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This article explores the changing nature of the “volunteer” as an official role within health and development interventions in East Africa. Contemporary development interventions require the engagement of volunteers to act as links between project and community. This role is increasingly professionalized within development architectures with implications for the kinds of people who can engage in volunteering opportunities. Volunteers in development interventions are likely to be drawn from public sector staff and from educated youth seeking access to positions of paid employment. Volunteering as a formal status within the organization of development programs is recognized as a kind of professional work by those seeking to engage with development organizations. Volunteers perform important work in linking development programs with beneficiaries. At the same time, volunteering provides opportunities for personal transformation.
Public practices for the suppression of witchcraft are periodically performed throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Anthropologists have generally sought to interpret such practices rather than explain them. This interpretation rests on assumptions about what such practices might mean for social actors rather than on the actual social processes which make their public performance possible. In the anthropological view, the performance of anti-witchcraft practices amounts to an expression of discontent with aspects of social and economic life deriving from the terms of Africa's engagement with the contemporary world. Antiwitchcraft practices and the witchcraft discourse of which they are part are understood to constitute locally constructed critiques of social transformation and modernity. But, whatever the coherence of the symbolic logic expressed in anti-witchcraft practices, such accounts fail to explain why large numbers of people participate in such practices from time to time or how such practices become public.
To determine the effect of the rate and pattern of patient transfers among institutions within a single metropolitan area on the rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission among patients in hospitals and nursing homes.
A stochastic, discrete-time, Monte Carlo simulation was used to model the rate and spread of MRSA transmission among patients in medical institutions within a single metropolitan area. Admission, discharges, transfers, and nosocomial transmission were simulated with respect to different interinstitutional transfer strategies and various situational scenarios, such as outlier institutions with high transmission rates.
The simulation results indicated that transfer patterns and transfer rate changes do not affect nosocomial MRSA transmission. Outlier institutions with high transmission rates affect the systemwide rate of nosocomial infections differently, depending on institution type.
It is worth effort to understanding disease-transmission dynamics and interinstitutional transfer patterns for the management of recently introduced diseases or strains. Once endemic in a system, other strategies for transmission control need to be implemented.
In Africa, as elsewhere in the world, gender is experienced as a process of gradual transformation in a person's physical and emotional being. Bodies matter, and are made to matter through the repetitions and reiterations which performatively effect gendered personhood (Butler 1993: 9). For Pogoro Catholics, bodies are given meaning at the level of experience through a twofold process of incorporation. Symbolic constructions of gender are embodied and incorporated into male and female persons through rituals that establish and consolidate gendered identities by the manipulation of both physical substances and cosmological powers capable of affecting the body. Participation in such rituals is not merely experienced in the symbolic terms of representations, but as progressively emotionally affecting those who participate. Representations of gender are not confined to the abstract level of symbolic discourse, but are enacted and experienced through specific ritual roles of gendered interdependencies (cf. Kratz 1994). These roles centre on a division of labour between men and certain categories of women who assume responsibility for dealing with the potentially dangerous powers generated through fertility and death.
I argue that women's experience of loving and caring for others, and of managing death and sorrow, underlies a distinctly female religiosity premised on the remembrance of the crucified Christ through compassion for his bereaved mother, Mary.
Along with Independence and the end of colonial rule the 1960s saw the official end of the missionary era in much of Africa, including Tanzania, and the formal transfer of power to a new generation of African clergy. Not so much in anticipation of this as the perceived need for more priests as their Christian communities expanded the Capuchins had begun to train local men for ordination relatively early. The first priest from within the diocese was ordained in 1948, but it was not until the late 1970s that over 75 per cent of priests working in the diocese were Tanzanian. Prior to 1960 a mere five indigenous clergy had been ordained. Ordinations increased in the 1960s and 1970s, with a further twenty-eight ordinations. In 1988 the staff of the diocese comprised forty-one indigenous priests and nine missionary fathers, not all of whom were in residence. A decade later the diocese had a mere five Capuchin priests, two mission brothers and two mission sisters, as opposed to fifty-eight diocesan priests, four indigenous Capuchin priests, three indigenous brothers and two hundred and fifteen Diocesan sisters of St Francis of Assisi. On the face of it the Church in Mahenge is no longer a missionary church. This is not in fact the case. The diocese remains heavily dependent on external funds and, at least up to the early 1990s, received the bulk of this either from or through the missionary orders which were the agents of evangelisation in the diocese.
