Accepted paper:

Craftspeople and tempters: the making of value

Authors:

Valerie Hänisch (University of Bayreuth)

Paper short abstract:

Tuareg craftspeople, called Inadan, monopolise craft in Tuareg society and make possible most public social activities as agents and musicians. Beyond that, Inadan not only make valuables, but pronounce value by praising or denouncing their counterparts.

Paper long abstract:

In order to succeed, Inadan do not advertise their crafted objects but rather court potential clients. They praise the generosity, beauty and noblesse of their counterpart and profess how one could gain in reputation through the offered object. The hand-crafted object merely seems to be a means to encounter. Not only because of being in need of a certain product, but because of generousity and noblesse one shall engage in exchange with craftspeople. That way of negotiation can be traced back to the longstanding relation between Inadan and the social group of nobles in Tuareg society. With the words 'Noble man, how can you bargain?!', craftspeople tempt to buy with them. And the client who buys, confirms his noblesse. 'The nobles want the world!' And that is what they get in dealing with Inadan. As an endogamous professional group they provide crafted and value-charged objects, and furthermore praise generousity or denounce dishonourable behaviour in public. In my presentation and on the basis of ethnographic research I will link craftpeople's work to a diversified social environment in which valuables and values are created, received and applied in social action.

panel P017
Generating value and valuation as collaborative practice