Thursday, June 11, 2009

Portraits of the Chiefs # 2

Here are some portraits of chiefs that I took in 2008 when they were assembled at a function honoring them at the Abissa celebrations. My favorite ones are those that look straight into the eyes of the individual. Each one of these faces communicates something, and most of them differ in what they are communicating. Several of the 35 or so people there were women. I know just about nothing about the anthropology of Cote d'Ivoire and whether or not women are sometimes chiefs. But the culture is a matriarchal one -- inheritance goes through the mother, not the father -- so it seems at least possible that these women are indeed chiefs. If I discover otherwise, I will correct this narration.

1 comment:

YAO-KOUAME said...

Hi I am Charles-Hector originally from cote d'Ivoire and intl Student at Charlotte, NC. I am AKAN which group belong the NZIMAs from whom I have a link. Yes in the Akan system, the inheritance comes from the mother lineage. the philosophy behind such a system is : "I cant be sure that my wife's son is mine, but I am sure that my sister son is my blood" translated I traditionally dont inherit from my father but from my uncle... generally title and chief-hood. but for the wealth things might be different... quite complicated system which i am not expert i confess... but would be glad to share more if you want to.
facebook: koffi charles-hector yao-kouame