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Archaeologies of Listening$
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Peter R. Schmidt and Alice B. Kehoe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056241

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056241.001.0001

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Listening to History Performed in Pilgrimage

Listening to History Performed in Pilgrimage

(p.113) 6 Listening to History Performed in Pilgrimage
Archaeologies of Listening

Jonathan Walz

University Press of Florida

Understanding a community’s things, practices, and words from their situated perspective motivates alternative histories. This chapter examines how an archaeologist’s practice might shift in circumstances where observing and listening to people are necessities. The case study addresses repurposed objects, ritual acts of healing, and the spoken words of healers to remake aspects of the Zigua past in lowland northeastern Tanzania. Knowing the meanings of their expressions – including an annual pilgrimage to gather healing items - creates an intellectual space for Zigua history within a global history. Living among the Zigua helps to understand them and to employ their historical approach and social condition to make an alternative history they render meaningful. As the Zigua case shows, an approach to science that values people first is transformative to African history.

Keywords:   Healing, Ritual, Repurposed objects, Tanzania, Zigua

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