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Keywords:

  • Africa;
  • symbolism;
  • religion;
  • pollution

The Diola-Fogny concept of kujaama represents a complex symbol that defines a set of pollution rules having to do mainly with blood and food avoidance between generations and between husband and wife at the death of one or the other. Analysis of the diverse manifestations of kujaama shows that each represents but one variant of a general principle, that is, the inauspiciousness of mixing separate categories. Further analysis places kujaama in the larger context of Fogny moral life and places the rituals associated with kujaama in the “grammar” of ritual acts and gestures.