The ATrA Workshop was held in Trieste (Italy) on May 24-26, 2016 with the aim of discussing the possible dimensions and varieties related to phenomena of cultural and linguistic transition in Africa.
Identity negotiation, ethnicity and cultural affiliation, cases of contact, creolization, integration, urbanization, climate or cultural changes, language and cultural switch, market exchanges and human migration have been put on the table, generating a very concrete and fruitful discussion.
The case studies collected in this miscellaneous book, give an idea of the multi-faceted dimensions of the debate, which ranges by necessity from anthropology to archaeology and from philology to linguistics, in a continuous alternation of disciplines, voices and styles.
Mechanisms of resilience and adaptation to new situations and contexts are described through an investigation which in many cases has the flavour of an intimate research, aimed above all at finding out the very essence of “being human”.
Ilaria Micheli, PhD in African Studies (2005) and expert in linguistic anthropology, is a researcher in the Department of Legal, Linguistic, Interpreting and Translation Studies at the University of Trieste. Since 2001 she has been working on the language and culture of the Kulango (Gur – Niger‑Congo) in Côte d’Ivoire, and more recently on the Ogiek (Kalenjin – Nilo‑Saharan) in Kenya. Material culture, oral tradition and traditional medicine are her main research areas. She teaches African Languages and Cultures at the University of Venice “Caʼ Foscari” as well as traditional and modern African literature and social anthropology at the University of Trieste.
Browsing ATrA 3. Cultural and Linguistic Transition explored by Subject "Ancient Egypt"
The phenomenon of modifying an animal’s horn was widespread in ancient and modern cultures, especially in African tribes. The modification was typically to one horn whilst the second was allowed to grow naturally, but occasionally both horns were adapted.
The Ancient Egyptian undertook the modification to distinguish the animal intended for similarly, modern African tribes follow this tradition and their cattle selected for horn modification have a very important role in both religious and economic lives of north and north- eastern African citizens. Their economic dependency is a result of the religious and symbolic importance of the cattle. Such African communities are not breeding cattle for the benefit of their milk, but to increase the length of their horns, which represents a special religious significance. The important religious and symbolic role of modified horns can be clarified by observing the traditions of contemporary African tribes who still worship cattle; a tradition that has a close similarity with that of a similar practice by the Ancient Egyptians.
This Ancient Egyptian phenomenon, and its continuity in some African areas, is described by Anthropologists as “Cultural Survival”, and its study is the aim of this paper.