Whether initiating girls or healing cattle, bringing rain or protesting taxation, many in Africa share a vision of a world where the cultural, symbolic and cosmic categories of 'male' and 'female' serve, through ritual, to both reimagine and transform the world. Those Who Play With Fire introduces recent gender theory to the analysis of African ethnography, exploring the ways in which ideational gender categories permeate African systems of thought and ritual practices. Thus, the book provides a powerful framework with which to evaluate previous ethnographic material on Africa. In addition, Those Who Play With Fire presents a broad range of new case studies - of hunter-gatherers, agriculturalists and pastoralists - revealing the varied and complex ways in which African ideas and ideals of what it means to be 'male' and 'female' broadly inform and give meaning to a wide range of transformative rituals.
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