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Technology and Morality—Rituals in Iron Working among the Fipa and Pangwa Peoples in Southwestern Tanzania



Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the 1990s among the Pangwa and Fipa peoples in southwestern Tanzania, this discussion focuses on the locally constructed collective and individual perceptions of technological processes in iron smelting and how these are connected to imagination. Of particular interest is the largely neglected aspect of morality involved in the rituals surrounding iron working. It is argued that aspects of morality, as well as magic and witchcraft, explain the concerns of the people engaged in the complex technology of making iron far better than does fertility symbolism.