Successive post-missionary ecclesiastical regimes in the diocese have continued to emphasise the importance of sustaining a clear break between what is categorised as Christianity and non-Christian practice, a situation mirrored by clergy in other post-mission contexts in Africa and Asia (Mosse 1996; Stirrat 1992; Bond 1987; Wijsen 1993). The result, at least in Ulanga's Catholic communities, has been a perpetuation of practices that the Church defines as non-Christian outside the boundaries of the Church. This separation between church defined Christianity and apparently ‘un-Christian’ practice is not manifested in a separation between Christians and non Christians, but in the lives and practice of people who, while they define themselves as Christian, continue to perform what is classified by the Church as ‘un-Christian’. The majority of such practice concerns the relations between predecessors and descendants and is glossed in some contexts as belonging to the category of tradition or custom (kimila/jadi) (Green 1994).
Practice defined as ‘traditional’ is not unchanging (cf. Boyer 1990). It can incorporate change as long as change is initiated on the authority of the dead and the spirits associated with the specific territories in which Pogoro people reside, facilitating the inclusion of distinctly Christian elements into contemporary strategies for maintaining relationships with ancestors. Masses for the dead have come to be regarded by some families as equivalents to offerings of beer and food to remember the dead.
The historical geography of governance in Tanzania fostered the emergence of administrative ethnicities as artefacts of imperial modernity. New relationships between people and places generated by this process were to have implications for the direction of large-scale shifts in religious affiliation in the twentieth century as European missionary orders gained initial rights, and eventual monopolies, in the pursuit of evangelisation strategies in specific areas. The politicised situation of location is manifested in the historical constitution of contemporary cultural identities in Tanzania which continue to be bound up with particular locations, religious affiliations and cultural practices. These processes are clearly evident in the histories of the district of Ulanga and of the Roman Catholic diocese once coterminous with, and now exceeding, its boundaries. In Ulanga, and to an extent outside it, formal affiliation to the Roman Catholic Church is associated with a particular ethnic identity, just as the district, like other ‘out of the way’ (cf. Tsing 1993: 8–49) districts, is associated in national popular culture with a lack of ‘development’ (Green 2000a) and is popularly perceived as being so divorced from contemporary political and economic realities as to be legitimately, if jokingly, more properly considered part of Tanganyika – the pre-independence polity.
The district's majority ethnic group, probably numbering around ninety thousand, are people who define themselves, through adherence to a specific language and body of custom (mila na desturi) as Pogoro.
Colonial civilisation and the adoption of Christianity
The majority of the world's Christians no longer live in Europe or north America but in the countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa south of the Sahara. Christianities of one sort or another are taken for granted aspects of the lives of billions of people in diverse communities that retain collective memories of non-Christian traditions and, frequently, continue to perform practices associated with them. The present constitution of different local Christianities is highly varied, reflecting in part the different forms and context of its promotion, adoption and ongoing transformation in and through practice. While these Christianities may appear to have very little in common beyond a belief in Jesus Christ they share to an extent a common origin and history. What informed and facilitated the remarkable and comparatively recent globalisation of Christianity was colonialism in its myriad forms (Hefner 1993, Burridge 1991). Colonial conquest created the preconditions for the kinds of political and economic contexts with which foreign missionaries could engage relatively unchallenged. Colonial governance formalised specific niches for missionary action that complemented the evangelisation endeavour.
Of course, neither colonialism nor missionary evangelisations were unitary projects in any simple sense (Thomas 1994). However, affinities in goal and purpose fostered a synergy that was to enhance the expansionist capabilities of both. Colonialism is essentially concerned with the establishment and consolidation of control over subject populations through their transformation (Comaroff and Comaroff 1992: 235). The aims of evangelical mission were similar.
This chapter examines the manifestation of public witchcraft suppression practices in Ulanga District, historically and in the present. Movements for the suppression of witchcraft have swept across south eastern and central Africa throughout the twentieth century. Perhaps the best documented is kamcape, observed at different places and points in its history by Audrey Richards, Max Marwick and Roy Willis. The practice of such movements tends to be similar. They are often associated with a single practitioner, either based at a cult centre or on whose authority itinerant specialists work. Their ritual practice is generally public, involving groups of people or even entire villages. It centres on the use of medicine that both suppresses the powers of witches and protects potential victims from witchcraft attack. Often, both witches and accusers participate and receive the same treatment, a key component of which entails the purification of clients. This is achieved by washing parts of the body in special medicines thought to have cleansing, as well as anti-witchcraft properties. The anti-witchcraft medicine of kamcape was explicitly associated with cleansing, the very name of the movement being derived from the verb ‘to clean’ or ‘to scrub’ (Richards 1935: 149; Willis 1968: 8; Marwick 1950: 100). In the Tanzanian movements, this purification sometimes involves shaving off the hair, hence witchcraft suppression practices are talked about in terms of ‘shaving witchcraft’ (Redmayne 1970: 114; Green 1994).
