Alcohol in Africa: Mixing Business, Pleasure, and Politics
Alcohol in Sub-Saharan Africa has historically been a conduit for religious and political expression controlled by male elders. Over the past century and especially during the last two crisis-ridden decades, alcohol's ceremonial role has been largely displaced. Rapid income differentiation and economic marginalization have spurred production and consumption of alcohol. In many localities, expanding supply has led to drinking patterns that impinge on general social welfare. These circumstances coincide with the continent-wide implementation of structural adjustment and economic liberalization policies. One might ask, have those policies driven people to drink?
Currently, alcohol is a taboo subject for donors and African governments alike, yet it is at the nexus of many of the continent's most pressing problems. Agricultural sector decline, large-scale labor redundancy, household instability, and AIDS have cause or effect linkages to changing alcohol usage. This edited collection explores the economic, political, and social meanings of alcohol usage. The material is contextualized within a review of existing anthropological, social history, and social welfare literature on alcohol, and a broad historical overview of the continental trends in alcohol production and consumption. Both the pleasure and the pain of alcohol usage emerge, providing insight into the ambiguity of alcohol in Africa today.
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In contrast to other West African societies (van Beek 1987), beer brewing in
Maane is an exclusively female activity. Even though potentially a very lucrative
economic activity, men do not engage in the production or the sale of beer.
mands an additional gesture: before the beer water can be put on the fire, a
libation is required. The brewer throws some of the beer water on the ground for
the ancestors present. This never happens when beer is being brewed for ...
In the first two "fleeings from the moon" beer is brewed with last year's malt made
of red sorghum from the chief's main field. The new crops are still ripening in the
field and the beer brewing provides encouragement in these last stages.
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Changing Modalities of Alcohol Usage
For Women and Children An Economic History
Liquid Gold of a Lost Kingdom The Rise of Waragi
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