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4_28_05_460j_rev - 21A.460 Essays focus on grappling with...

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21A.460 April 28, 2005 Essays: focus on grappling with the content critique the methodology of the authors Exercise: Map out what embodiment looks like in Haiti. What does social environment look like in Jeanty? What kinds of social groupings are there? Are they nuclear? Extended? Spatial geography and identity as forms of kinship alliances o lakou : basic family structure o kinship diagram (similar to Janzen’s): ± bilateral system of inheritance: person can inherit from both male and female lines ± this is a blending of social structures in Caribbean countries, not purely African ± father is considered patriarch of family, but women are important and have social significance within the family ± ancestor spirits are venerated Shifts in family structuring: o In the 1950s-60s under Duvalier, there was a mass exodus from countryside to the cities (mostly in search of jobs) o Duvaliers promoted industrial growth o many mulatto elite felt persecuted and hence left for the United States or Canada. Important question: o What is the sense of person and identity in this family structure? How to describe anatomy in this context? o division between good/bad spirits controlling a person ± ti bon anj (good angel) ± gwo bon anj (bad angel) o the two are good/bad aspects of a person that controls particular forms of behavior o Ti bon anj: ± self-conscious awareness of self; can leave is dispossession - people claim that ti bon anj can leave the body; akin to ego in Freudian language (as described by those who are biomedically inclined); resides in head (tèt); rather like distinction between soul and spirit – hard to determine o Gwo bon anj: ± animating aspect of body (‘soul’) that some attribute to negative actions. Extends out, can travel, which allows it to move through space. 1
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o Main point of describing these: there are different components of self that are non-corporeal. There are different ways to think about a person. How to describe body and delineate important components of the self? o Concept of ‘blood’ ± What happens when a person gets angry? Blood can ‘rise’, which makes people angry. ± Teas, baths, can regulate temperature, which can then regulate
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4_28_05_460j_rev - 21A.460 Essays focus on grappling with...

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