member of a given society • Shared values • Society could not exist without Culture
Africanity • A unique cultural face • Totality of knowledge, behavior, ideas, and objects that constitutes a common heritage • Transcends ethnic (tribal) and national specifics
Not mysterious • Not an essence • Not esoteric • Not a body of knowledge • Totality of cultural factors common to hundreds of societies
Content of Africanity • Sources-- result of a double process of adaptation and diffusion • Differs from other attempts • intellectual (Negritude) • political (Pan-Africanism)
Sources • Similar experience • Migrations • Isolation • Colonial penetration and industrialization • Nationalization
Similar experience • Use of the environment for livelihood • Subsistence is hard, food scarcity • Hunting and gathering (Bow) • Shifting agriculture • Herding (Spear)
Migrations • Bantu migration • Diffusion of ideas, techniques, and languages
Isolation • Boundaries • Rivers and coastlines limited transportation • Valuables (gold and slaves) taken out • Little technology brought in (until recently)
Colonial penetration and industrialization • Arbitrarily cut up and turned into colonies and then countries • Imposition of social, political and economic domination
Colonial penetration & industrialization • Extractive and money economies • Civil servants and bureaucracies
Nationalization • During similar time periods • Stress and political upheavals
Contents of Africanity • Kinship and social aspects • Political • Daily Life • Economic
Contents of Africanity: kinship • Importance of the family, not individual • Child has intimate and secure contact with the mother and many relatives • Permanent groupings
Contents of Africanity: Kinship • Ascribed status • Importance of ancestors • Focus on fertility • Marriage is a group decision
Contents of Africanity: Daily life • Little personal insecurity and loneliness • Social sanctions • Importance of small-scale, village life
Contents of Africanity--Political • State societies based on surplus • Stateless societies attuned with nature • Territorial power and sacred power of elders and chiefs • Some class and caste societies