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Title: Signifying Bodies The Body In Bukusu Circumcision Ritual
Authors: Changalwa, Japheth Kizito
Keywords: Signifying Bodies The Body In Bukusu Circumcision Ritual
Issue Date: Jun-2022
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: ABSTRACT This study sought to investigate the possible meanings that can derive from the body significations during the Bukusu circumcision ritual, and the contexts in which those meanings were constructed. The objectives of the study were to identify the cultural signs exhibited by bodies during the Bukusu circumcision ritual, to map out the figurative relationship and interaction among bodies during the initiation ritual and to understand the symbolic and cultural significance of the relationship of the bodies in the context of the Bukusu circumcision ritual. The study uses historical and ritual data collected ethnographically among the Bukusu of Western Kenya to understand how bodies within the Bukusu circumcision ritual construct ritual meanings. The study was framed by the Carnival Ambivalence Theory. The researcher approached the study from the premise that culture is a social construct and, therefore, must be studied from its immediate context. The study was informed by the social constructivist paradigm. The target population comprised initiates and participants in the Bukusu circumcision ritual. The data collection methods were participant observation and interviews. The data collection tools included the interview guide and video recorder. The findings of the research led to the conclusion that body signification in the Bukusu circumcision ritual embodies meanings that inform the practice of everyday life of the community. The emergent meanings which the bodies embody are of great significance to the participants within the current dispensation and socio-cultural context. The relationships emerging from the Bukusu circumcision ritual emphasise the significance of collective unity and the need for coexistence. Bodies in Bukusu circumcision ritual are avenues for communicating important messages to the initiates and the community at large and the bodily praxis are effective communication tools for relaying concepts that touch on the continuity of the community. The study complicates the understanding of the carnival ambivalence theory, particularly the extent to which it could help understand the carnival genres and contribute to the appreciation of cultural diversities.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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