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Haya worldview and ethos: An ethnography of alcohol production and consumption in Bukoba, Tanzania

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Title: Haya worldview and ethos: An ethnography of alcohol production and consumption in Bukoba, Tanzania
Author(s): Carlson, Robert Geoffrey
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Whitten, Norman E., Jr
Department / Program: Anthropology
Discipline: Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Anthropology, Cultural Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract: This dissertation is a study of alcohol production, consumption, and exchange among the Haya, a Bantu-speaking people who live west of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania. It is based on field research conducted near Bukoba, administrative center of the Kagera Region (summer 1984, reconnaissance; January-June 1986), and archival research in Tanzania and London (December 1985; July 1986). The research location comprises what was Lesser Kyamutwara Kingdom before Tanzanian Independence in 1961.Part I reconstructs Haya worldview and ethos on the eve of colonial contact in the nineteenth century. Subsistence patterns and ecology, gender relations, hierarchy, and kingship in Lesser Kyamutwara Kingdom are described. The thesis that banana beer is utilized to mediate among symbolic domains (e.g. clans, ancestors, and the king), to facilitate status transitions, and to create cultural integration is presented. The symbolic mediating role of banana beer is based on correspondences between a repetitive pattern of altered consciousness that Haya associate with alcohol use, and the cultural order. Paradigmatic and syntagmatic principles are employed to analyze the correspondences. Haya define four states of consciousness that are characterized by incremental increases in loss of self-control. The last two stages of intoxication are viewed negatively because they indicate a loss of self-control.Part II focuses on transformations in Haya cosmology, socio-political structure, economy, and values during German and British colonial periods, when Haya began distilling banana beer and were introduced to European alcoholic beverages. Description and analysis of commoditization of alcoholic beverages and British alcohol control laws constitute central themes of Part II.The use of banana beer as symbolic mediator and as a commodity in contemporary daily life is described in Part III. Haya associate the role of alcoholic beverages as commodities with increases in drunkenness. The contrasting uses of alcoholic beverages reflect differences in the relationship between the individual and the cultural order. The commoditization of alcoholic beverages exploits experience of all levels of intoxication and negates maintenance of self-control, an important traditional value. The analysis of structural processes that undergird the roles of alcoholic beverages suggests directions for future research in other cultures.
Issue Date: 1989
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/20217
Rights Information: Copyright 1989 Carlson, Robert Geoffrey
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI8924785
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI8924785
 

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