Publisher: African Studies Association

Death and The Left Hand: islam, Gender, and “Proper” Mandinga Funerary Custom In Guinea-Bissau and Portugal

Michelle C. Johnson
KEYWORDS: Death and the Left Hand: Islam, Gender, and “Proper” Mandinga Funerary Custom in Guinea-Bissau and Portugal

ABSTRACT:

This article explores Islam, gender, and “proper” Mandinga funerary “custom” in Guinea-Bissau and Portugal, specifically the contradictions and debates between men and women about Mandinga custom and Islam as they play out in the ritual of shaking with the left hand, wailing at funerals, and visiting healers to investigate the nature of particular deaths. It suggests that far from constituting a “crisis of modernity,” these contradictions and debates have long been central to how Mandinga imagine themselves in a changing world. They have become intensified, however, in the transnational era, in which continuity among identity, place, and death has been ruptured.




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