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Accepted Paper:

'Passing through the gate as one': a house and its people in Bamako, Mali  
Bodil Olesen (Ã…rhus University)

Paper long abstract:

This paper is about the Bagayoko compound in Djikoroni-Para, a neighborhood in Bamako, Mali.

Counting the widow Bakonimba, her four sons and their wives, and her first grandson and his wife and children, the Bagayokos are known and respected for being "so kelen," "one house, " the ideal family with four generations living together.

I describe the material transformations in the compound as Mamadou, Bakonimba's grandson, refurbished his house when he underwent civil marriage, and his uncle Idrissa married a second wife and constructed a space for her.

I also describe the contrast in material possessions between generations, and the conflicts and negotiations between "somogow," "house people," over the distribution of assets.

These relationships between the house as a material, everyday environment and a metaphor of kinship shows how a particular family in very practical terms has procured a livelihood and realized its social aspirations in a post-colonial, urban context.

Panel W028
Family dynamics and practical kinship in Africa
  Session 1