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Unmasking the State – Making Guinea Modern - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Unmasking the State: Making Guinea Modern

Mike McGovern


When the Republic of Guinea gained independence in 1958, one of the first policies of the new state was a village-to-village eradication of masks and other ritual objects it deemed “fetishes.” The Demystification Program, as it was called, was so urgent it even preceded the building of a national road system. This book attempts to understand why this program was so important to the emerging state and examines the complex role it had in creating a unified national identity. In doing so, it tells a dramatic story of cat and mouse where minority groups cling desperately to their important—and out ... More

Keywords: Republic of Guinea, independence, Demystification Program, national identity, Forestiers, folklorization, rituals

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780226925097
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226925110.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mike McGovern, author