Institutt for sosialantropologi

A Road is Long: Cosmological and aspirational aspects of Diola – Ajamaat social formation, Guinea - Bissau


Av Synne Eintveit Fredriksen

Veileder: Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

This thesis deals with processes of social formation among the Diola – Ajamaat in Guinea – Bissau.

Building on close to six months of fieldwork in Sao Domingos region, the communities among which I undertook fieldwork were primarily concerned with subsistence farming and rice being the staple food. As this region of the country is characterized by a weak state and strong transnational connection, during fieldwork I chose to focus on various orders and dynamics beyond formal state order and national framework.

Centrally, the thesis explores processes of social formation and the ways in which a range of culturally defined aspirations as well as enduring cosmological dimensions is integral to such a process. This is reflected in thesis where the first three chapter’s deal, in different ways with continuities that impinge on processes of social formation, in particular various levels of cosmological ordering, whilst processes of cultural creations can inform aspirations within them either towards existing structuration’s of power or in their capacity to include changing life – worlds or aspirations.