The Underneath of Things (Paperback)

Violence, History, and the Everyday in Sierra Leone

By Mariane C. Ferme

University of California Press, 9780520225435, 299pp.

Publication Date: September 14, 2001

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In this erudite and gracefully written ethnography, Mariane Ferme explores the links between a violent historical and political legacy, and the production of secrecy in everyday material culture. The focus is on Mende-speaking southeastern Sierra Leone and the surrounding region. Since 1990, this area has been ravaged by a civil war that produced population displacements and regional instability. The Underneath of Things documents the rural impact of the progressive collapse of the Sierra Leonean state in the past several decades, and seeks to understand how an even earlier history is reinscribed in the present.

About the Author

Mariane C. Ferme Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, and Chair of the Center for African Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.