Hunting and Hunting-related Practices among the Kushi (Northeastern Nigeria)

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Abstract

This paper deals with the practise of shwɛɛ ‘hunting’ among the Kushi, a Chadic speaking community of northeastern Nigeria. Subsistence hunting is still practised by Kushi, even if its importance and impact have been decreasing over the last few decades. A mental model of the past and present hunting practises are kept alive in the collective imagery by means of oral traditions, an instrument of knowledge transmission ubiquitous to many African societies. Shwɛɛ will be described through an oral text in which the narrator – a Kushi hunter – explains the nature and purposes of hunting along with the series of actions to be performed in order to carry it out properly, i.e. in a manner consistent with the values and social norms in force within the community. The procedural text describes some essential aspects of hunting: the way it is announced and who is allowed to lead it, the specificities of the kind of game that is hunted in terms of consumption and general use, and the traditional beliefs that need to be observed before and during hunting.

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