Manipulations of the Corpus in the Context of Life Cycle Rites among the Datoga Cattle Breeders of Northern Tanzania
The study of contemporary traditional pastoralist societies of Eastern Africa provide perfect examples of norms enforcement by third par- ties, and the life cycle ceremonies is a good example. The Datoga are characterized by exceptionally well-preserved traditional childbirth and postpartum rites, as well as by multistage system of integration of an infant into the tribe, clan, and family. The ceremonies represent a complex process of social interactions between a newborn, his or her relatives, and neighbors. During the ceremonies, an interrelation between an infant and others is established through a complex exchange of responsibilities, favors, and presents, as prescribed by the cultural scenario. In this paper we present the description of post- partum ceremonies and caloripuncture ceremony of an infant, con- ducted by contemporary Datoga. This particular example demon- strates the importance of cultural group selection in small-scale socie- ties and one of the possible mechanisms to achieve human ultrasocial- ity, rooted in self-identification with others on the basis of culturally installed similarity ques.