Are births just “women's business”? Gift exchange, value, and global volatility in Muslim Senegal

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ABSTRACT

Through global circuits of wage labor and capital, the Murid way has become an economic force in the Senegalese postcolony amid conditions of protracted global volatility. In this article, I analyze women's actions within these global circuits. Women create value by giving gifts during the celebration of births and marriages, gifts that are the product of and the motivating force behind Murid global trade. Female ritual activities, on which male honor rests, draw women into conflict with the Murid clergy, which views women's actions as customary and not part of its modern, austere, and global vision of Islam in Senegal.

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