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Personhood, Blessing and Divine Recompense in Soninke Culture

Publisher: SIL Mali, 2005
Language: Soninke

Soninke people conform to their cultural norms and even strive toward the ideal because they are motivated by a combination of three basic beliefs/values. The first is the desire to be thought well of by others, to be perceived as a person of good character and honor, to be perceived literally as exhibiting “personhood” or seraaxu. The second is the need to amass baraji or “divine recompense”, whose benefits are for the afterlife, specifically judgment day. And the third is the need to acquire baraka or “blessing”, whose benefit is in this life. In this paper, the author addresses the notion of seraaxu along with various related notions (honor/shame, responsibility/endurance, work ethic and generosity/reciprocity).

Subject: Anthropology
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