Whether initiating girls or healing cattle, bringing rain or protesting taxation, many in Africa share a vision of a world where the cultural, symbolic and cosmic categories of 'male' and 'female' serve, through ritual, to both reimagine and transform the world. Those Who Play With Fire introduces recent gender theory to the analysis of African ethgraphy, exploring the ways in which ideational gender categories permeate African systems of thought and ritual practices. Thus, the book provides a powerful framework with which to evaluate previous ethgraphic material on Africa. In addition, Those Who Play With Fire presents a broad range of new case studies - of hunter-gatherers, agriculturalists and pastoralists - revealing the varied and complex ways in which African ideas and ideals of what it means to be 'male' and 'female' broadly inform and give meaning to a wide range of transformative rituals.
Henrietta L. Moore is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Gender Institute and Todd Sanders is Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, both at the London School of Economics. Bwire Kaare is Lecturer in the Institute of Finance Management, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.