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Chimpanzees, sorcery and contestation in a protected area in Guinea-Bissau

Sousa, J., Hill, C. and Ainslie, A. (2017) Chimpanzees, sorcery and contestation in a protected area in Guinea-Bissau. Social Anthropology, 25 (3). pp. 364-379. ISSN 1469-8676

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1469-8676.12418


In Cantanhez National Park in Guinea-Bissau the construction of meaning made upon encounters with chimpanzees is associated with local social life. If a chimpanzee makes an unprovoked attack on a person, its actions are often understood as those of a sorcerer. Chimpanzees are involved in two parallel accusation discourses, one is played in intimate spheres of sociability where sorcerers harm their kin to benefit from secret alliances, and the other addresses a wider audience perceived to benefit from chimpanzees which are being protected at the expense of other humans. Both narratives represent local criticism against transgressions to calculations of redistribution and reciprocity.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of International Development
ID Code:69726
Uncontrolled Keywords:chimpanzees, sorcery, national park, nature conservation, reciprocity


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