|Budget Amount *help
¥7,400,000 (Direct Cost: ¥7,400,000)
Fiscal Year 1997: ¥2,400,000 (Direct Cost: ¥2,400,000)
Fiscal Year 1996: ¥5,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥5,000,000)
There are about one thousand ethnic groups living in West Africa. Although their languages and cultures are definitely different, they live side by side with other people in symbiosis. That is to say, they live in peace. They do not hide their identity, and live peacefully with other people. Compared to the complicity and the diversity of ethnic groups very few cases of ethnic conflict are reported. We then felt a great importance in the study of the reason why they do not cause conflicts.
We then lived there and carried out a field research. According to the research, we ca say a few conclusive remarks. They know that there are differences in language and culture. Although most people have an ethnocentric mentality, that means, their culture and language is better than other peoples, they know the importance of other people as well. For example, certain people produce specialized things such as pots, iron, leather, wooden, mortars, etc. The non-Fulbe people needs Fulbe for they produce
milk, and can take care of their cattle. Each group has its own speciality. They know each other's speciality. Thus, they know each other's importance.
Most of the people have to live in the same area. They develop strong ties based on the locality. They speak the same regional tongue. They enjoy the same arts, and culture of the area. Thus, they have the sense of inhabitants of the same area. The longer they live together, the stronger their ties are. Sometimes they adopt each other's children ritually like the case of the Moba and the Fulbe of Northern Togo. Like the case of the Kanuri and the Fulbe in Borno, they build up a cross-cousin relationship. That means they have a joking relationship. The two ethnic groups cannot be separated from each other. When they migrate, they migrate together. When they built a new settlement they do it together, and live side by side. This is a good example of ethnic symbiosis. They are many examples of this kind in West Africa. This is the secret of not having wars among themselves easily.
In West Africa people live in an oral society. They talk a lot about themselves. The oral arts are developed. They talk a lot, but they do not move their hands. There are so interesting abuses, and insults about other ethnic groups, but do not fight each other with violence. They try to avoid violence, probably due to their wisdom, and experience. For example, when someone kills someone accidentally, they payblood money after a ritual instead of revenging. The role of local priests, witch doctor, or magicians is very important to solve such a problem. Less