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10. A Chief'S Fatal Car Accident: Political History And Moral Geography In Burkina Faso

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Chapter Summary

The chapter presents a range of interpretations offered by people in Burkina Faso when this fatal crash took place on 10 March 1995, killing Chief Sanem, the newly appointed chief of one of the Mossi chiefdoms. It discusses about Sally Falk Moore's example and centre on interpretations of a fatal car accident to write a contemporary history, in this case of political developments in the central part of Burkina Faso. The chapter focuses on the actual car accident itself and the different interpretations that were subsequently voiced. These comments are analyzed as part of a particular moral geography. It is important to emphasize that a fatal car accident is a most exceptional disaster and it will be connected to exceptional behaviour and also require exceptional ritual reactions. Such a death is associated with transgression and violence and almost always occurs away from home.

Keywords: Burkina Faso; fatal car accident; moral geography; political developments



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