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“I am sorry that we made you bleed”: Locality and Apprenticeship Among Mande Hunters

Dr Theodore Konkouris, Queen’s University Belfast

Wednesday 6 March at 5.30 pm

Abstract: This article considers apprenticeship among Mande hunters’ musi-cians in Mali. By drawing on the concepts of ‘locality’ and ‘musicking’, it argues that apprenticeship within hunters’ brotherhoods indicates a ‘locality’ collectively constructed, giving its members access to a crucial network throughout their lives. Apprenticeship among the Mande hunters offers a distinct, institutionalized framework for co-existence. This collectively con-structed locality is necessary amid the forces of urbanisation and globalisa-tion, which have contributed to the disintegration of traditional social net-works. For Mande hunters’ musicians the bonds formed in the intersection between locality and musicking offer a means of gaining self-respect, as tra-ditional social norms, and normative spaces for daily interaction, are sus-pended: including religion, ethnicity, and social class. I provide ethnographic examples, drawing on two distinctive locales, rehearsals and public perfor-mances, to highlight specific aspects of how apprenticeship, between locality and musicking, enriches the lives of Mande hunters’ musicians in Mali.

Bio: Theodore Konkouris is a postdoctoral researcher and university tutor at Queen’s University Belfast from where he received his PhD (2013) in An-thropology. He has worked as a professional musician and music producer, and was trained in Pharmacy, Art History, Music, Ethnomusicology and So-cial Anthropology. He is the author of “Recalling the Past in Song: Memory and Recovery in Mande Hunters’ Ceremonies” in Larkan, Fiona and Mur-phy, Fiona (eds), The Politics of Memory and Recovery in Times of Crisis (Routledge 2018); and “An Evening at Radio Donko: Hunters, Sorcerers and Presenters on the Air in Mali’s Afropolis” in Ethnomusicology Forum 27(3): 307-323 (2018).

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to https://konkouris.eventbrite.co.uk

Location : Royal Anthropological Institute
50 Fitzroy Street
United Kingdom