Remotely Global : Village West Africa By Charles Piot Essay

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“Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa” by Charles Piot is a book based on the lives of the people of the remote village called Kabre located in Northern Togo. The author discusses the “vernacular modernity” of the people of Kabre village that has been influenced by a long tradition of encounters with outsiders that included the colonialists. The author provides an in-depth analysis with ethnographic details about the Kabre people as the author discusses a wide range of their culture and history that included houses and the structure of homestead, gender ideology, ritual like initiations, exchange system, and social relations (Piot 178). Piot discredits the Eurocentric analytical approaches that has been used by western anthropologist to analyze the culture of Kabre people. The reason Piot discredits the approach is that it is misleading. The author also provides a critical analysis of concept such as cosmopolitanism, globalization, modernity, and tradition, redefining these concepts in a manner that deviates from the classical assumptions (Piot 178-180). The Kabre people originally occupied northern Togo, but during the colonial rule, they were mobilized and moved southwards for labor, and from that time onwards, the Kabre people have been migrating back and forth. They move to the south for material gain, and always go back to the north because the feeling of belonging (Piot 178-180). Members of the Kabre community who reside in the south often travel to
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