206 Slices
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SIX “Should a Good Muslim Cover Her Face?” Pilgrimage, Veiling, and Fundamentalisms in Cameroon • JOSÉ C. M. VAN SANTEN

Elisha P Renne Indiana University Press ePub

The issue of veiling in sub-Saharan Africa has received little attention. Perhaps that is because most women as well as men, Christians as well as Muslims, have used various types of head coverings as indicative of social distinctions as well as protection against the sun. However, in recent decades in Cameroon and elsewhere in Africa, veiling as a form of religious expression has emerged in juxtaposition with modernity, politics, and laïcité (Van Santen 2010b). Veiling is now associated with particular ideas, events, and actions that link important aspects of social life and can alter during the course of a woman’s life (Van Santen 2010a). In this chapter, I explore one such change in women’s veiling practices, namely the pilgrimage to Mecca, the (hajj), one of the five pillars of Islam. What influence does going on hajj have on women’s veiling practices in Cameroon?

Globalization and increased cash flow have meant that more Muslim women are able to go on the hajj. On their return, these women are allowed to carry the prestigious title of alhadzja. Although Saudi Arabia does not allow Cameroonian women to make a pilgrimage to Mecca on their own (meaning without a husband), organizers of the hajj have found ways to bypass this rule. Thus women from various ethnic backgrounds and social classes arrive in Mecca and are confronted with new notions of what a “good” Muslim should look like. Some female pilgrims return home with a black face-covering veil (niqāb), intending to begin wearing it on their return. Others consider their usual way of veiling sufficient. In the past non-Muslim women wore a simple headtie, and Muslim women would add an extra piece of cloth in the same color as their gowns. However, after women go on hajj, the choice of veiling can become a significant issue and a topic for discussion.

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Medium 9780253349118

15. The Wedding

Pravina Shukla Indiana University Press ePub

ON A STEAMY JULY evening in 1996, a small gathering of people sat in plastic chairs on the lawn of a five-star hotel in the Mughal city of Lucknow, waiting for the ceremony to begin. The bride, Shalini Shrivastava, looked beautiful as she emerged, accompanied by her younger sister, Nidhi. Shalini wore a magenta silk lehanga and covered her head modestly with the dupatta, surrounding her pretty face in bright, soft fabric. She wore the customary gold jewelry; the golden hathphul on her hands glittered in the flash of the cameras. Shalini approached the platform where her groom, Rohit, waited, dressed in a turban and an off-white suit with a long Nehru jacket, called a shervani.1 The couple exchanged flower garlands to the applause of their family and friends. A rich meal followed, after which most of the guests went home. Only the immediate family and a few close friends remained for the Hindu ceremony that continued into the night, during which the pundit, with Vedic chants in Sanskrit, united the young couple in eternal matrimony.

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Medium 9780253015754

6. Professionalizing Childhood: Nollywood and the New Youth Transnationalism

Noah A. Tsika Indiana University Press ePub


It would be difficult to overstate the paradoxical dilemmas facing African child performers, who tend to inspire hope while evoking fear. Over the past several years, I have encountered numerous Nollywood fans who criticize the industry for, in their eyes, failing to facilitate child stardom, and for forcing them to accept adult icons Ramsey Nouah, Mercy Johnson, Genevieve Nnaji, and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde (among many others) in youth roles. While acknowledging that it would be impossible to uncover any one reason for this contentious industrial trend, I nevertheless set out to better understand it. I found, almost at once, that fans’ overwhelmingly negative reactions to age-inappropriate casting—to, specifically, the casting of obvious adults in the roles of children—had much to do with these fans’ aspirations for Nollywood itself, with their collective hope that the industry might one day achieve a level of aesthetic realism commensurate with perceived global standards. While an orientation toward iconographic realism has fueled the so-called New Nollywood Cinema, with its focus on the ontology of the photographic image, it is clear that it extends as well to age, generating fan demand for the development of child stars to tackle child roles.

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Medium 9780253008527

3 - The Second Generation of Hoosier Plein Air Painters

Indiana Plein Air Painters Association Quarry Books ePub

When he sold his portion of the Hermitage in Brookville to J. Ottis Adams in 1906, T. C. Steele had already identified his new painting ground. After exploring the rugged appeal of Brown County, he'd discovered more than sixty acres for sale on a hilltop near Belmont, between Nashville and Bloomington. He bought the land and hired a local builder, William Quick, to construct his new studio home.

While overseeing the work, Steele had an unexpected visitor. Despite the isolation of his wilderness home site, an artist named Adolph R. Shulz (1869–1963) showed up one spring day in 1907 to meet him and see his building project. “He [Shulz] was immensely pleased with Brown County, and this region especially,” Steele wrote to his wife-to-be, Selma Neubacher (1870–1945), “and said if he could find a place to board, he might bring his family and spend the summer. Some day artists will come to this county. So possibly you and I will be pioneers to blaze the way for future artists.”1

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Coda: From Spears to Guns in the North Rift

Sidney Littlefield Kasfir Indiana University Press ePub



This book has asked: What happens to a complex representation when the cultural script undergoes a major change? The original context was British colonialism, but just such a thing has occurred again during the decade in which this book was researched and written. In this last section, I attempt an updated reading on the fighting spear in Samburu culture, the evidence for which comes from reports on the radio, on the Internet, and in newspapers and from first-hand accounts within Samburu District.

In Idomaland, it took the Pax Britannica and the banning of headhunting in 1917 to aestheticize and memorialize warriorhood and turn a disappearing supply of enemy crania into carved representations and a war dance into a masquerade. Nearly a century later, Samburu warriorhood is still a recognized and clearly marked stage of life, but in the past decade its main symbol, the spear, has begun to undergo a similar kind of transformation.

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