Arranging the bones: Culture, time, and in/equality in Berber Labor Organization

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This paper examines the organization of collective labor for irrigation canal maintenance in a High Atlas village, an organization that compensates for the fluctuation of available labor over the domestic cycle of individual households. Such labor transactions between households are accomplished by employing several different, and seemingly incompatible, cultural logics: a tradition of division by five, an emphasis on the importance of agnatic kin, a belief in the natural authority of elder over younger men, and an ideal equality among all men. Empirically the groups forged by villagers are fair and unfair according to different specific types of equality under consideration and, especially, the temporal framework employed. This integration of different forms of inequality and the importance of timeframes to their operation bears on anthropological and economic theory, and the practical aims of development.


Copyright 2003 Ethnos, Routledge Journals.

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Crawford, David. 2003. Arranging the bones: Culture, time, and in/equality in Berber Labor Organization. Ethnos 68 (4), 463-486.



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