Muslim Families in Global Senegal: Money Takes Care of Shame

Muslim Families in Global Senegal: Money Takes Care of Shame

Muslim Families in Global Senegal: Money Takes Care of Shame

Muslim Families in Global Senegal: Money Takes Care of Shame

Synopsis

Senegalese Murid migrants have circulated cargo and currency through official and unofficial networks in Africa and the world. Muslim Families in Global Senegal focuses on trade and the transmission of enduring social value though cloth, videos of life-cycle rituals, and religious offerings. Highlighting women's participation in these networks and the financial strategies they rely on, Beth Buggenhagen reveals the deep connections between economic profits and ritual and social authority. Buggenhagen discovers that these strategies are not responses to a dispersed community in crisis, but rather produce new roles, wealth, and worth for Senegalese women in all parts of the globe.

Excerpt

Throughout the day, public transport drivers who were unwilling to venture onto the unpaved streets of Khar Yalla contributed to the congestion at the roundabout. It was at one time patriotically painted red, yellow, and green by youth reclaiming and cleaning up their streets during the set setal (renewal) movement of the early 1990s. By 2000, it was blackened with exhaust and peeling paint. the density of the traffic in this quartier populaire was matched by the density of its population, which led some Dakaroise to refer to this neighborhood on the periphery of the nation’s capital as a bidonville. Its early residents were evicted from the self-built structures, or shantytowns, of central Dakar. Many residents were rural exiles who had escaped declining agricultural output, and they had named their new settlement Khar Yalla, meaning “waiting for God.” It was a bustling neighborhood marked by the constant movement of people striving to earn a living. There were people who were working, retired, and unemployed, and there were rural and urban exiles. Over the years, Khar Yalla has welcomed refugees from zones of conflict in West Africa, including Guinea-Bissau, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the drawn-out secessionist struggle in Casamance, a region in southern Senegal. It has been home to many ethnic groups from Senegal, Mali, and Mauritania, including the Wolof, Serer, Manjack, Pulaar, Diola, Brama, and Bambara.

Residents often complained about the car rapide, the urban van transport, which jammed the roundabout with noxious billowing exhaust. the vans’ apprenti called out the destinations of “Ndakaru, Ndakaru” or “Pikine, Pikine,” coaxing aboard riders who were headed to work as traders, tailors, office workers, or teachers; to a family celebration; or to one of the major markets. If taxi drivers were not washing the dusty residue from their cars as they waited for fares, they could be found gathered under the shade of the thatched structure erected near the entrance to this urban neighborhood, where they gambled on a game called mankala, rolled out mats to pray, brewed attaya (mint tea), or ordered a sweet, milky café Tuba from one of the nearby rice shops, which were run by women. Overnight . . .

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