Tuesday, August 23, 2022


Mali took an interesting approach to different ethnic groups not mingling (which was causing enormous societal and political tension). 

It's called a "joking kinship" or "cousinage." Here's a bit of detail:
Under the rules, for example, someone named Keita (an ethnically Malinke surname) and someone named Coulibaly (a Bambara surname) are "cousins." Typically, their surnames shar a common meaning. If they meet one another, despite being strangers, the custom means that their surnames give them a basis for affinity. To signify this, they insult each other with a standard set of jokes. 

In other words, you break down ethnic groups and create new ones based on the meaning of one's name. It's an informal alliance. Also:
Cousinage pacifies politics in Mali to this day. 

This was from a book I'm reading on peacebuilding (Why We Fight: the Roots of War and the Paths to Peace), because I'm reading a ton of stuff in an attempt to keep up with Eli 21.0. 

It made me think about how the United States are so fundamentally based on separation that it seems like it would account for many of the differences plaguing us to this day. I'm going to talk about this in education tomorrow, because we've continued to strip away at public education from the day Brown v. Board of Education was decided. 

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