Gonzales, Rhonda Marie 2002

Gonzales, Rhonda Marie. 2002. Continuity and Change: Thought, Belief, and Practice in the History of the Ruvu Peoples of Central East Tanzania, C. 200 B.C. To A.D. 1800. (Doctoral dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles; 236pp.)

@phdthesis{23671,
  author          = {Gonzales, Rhonda Marie},
  pages           = {236},
  school          = {University of California at Los Angeles},
  title           = {Continuity and Change: Thought, Belief, and Practice in the History of the Ruvu Peoples of Central East Tanzania, C. 200 B.C. To A.D. 1800},
  year            = {2002},
  abstract        = {This dissertation reconstructs the early social history of the Doe, Gogo, Kagulu, Kami, Kwere, Kutu, Lugulu, Sagala, Vidunda, and Zalamo, peoples collectively referred to as the Ruvu throughout the work. Using comparative historical linguistics and comparative ethnography as central methodological approaches in the study, we begin with a discussion of the historical processes undertaken by their distant ancestors, the proto-Mashariki, during the last few centuries B.C., up to the period of their most recent common ancestors, the proto-Ruvu, during the sixth century A.D. The remainder of the work examines aspects of their 1500-year history that are manifested in practices connected to healing, life stages, and agriculture. The discussion of the historical transformations and continuities of those practices are interwoven with a parallel dialogue concerning the history of Ruvu thought and belief. We maintain that in order to understand the social significance of practice, we must understand the meanings those actions held within Ruvu societies, something that can be fully understood only by first understanding the belief systems in which they were and, in some cases, continue to be embedded. Examining these components, belief—the metaphysical—in tandem with practice—the outwardly performed human action—allows for a more comprehensive understanding of systems that are often conflated and synchronically deemed “ritual” within African contexts. Taking this approach to reconstructing early history challenges us to establish a diachronic analysis of the practice as well as the belief underlying these components of historical process. The result is that we begin to understand the thought systems that have both persisted and changed over the long course of Ruvu history. Within the context of that history we find that long-held beliefs in the social implications of land and ancestral spirits have decidedly shaped the way in which practice in the areas of health, life stages, and agriculture have been articulated, and we further show that many of the outward practices shifted their context, significance, or content over time in response to both internally and externally generated historical factors.},
  adviser         = {Ehret, Christopher},
  cfn             = {africa\gonzales_ruvu2002_o.pdf},
  degree          = {PhD},
  delivered       = {africa\gonzales_ruvu2002_o.pdf},
  digital_formats = {PDF 8.44Mb image-only PDF},
  fn              = {africa\gonzales_ruvu2002.pdf, africa\gonzales_ruvu2002_o.pdf},
  hhtype          = {overview;comparative;wordlist},
  inlg            = {English [eng]},
  isbn            = {9780493595238},
  keywords        = {;eaf;tnz;ant;hst;bnt;g.11;g.12;g.301;g.32;g.33;g.35;g.36;g.37;g.38;g.39;ths;},
  lgcode          = {Gogo [gog], Vidunda [vid], Sagala [sbm], Kagulu [kki], Lugulu = Luguru [ruf], Kami = Kami (Tanzania) [kcu], Kutu = Kutu [kdc], Zaramo [zaj], Kwere [cwe], Doe [doe]},
  macro_area      = {Africa},
  notes           = {Reconstructs the early history of the Doe, Gogo, Kagulu, Kami, Kwere, Kutu, Lugulu, Sagala, Vidunda, and Zalamo.},
  source          = {DAI-A 63/03, p. 1083, Sep 2002},
  src             = {eballiso2009, hh, weball},
  subject         = {HISTORY, AFRICAN (0331); LANGUAGE, LINGUISTICS (0290); RELIGION, GENERAL (0318)},
  umi_id          = {3045585}
}
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AB  - This dissertation reconstructs the early social history of the Doe, Gogo, Kagulu, Kami, Kwere, Kutu, Lugulu, Sagala, Vidunda, and Zalamo, peoples collectively referred to as the Ruvu throughout the work. Using comparative historical linguistics and comparative ethnography as central methodological approaches in the study, we begin with a discussion of the historical processes undertaken by their distant ancestors, the proto-Mashariki, during the last few centuries B.C., up to the period of their most recent common ancestors, the proto-Ruvu, during the sixth century A.D. The remainder of the work examines aspects of their 1500-year history that are manifested in practices connected to healing, life stages, and agriculture. The discussion of the historical transformations and continuities of those practices are interwoven with a parallel dialogue concerning the history of Ruvu thought and belief. We maintain that in order to understand the social significance of practice, we must understand the meanings those actions held within Ruvu societies, something that can be fully understood only by first understanding the belief systems in which they were and, in some cases, continue to be embedded. Examining these components, belief—the metaphysical—in tandem with practice—the outwardly performed human action—allows for a more comprehensive understanding of systems that are often conflated and synchronically deemed “ritual” within African contexts. Taking this approach to reconstructing early history challenges us to establish a diachronic analysis of the practice as well as the belief underlying these components of historical process. The result is that we begin to understand the thought systems that have both persisted and changed over the long course of Ruvu history. Within the context of that history we find that long-held beliefs in the social implications of land and ancestral spirits have decidedly shaped the way in which practice in the areas of health, life stages, and agriculture have been articulated, and we further show that many of the outward practices shifted their context, significance, or content over time in response to both internally and externally generated historical factors.
ID  - 23671
U1  - Ph.D. thesis
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