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Baobabs and Toubabs! (An Irreverant Introduction to Colonialism?)

Senegal Yoff, Senegal  |  Jan 15, 2009
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This is only the beginning of what will (I hope!) be a much longer paper or project, perhaps integral to my thesis (no, not Honors Thesis; the Rock requires 8 credits of thesis work to graduate). I so like the sound of this particular rhyme (and usually rhyme just annoys the hell out of me!)!

Actually, I`m not sure where to start, but the idea is to trace the decline of animism (hence the baobabs) and the ascent of salvivic religions in certain places in recent centuries...Here I`m trying to distinguish between so-called "Taker" culture--very useful shorthand, but that has its problems--in the Fertile Crescent for millenia and in places like "the New World" and "l`Afrique" for only a handful of centuries. As such, the decline of traditional human societies, the tribal configurations, that is, and all the beneficial aspects and elements that go with them (this clearly includes animism) can be woven in with questions of colonialism (and here the toubabs, or white people, the people known here very acutely for their ugly history as colonists and enslavers and tormenters and rulers, etc., enter the picture) and its detrimental qualities, commodifying and transforming "the Other" with that capital "o".

That`s the snapshot. To be continued...

But I must say, it`s been incredibly fun having people here ask me about my religious "persuasion" and be able to answer "animist" and have people not only understand what I`m talking about but have some idea how it is lived. Of course it`s weird being one of those attempting to be part of "Taker-Hohokam," but I am perfectly willing to accept and affirm the integrity of my directionality in coming to animism--counter to most people in the world moving from traditional spiritualities into the salvivics, I`m going from Christianity and spiritual tumult to clarity and substance. La!

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