Abstract: Place names are expression of a culture that is inscribed in the space as geography. This essay shows the symbolic role of some place names, collected through fieldwork, in the social organization of a small rural community in the northeast of Cameroon: the Gizey. This population has no temples or altars, but a culturally important sacred geography can be recognized in its habitat and land-scape. The Gizey incorporate mythical and ritual components into place names which contribute to the understanding of the power, economic, cultural and territorial relations between the different exogamous lineages of society. The interpretation of the names reveals the current organization of Gizey territory. The description of the sacred places, myths and sacrifices also helps to discover a complex and dynamic identity, founded on traditional beliefs very important for the social reproduction of Gizey. Therefore the territorial know-how expressed by the toponyms, concerning the knowledge about the nature and the built places, is the most sophisticated manifestation of a symbolic practice that guides culturally the collective action.

Pour une géographie des lieux sacrés gizey

Gaffuri Luigi;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Abstract: Place names are expression of a culture that is inscribed in the space as geography. This essay shows the symbolic role of some place names, collected through fieldwork, in the social organization of a small rural community in the northeast of Cameroon: the Gizey. This population has no temples or altars, but a culturally important sacred geography can be recognized in its habitat and land-scape. The Gizey incorporate mythical and ritual components into place names which contribute to the understanding of the power, economic, cultural and territorial relations between the different exogamous lineages of society. The interpretation of the names reveals the current organization of Gizey territory. The description of the sacred places, myths and sacrifices also helps to discover a complex and dynamic identity, founded on traditional beliefs very important for the social reproduction of Gizey. Therefore the territorial know-how expressed by the toponyms, concerning the knowledge about the nature and the built places, is the most sophisticated manifestation of a symbolic practice that guides culturally the collective action.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/131502
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