Brain, James Lewton. Symbolic rebirth: the "Mwali" rite among the Luguru of eastern Tanzania

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Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Symbolic rebirth: the "Mwali" rite among the Luguru of eastern Tanzania

Published in: if part or section of a book or monograph Africa -- Vol. 48, no. 2

Published By: Original publisher Africa -- Vol. 48, no. 2 London: Oxford University Press. 1978. 176-188 p.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication James L. Brain

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2020. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Luguru (FN32)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Puberty and initiation (881); Organized ceremonial (796); Menstruation (841); Childbirth (844); Gender status (562); Gender roles and issues (890); Techniques of socialization (861); Sex training (864); Ethnopsychology (828); Avoidance and taboo (784); Cult of the dead (769); Kin relationships (602); Nuptials (585);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This study argues that Luguru female initiation rites can be linked to what the author calls "unconscious male envy of female procreativity." This claim is justified through systematic interpretation of important symbols and prescriptions featured during different phases of the rite. The seclusion of the girl in a dark room at the onset of her first menstruation is likened to conception in the womb. In the course of her long seclusion the girl has to lie in a fetal position on a short bed and simulate total helplessness. At the end of her seclusion, the girl appears to a waiting crowd, carried on the shoulders of a brother of her soon-to-be husband, almost naked, covered in oil and with her eyes closed, as if emerging from the womb. As a whole, these instructions and displays signal that while women give birth to babies, men control the ultimate formula for making an adult woman.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 8

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. fn32-008

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Journal Article

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 187-188)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1965-1966

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Anthropologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Teferi Abate Adem; 2020

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1965-1966

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Uluguru Mountains, Morogoro Region, Tanzania

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Luguru (African people)


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