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Xará: Namesakes in Southern Mozambique and Bahia (Brazil)

Pina-Cabral, Joao (2010) Xará: Namesakes in Southern Mozambique and Bahia (Brazil). Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, 75 (3). pp. 323-345. ISSN 0014-1844. (doi:10.1080/00141844.2010.516837)


In Maputo (Southern Mozambique) and Bahia (Brazil), the most commonly used word to refer to namesakes is xara´ – a word of Amerindian origin. Although the institutions in question diverge considerably in each of these contexts, the two usages come together in that the sharing of a personal name establishes an alliance not only between the two persons involved but also among their relations. In this way, it is argued that the namesake institution is both supervening upon filiation and is a way of closing the local universe of relatedness upon itself. By superimposing a set of crossing ties, the namesake institution consolidates the entities at play and their relations. Nevertheless, much like filiation, upon which it is dependent, the namesake relation is one of co-responsibility and fusion between the partners, not of reciprocal responsibility. The latter is the product of the triangulation that such relations of alliance produce.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/00141844.2010.516837
Uncontrolled keywords: Relatedness, person, alliance, namesakes, Mozambique, Brazil
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: Joao Pina-Cabral
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 12:08 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 09:28 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Pina-Cabral, Joao:
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