Movement 4: Triple E: EconomicsEcologyExplorations / EEE: EconomiEcologiEsplorazioni

Living a Kulango Life: Examples of Socialization under the Shadow of the Laasagyo


The Kulango of Nassian, a Gur people living mainly in the North-Eastern territory of modern Ivory Coast, with a few villages scattered along the border in Ghana, are sedentary horticulturalists, whose relationships with the plant-kingdom they live in, share many characteristics with those typical of the Abron-Akan groups, but also of some Gur/Voltaic communities they live in contact with. Aim of this paper is to provide some examples of how these bi-dimensional cultural influences melted together giving life to the present day Kulango cultural identity.

The discussion is divided into three different parts.

Paragraph 2. contains an overview of the two most important ceremonial events of the Kulango agricultural calendar: a) the typically Akan yam feast and b) the typically Gur pearl-millet feast.

In paragraph 3. the focus moves towards the peculiar role of a tree, which the Kulango call the laasagyo and of two other vegetal elements which are still very important in the modern Kulango social world: a) palm wine, or taŋa in Kulango, and b) the kola nut, or pɛsɛ in Kulango.

Paragraph 4. will be devoted to an ethnolinguistic study of the conceptualizations of what is a plant and what is a mushroom according to the Kulango Weltanschaauung.


Anthropological linguistics; West Africa; Kulango; Gur languages

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