Traditional Women on the Mediterranean Island of Djerba ( North Africa): A Narrative Anthropology

Author: Mrabet-Robana, Zakia
Year:2011
Pages:432
ISBN:0-7734-1307-3
978-0-7734-1307-8
Price:259.95
This study is a holistic analysis of Djerha's female culture and customs, from agricultural practices and dietary traditions to rites of marriage and widowhood. Included in this work are oral testimonies of the oldest women in Midoun community, as well as documentation of folksongs, ceremonies and traditions. A CD with full color pictures and descriptions of material culture is included. This book contains eleven color photographs and sixteen black and white photographs.

Reviews

"A significant contribution to preserving a rapidly disappearing lifestyle and sets of beliefs unavailable to an outsider. Nothing else like it exists in the literature on north African women or even on African women." - Robert Meyers, Alfred University

" [This] study is extremely important for preserving the cultural history of Muslim women who have lived in a rural setting prior to modernization . . .valuable in understanding how ritual activities in story-telling, festivals, and daily lifeactually work to create and maintain a cohesive culture . . . a ground-breaking work." - Thomas V. Peterson, Alfred University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert Myers, PhD, MPH
Acknowledgments
I. Introduction
Menzel and Hush
The Dar (Bedroom suite)
II. Why Women Only / Hypothesis of Study
III. Methodology
Makhzen Lakhzeen
Migration
Meeting with the Women
Importance of the mother
Importance ofthe grandmother
IV. The Challenge
V. Midoun in the North-East of the Island
VI. Agriculture / Harvest
VII. Economic Concepts
The Makhzen
Makhazen Lakhzeen: The Physical Space
The Interior ofthe makhzen
Supplementary Income
VIII. Religious Celebrations and Rituals
The Importance of Incense
Bkhoor and its meanings
Function of incense
Preparation of the sacred Bkhoor for major celebrations
Transmission of the ritual
Meaning and symbols ofthe sacrifice of incense
Spiritual and therapeutic naming of Bkhoor
H'jaabaat
A Girl's First Fasting
Religious Holidays
Eid el Idha
Eid el Kbira
Raas el Am
Boo Harras ritual
Ommak Tamboo - The Rain Ritual
Zyara (Visit to the Marabou)
El gamra ettakhthet
IX. Food: Its Meaning and Celebration
Etiquette
X. The Wedding and Its Different Aspects
Years of Preparation
Preparation for the Grounds ofthe Mahfil
Building the Matbkha and the Khoss
XI. Giving Birth
Special food for the New Mother
Naming Ceremony Ritual
Taking Care ofthe Baby
Remedies for Babies
Ar'baeen Rituals (The Forty Day Rituals)
XII. The Circumcision
XIII. Idda Rituals in the Djerbian Tradition
Rabtaan el Idda
Ramyaan el Idda
The Ashaa Ritual
XIV. Conclusion
XV. Translation of Songs and Proverbs
Glossary
Index