This book gives an anthropological account of popular religiosity in a largely Catholic community in Tanzania and of the shifting dynamics of its relationship with the Church as an institution enmeshed in the material world. The Roman Catholic Church is one of the largest Christian churches in Tanzania with some 9.3 million members out of a population recently estimated to be 63 million. According to the 1998 Catholic Directory of Tanzania it has a total of 9293520 members. Established in the country for over one hundred years and strongly associated with the provision of educational services in the colonial period, the Catholic Church is both widely respected and politically significant, counting among its public supporters leading statesmen and women, of whom the late president Julius Nyerere is the best-known example. Fully engaged in the post-adjustment political and economic transformations currently taking place in the country and still involved in the delivery of basic services, as well as education and training, the Catholic Church retains a position of some influence in post-colonial Tanzania. This influence is most pronounced in areas which have a long-established Catholic presence and infrastructure of mission.
In the aftermath of colonial mission, Christianity has come to have widespread acceptance in Southern Tanzania. In this book, Maia Green explores contemporary Catholic practice in a rural community of Southern Tanzania. Setting the adoption of Christianity and the suppression of witchcraft in a historical context, she suggests that power relations established during the colonial period continue to hold between both popular Christianity and orthodoxy, and local populations and indigenous clergy. Paradoxically, while local practices around the constitution of kinship and personhood remain defiantly free of Christian elements, they inform a popular Christianity experienced as a system of substances and practices. This book offers a challenge to idealist and interpretative accounts of African participation in twentieth-century religious forms, and argues for a politically grounded analysis of historical processes. It will appeal widely to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology and African Studies; particularly those interested in religion and kinship.
Kinship relationships are not conceptualised as given. Biological relatedness merely creates the potentiality for kinship qualitatively defined. Consequently, claims to kinship and the quality of the content of relationships with kin are potentially negotiable in the public fora where kinship is performatively constituted through ritual and exchange. Decades of migration mean that those to whom a person is related (walongu) are widely dispersed throughout the country. Beyond the idiomatic kinship that characterises neighbourly sociality, the formalisation of kinship relations and their association with specific locales is now a transient artefact of life-crisis rituals. Kinship is dramatised at events associated with marriage and at funerals, where relationships are displayed by such actions as shaving, marking the faces of the relatives of the deceased with flour, the transaction of token payments and the inheritance of property and names. Participation matters, as ‘evidence of kinship’ (Wilson 1957: 200). Payments at funerals and those that make up the marriage process are transacted in cash and are thus highly divisible among those who can present a claim to receiving a portion of them. The sum of money a person receives is less important than the fact that by receiving it they have a legitimate claim to the relationship which receiving a portion of the payment implies. Actual sums obtained by those at the margins of kinship transactions are so small as to be of little economic significance, even to poor households. The value of relationship, however, cannot be overstated.
Perhaps contrary to initial expectations, there was no immediate break between pre and post-Independence Tanganyika, at least from the perspective of the rural dweller who found that life remained pretty much the same. National policy in the post-independence period merely accentuated colonial techniques for the marginalisation of the south. The tanu regime strove to institutionalise and embed party power across all tiers of Tanzanian society, sometimes by forced nationalisation and confrontation, sometimes by stealth. The result was the gradual conversion of state and economy to an extension of the party machine (Mlimuka and Kabudi 1986; Moore 1988). The aim was to establish new power relations based on a party definition of political legitimacy while eclipsing, if not eliminating, pre-existing positions of political authority.
The impacts of these changes were variable. In some districts apparently ‘pre-colonial’ positions of ‘traditional’ authority, in actuality the creations of indirect rule, sustained themselves for a time in parallel to the reformed system (Abrahams 1981: 38; Thiele 1984: 60). Elsewhere, individual holders of power shrewdly strove to build convergence between pre and post-colonial positions through strategic manipulation of the blurred interface between state, party and local level political regimes. Of course, political authority never rested solely with government servants, whether they were chiefs, headmen or representatives of the political party. Power and authority were, and are, fragmented and related to the material and symbolic resources which a person actually had under their control (Lonsdale 1986).