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Introduction: well-being’s re-proportioning of social thought

AutorCorsín Jiménez, Alberto
Palabras claveAntropología
Concepto de bienestar
Fecha de publicación2008
EditorPluto Press
CitaciónCulture and Well-being: Anthropological Approaches to Freedom and Political Ethics (Anthropology, Culture and Society)
ResumenIn describing the Nuer of the southern Sudan, Evans-Pritchard describes Nuer happiness as ‘that in which a family possesses several lactating cows, for then the children are well-nourished and there is a surplus that can be devoted to cheese-making and to assisting kinsmen and entertaining guests.’ (Evans-Pritchard 1940: 21) This is in line with the Nuer’s larger interest in cattle. Men are addressed by names that describe the colour and shape of their favourite oxen; women and children often take their names 1 from the cows they milk. Cattle names also figure profusely in songs and poems; and it is cattle, too, that are used to prescribe marriage payments, and to define kinship rights and obligations. Moreover, men establish contact with the spirits of their ancestors through cattle. Kinship and genealogy are thus expressed through the movement, transference and circulation of cattle.
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