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Among the Bedouins of North Arabia, accounts of intertribal conflicts were the focus of ceremonial oral performances. In this study, Michael Meeker examines the relationship between these oral performances of the Bedouins and their way of life and poses questions about these performances which raise important issues in the fields of Orientalism and anthropology. This book, first published in 1979, challenges the tendency of historians to neglect the relationship between conditions in the literate urban centers and those in the hinterlands. As he discusses the intersection of art and life among the Bedouins, Meeker is able to show how the place of pastoral nomadism in Near-Eastern history has a bearing on many of the problems that have concerned Orientalists.
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- Date Published: February 1979
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521293990
- length: 292 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.43kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. The Epoch of Near-Eastern Pastoral Nomadism in Arabia:
1. The ethnography of Near-Eastern tribal societies
2. The personal voice and the uncertainty of relationships
3. The composition of the voice and the popular investment in political adventures
Part II. The Narratives of Raiding and Warfare:
4. Cautious and sensible chiefs and the strategic use of aggressive resources
5. Political authority, the metaphor of scriptural signification and the metaphor of a domestic covering
6. Rwala monotheism and the wish for authority
Part III. The Poems of Raiding and Warfare:
7. Heroic skills and beastly energies
8. Poetic structure and the pressure of heroic interests
9. Shadows and echoes of the priority of the concrete
Part IV. Segmentary Politics and the Cult of Saints in North Africa:
10. The forms of segmentary politics and their relative absence among the North Arabian Bedouins
11. Political wildness and religious domesticity among the Cyrenaican Bedouins
12. Narratives of the mystical power of saints in Morocco
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