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The Manon of Guinea: a people living on borderlands

This study provides an extensive analysis of the historical, social, and political events experienced by the Manon communities of Guinea. Looking at the Manon of Guinea as marginal communities residing in the forest area, and looking at their geographical location and history will provide us with important insights into how a group, as one instance among many other groups in Africa, can experience social and economic decline as a consequence of colonialism and territorial separation. Before colonialism, the Manon were in an influential and dominant political position, and had access to regional resources and trade. The present reduced status and economic situation of the Manon and, perhaps, of other communities in Africa might be one cause of conflict and a better understanding such conditions might help in their prevention.
From an anthropological perspective, I investigate the Manon’s political direction and their ethnic identity through the historical processes which are linked in concrete ways with their experience of living on or near international borders. Political and cultural forces on the local level, often influenced by international forces, give borders a peculiar political structure that might generate a problematic relation with the state. States have to defend and control their borders or run the risk of destabilization. Moreover, people living on state borders might engage in economic and political activities, which often compete with the state and might be a threat to the state’s power.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
3 Introduction In the last decades of the twentieth century, many societies have been implicated in heated controversies in which the ideals of nation-building and assimilation, as supported by dominant groups, have clashed with the ideals of autonomy and multiculturalism, as claimed by minority groups. Consequently, the world has witnessed the increase and spread of frontier conflicts and instability, where state borders are increasingly impotent and flows of refugees wander throughout the world. Ethnic and frontier conflict has devastated the former Yugoslavia and it has extended towards the former Soviet Union. There are prolonged conflicts in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe and in many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. The past two centuries were marked by symbolic and material boundary adjustments throughout the African continent, where regional limits seldom coincided with the official limits, rules or languages of states. Unquestionably, as of today, domestic and international security has been seriously challenged by conflicts between opposing ethnic groups or between ethnic groups pitted against the state governing the country in which they live. From the inside and the outside, new groups of competitors organize into networks and claim their rights over state territories and regions. Moreover, this kind of conflict is worldwide and it is often expressed through violence and cruelty. Such ethnic conflict is not new. Historically, the collapse of empires, decolonization, and state breakdowns has involved ethnic conflicts.

Tesi di Master

Autore: Ligeia Studer Contatta »

Composta da 66 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 462 click dal 07/05/2004.

 

Consultata integralmente 3 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.