Tuhami: Portrait of a Moroccan by Vincent Crapanzano

By Vincent Crapanzano

Tuhami is an illiterate Moroccan tilemaker who believes himself married to a camel-footed she-demon. A grasp of magic and a very good story-teller, Tuhami lives in a dank, windowless hovel close to the kiln the place he works. Nightly he suffers visitations from the demons and saints who hang-out his lifestyles, and he seeks, with crippling ambivalence, liberation from 'A'isha Qandisha, the she-demon.

In a delicate and ambitious test in interpretive ethnography, Crapanzano offers Tuhami's strange account of himself and his global. In so doing, Crapanzano attracts on phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and symbolism to mirror upon the character of fact and fact and to probe the bounds of anthropology itself. Tuhami has turn into probably the most very important and broadly mentioned representatives of a brand new knowing of the entire self-discipline of anthropology.

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The women of Meknes, like, the women of Morocco more generally, are considered, at least by men, to be inferior to men, essentially lacking in control over their sexual impulses, adventure-seeking, and always fair game when alone. They are associated, the Moroccan feminist author Fatima Mernissi (1975) observes, with fitna, with chaos and disorder. Fitna refers not only to chaos, disorder, political agitation, rioting, distraction, perturbation, torment, and panic but also to women (Mercier 1951).

There are seven levels of Paradise. Where you go depends on your good deeds, There are seven levels of Hell, too. The uzbaniyat [the zabaniya, literally, the “violent thrusters," the guards of hell] lead those called Shaqi there. Christians, Jews, and pagans are in the lowest level. There are Muslims there, too. Sidina Mohammed looks through the seven levels of Hell. “I want my people all to go to Paradise,” he says. God agrees. Part. One 47 The Christians want their Prophet to intercede for them, but he can't.

I continued working, and later, when I asked about my mother, I found out that she was dead. At that time I was work­ ing as a shepherd for a Berber. It was then that I found out she was dead. A lot of people had been asking my mother why I was still living at home. They were bothering me with the same question. I left so as to be alone. I worked near El Hajeb. Then, when I came back to Meknes, I worked for the Frenchwoman again. The Berber brought me into town one day. He said, “Go and see your mother.

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