Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reluctant LandscapesHistorical Anthropologies of Political Experience in Siin, Senegal$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

François G. Richard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226252407

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226252681.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

“The Very Model of Egalitarian and Anarchic Peasantry”: Seereer Cultural Landscapes and the Ethnographic Imagination

“The Very Model of Egalitarian and Anarchic Peasantry”: Seereer Cultural Landscapes and the Ethnographic Imagination

Chapter:
(p.101) Four “The Very Model of Egalitarian and Anarchic Peasantry”: Seereer Cultural Landscapes and the Ethnographic Imagination
Source:
Reluctant Landscapes
Author(s):

François G. Richard

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226252681.003.0004

Chapter 4 addresses the construction of peasantries and tradition in colonial ethnography. Although the Seereer have been portrayed as timeless farmers, a close reading of ethnographic archives, attentive to convergent and dissonant accounts, shows that images of typical peasants greatly underestimate the dynamism of rural culture. The chapter also examines how static portraits of Seereer farmers speak as much to imperial anxieties and colonial preoccupations as to the social existence of people in Siin. Key to these discursive productions was the crystallization of Seereer farmers as creatures of their natural milieu. Landscape here serves as a visual technology of colonial power, which assisted the primitivization of rural Africans while papering over evidence of Seereer cultural dynamism in the colonial and precolonial pasts. To redress these representations, we must instead view tradition as a labile mode of engagement with outside forces of change. Indeed, a close reading of the written record shows considerable vibrancy and heterogeneity in Seereer social and political organization, kinship structures, agricultural ecology and landholding practices, village layouts, cultural economy, and religious orientations – which, in turn, provides a fluid baseline of cultural information to be compared with documentary, oral and archaeological evidence for earlier periods.

Keywords:   tradition, peasantries, historical ethnography, colonial archives, colonial gaze and representation, race and racialization, nature and naturalization, visual technologies of power, photography, dialectics of sources

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.