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The authority of ancestors: a sociological reconsideration of Forte's Tallensi in response to Forte's critics

Calhoun, Craig (1997) The authority of ancestors: a sociological reconsideration of Forte's Tallensi in response to Forte's critics. Experience Rich Anthropology (1997) Website.

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Abstract

Forte's account of ancestor worship and kinship among the Tallensi has recently been subjected to a variety of criticisms. Most of these have stemmed at least in part from misunderstandings of Fortes. More fundamentally, many have tended to stress cultural categories and terminology to the exclusion of sociological analysis. They have reduced the authority of ancestors to a static set of norms or a seemingly random collection of ritual observances. Some have even suggested that the distinctions between living and dead, agnatic and non-agnatic ancestors, are matters of indifference. The present article challenges these interpretations with a reconsideration of Forte's material in which the authority of ancestors is treated sociologically and seen to be the key to the working of the Tale kinship system.

Item Type: Website (Website)
Official URL: http://www.era.anthropology.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 1997 University of Kent
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Sets: Research centres and groups > Director's Management Team
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2013 16:10
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/55081/

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