Date of Submission

Spring 2015

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Political Studies; Africana Studies

Project Advisor 1

Robert Tynes

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The Wolof people in West Africa depend on systems of honor. The honor Wolof individuals gain for their families raises their family’s reputation, which increases the family’s social capital in their community. Families can then rely on and trust others in order to live healthy and satisfactory lives necessary for survival. While men provide money and women are expected to handle the household, together, with men affording women’s domestic roles, they bestow the greatest honor onto the family by providing hospitality to guests. The heart of this paper lies in understanding this Wolof concept of gaining honor through hospitality, called teranga. Yet what happens to Wolof families when individuals cannot fulfill their familial duties because their surroundings are limited in opportunity? This paper focuses on Wolof migration as means to satisfy familial obligations and thus, the function of teranga in the diaspora, specifically in Harlem’s ethnic enclave “Little Africa.” Through scholarly and ethnographic research, this paper examines how the Wolof immigrant practice of teranga in the diaspora is the primary mechanism that sustains Wolof prosperity in the homeland and maintains cultural survival.

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On-Campus only

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