ATrA 1. Materiality and Identity

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In each and every discourse on issues such as contact, evolution, transition, migration, integration and encounter, identity plays a central role. Being a manifold, uneasily describable object in itself, identity represents a very difficult object of study and many scholars from different disciplines of the human sciences (psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers and linguists) have tried in recent years to give their contribution to the debate born around it. In the two meetings organized in Naples, April 14th 2015 and Turin, October 8-9th 2015 in the framework of the ATrA project, the issue has been discussed by archaeologists, linguists, philologists and anthropologists specifically adopting the perspective of observing and discussing identity through a reflection on its material manifestations in transitional contexts (be it in terms of language, of economical exchanges or of traditional handicraft). This book is a collection of selected papers from those meetings.

Ilaria Micheli, PhD in African Studies (2005), expert in linguistic anthropology, member of the Department of Juridical Sciences and Languages of the University of Triest. Since 2001 she works on the language and culture of the Kulango (Gur - Niger-Congo) of Côte d’Ivoire. In 2010 she studied the linguistic expressions and cultural representations of mental illness among the Gun (Gbe - Niger-Congo) of Benin and since December 2012 she’s been studying the language and Culture of the Okiek (Kalenjin - Nilo-Saharan) of Kenya. Since 2010 sh’s also working on problems of language-cognition-identity among the African immigrants in Italy. She has a particular interest in material culture, oral tradition and traditional medicine. She teaches African Languages and Cultures at the University of Venice “Cà Foscari” and African Identities in Transition at the University of Trieste.



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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 9
  • Publication
    Dinamiche identitarie nell’Etiopia antica e medievale
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016)
    Lusini, Gianfrancesco
    Ethiopian literary tradition offers many opportunities to study how political and social identities developed and changed through the centuries, even though reading written documents entails the risk of being influenced by the ideology of the cultural centers that built up the different narratives. Among the possible examples, three case studies are herein presented: the social structure of the first dwellers of the Ethiopian highlands as it emerges from the inscriptions they left, the cultural identity of the kings of Aksum and of the Zagwe dynasty, the enigmatic ethnogenesis of the Amḥara. The analysis of the texts aims at giving interpretations based only upon philological evidence and not influenced by old and modern preconceptions.
      523  734
  • Publication
    Foreign aromatic products in the cultural and religious identity of ancient Egypt
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016)
    Incordino, Ilaria
    Brief analysis of the different values of some aromatic products, which Egypt imported from African countries and became a fundamental part of the belief system of ancient Egyptian religion. Scented trees and plants were particularly important since they were used to evoke the Gods and recreate a sacred space for them on Earth. Beautiful gardens, sensual pleasures and the divine birth of pharaohs were all linked to the use of those foreign products, thereby justifying their provisioning through commercial expeditions planned by the crown over the centuries.
      651  1559
  • Publication
    Il sistema doganale dell’Egitto romano alla luce della evidence documentaria
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016)
    Nappo, Dario
    In questo lavoro si prova a delineare un’analisi preliminare del sistema doganale esistente nella provincia romana d’Egitto nel primo secolo d.C., con particolare riguardo al commercio estero, gravitante attorno all’area del Mar Rosso. Una serie di reperti, rinvenuti nel corso di un arco temporale di parecchi decenni, forniscono la base di partenza, la evidence necessaria, per iniziare a ricostruire nel dettaglio le dinamiche fiscali, ma anche sociali, che determinavano questo tipo di commercio. L’analisi si propone di evidenziare come il sistema doganale romano nella provincia d’Egitto fosse particolarmente ben organizzato e strutturato in maniera da rendere il più efficiente possibile il processo di imposizione fiscale su un commercio molto redditizio, come era quello con i popoli del remoto Oriente.
      962  958
  • Publication
    Hunting at the time of the emergence of the Ancient Egyptian state
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016)
    Incordino, Ilaria
    A brief excursus on hunting scenes dated to the Predynastic Period in Egypt shows to what extent this elite activity has acted as driving force towards the creation of a ruler ideology at the time of the emergence of the Ancient Egyptian State. Far from being only a way to ensure food provisioning, hunting dangerous animals in the desert assumed, at that time, huge social and political value for a small group of people, whose desire was to distinguish themselves and acquire control over the territory and their peers. In the development of this ideology of power, it is possible to foresee the most important characteristics of the pharaohs of historical period, such as the representation of the ruler figure, the lack of realism in the depictions of hunting scenes, the need to establish order over chaos and the connection between defeating natural elements and prevailing over human opponents.
      623  1759
  • Publication
    Identità, ibridazione ed evoluzione dell’abitare tra i Saho di Eritrea e Etiopia
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016)
    Dore, Gianni
    ;
    Vergari, Moreno
    Il saggio ripercorre i passaggi storici dei modi dell’abitare e della morfologia e struttura delle case tra i gruppi parlanti la lingua saho in Eritrea e in Etiopia. Le ipotesi e ricostruzioni storiche proposte si basano sull’esame di un ampio materiale documentario, scritto, orale e iconografico. Le etichette linguistiche, i modi espressivi e la letteratura orale formalizzata permettono di penetrare nella cultura e ideologia dell’abitare e nelle complesse dinamiche della divisione sessuata degli spazi e del lavoro. L’esperienza pastorale, con le transumanze da e verso il bassopiano dancalo, i suoi ritmi ed esigenze tecniche, ha segnato profondamente per un lunghissimo periodo i modelli abitativi. Sono descritte, con le loro variazioni locali o temporali, con attenzione al loro lessico specifico, le abitazioni mobili e temporanee, gli adattamenti progressivi e creativi, nel passaggio a un agro-pastoralismo, verso la casa fattoria dei contadini tigrinofoni, e infine i decisivi cambiamenti materiali e ideologici verso nuovi modelli di casa e dell’abitare.
      1679  2855