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Asian and African Studies

Volume 26, 2017, No. 2


  The Excavations At Tell el-Retaba in 1977, 1978 and 1981 – Part 2 (In Memoriam of Hans Goedicke)
Ľubica Hudáková, Jozef Hudec

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Tell el-Retaba, Hans Goedicke, Michael Fuller, archaeology, dating

In Part 2 the article brings the finds from the season 1978. The fragment of a stela found in level IV of the Central Test Pit resembles Ramesside ‘Horbeit stelae’; it was already re-used, similar to some other Ramesside stone objects at Tell el-Retaba, in early Third Intermediate Period. An excursus focuses on other inscribed and decorated stone fragments from the tell. In 1981, parts of Petrie’s Wall 2 and Wall 3 were unearthed, measured and described, among other structures in the 125 meters long eastern profile of the pipeline trench. The trench was dug out by the Egyptian authorities in the centre of the tell, cutting it into two parts in a N-S direction. Petrie’s Walls as well as some other loci documented in the profile are re-evaluated; the same concerns the burials discovered in the trench northwards of the tell. Date of yet another burials uncovered in the central southern part of the tell is re-considered with the conclusion that, as other child (jar) burials discovered at Tell el-Retaba, they are part of cemeteries at defence walls (in or outside the fortress), used during the New Kingdom from the late 18th/early 19th Dynasty onwards.

Asian and African Studies. Volume 26, 2017, No. 2: 163-184.

  On The Vitality And Endangerment of the Romani Language in Slovakia
Anna Rácová, Milan Samko

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Romani in Slovakia, vitality, endangerment

Linguists expect that 90 ̶ 95% of 6,000 ̶ 7,000 languages worldwide may vanish in the course of this century, which may also lead to a loss of the unique identities, cultures, and traditions that these languages embody. According to criteria proposed by a UNESCO commission, various languages face different degrees of endangerment at present. The Romani language is classified as ‘definitely endangered’, which is Degree 3 in the UNESCO’s classification system (safe, unsafe/vulnerable, definitely endangered, severely endangered, critically endangered, extinct). The present article will focus on a detailed evaluation of the general socio-linguistic situation of the Romani language in Slovakia, its causes and consequences, which contribute to its level of endangerment and which have led linguists to classify the language as definitely endangered. The article will be framed mainly by a consideration of the factors as defined by a study drafted by the above mentioned UNESCO commission, namely intergenerational language transmission, absolute number of speakers, proportion of speakers within the total population, trends in existing language domains, response to new domains and media, materials for language education and literacy, governmental and institutional attitudes and policies, including official status and use, and community members’ attitudes toward their own language. We will draw on published materials on the status and use of the Romani language in Slovakia as well as on the results of the field research that we conducted in 2015 by means of individual semi-structured interviews.

Asian and African Studies. Volume 26, 2017, No. 2: 185-208.

  “You Can Live Like a King …” A Postcolonial Tour of Colonial Hong Kong
James W.Ellis

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Hong Kong, postcolonial, tourism, grand tour, “Asia’s World City”

For a long time Westerners were attracted to the Far East by a romantic vision of the Orient. This essay explores how written tourism texts, travel advertisements, and related ephemera, blended fantasy and reality to lure Western visitors to the remote, ‘exotic’ British colony of Hong Kong. Hong Kong was a divided city, with a small British contingent overseeing a large Chinese society. Westerner writers, advertising illustrators, and the tourism industry generally, reflected colonialist perspectives and exploited a largely contrived East-West dichotomy between Hong Kong’s Chinese and British residents, reinforcing an Orientalist view of exoticism and colonial superiority. The essay treats tourism images as cultural relics and social statements, which transmitted disturbing messages about relationships of social power, through a compositional device called visual positional superiority. The essay takes the reader on a hypothetical Grand Tour of colonial Hong Kong, visiting racially segregated Western enclaves, the private world of international hotel “microcultures”, and “contact zones”, where people met in “asymmetrical relations of domination and subordination”. The essay concludes with musings on Hong Kong’s recent effort to change its global identity to “Asia’s World City”, after the British transfer of sovereignty to the People’s Republic of China in 1997. Even in the postcolonial era, efforts to encapsulate Hong Kong’s essence rely on troubling symbols carried over from the colonial past.

Asian and African Studies. Volume 26, 2017, No. 2: 209-232.

  The Ancient Egyptian Coffin in the Slovak National Museum: The Fragments Nos. 1, 2 and 3 of the Exterior Surface of the Lid
Dušan Magdolen

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lid, registers, iconography, inscriptions, symmetry

This paper is focused on the study and analysis of the original decoration incompletely preserved on three fragments nos. 1, 2 and 3 of the exterior surface of the lid. The identification and interpretation of the damaged and partly preserved remains of the original decorative motifs and inscriptions will be described and compared with the available analogies. This study can significantly help us to contribute to the reconstruction of the original decoration of the coffin and its typological classification including its dating. Some of the details of the preserved motifs identified and described on the surface of the coffin lid have not been mentioned and published before.

Asian and African Studies. Volume 26, 2017, No. 2: 233-260.

  Uniformity and Diversity in Turkic Inceptive Constructions
Julian Rentzsch

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Turkic languages, typology, complementation, auxiliary constructions, ‘begin’, variation

Constructions encoding ‘to begin to’ display a great formal diversity in the Turkic languages. The differences concern both the auxiliary segment and the linking segment. This diversity is counterbalanced by certain features that are shared either by the majority of the Turkic language family or by only some of its members. The present study will investigate the main similarities and differences between inceptive constructions in Turkic both from a synchronic and a diachronic perspective. A special focus will be placed on combinations that involve the auxiliary bašla-, an item that is particularly widespread. The main types of constructions attested with this auxiliary will be identified, and possible factors involved in the development of these types will be determined. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the typology and diachronic development of inceptive constructions in the Turkic languages and to draw attention to a topic that has yet to be investigated in detail from a comparative perspective.

Asian and African Studies. Volume 26, 2017, No. 2: 261-296.

  The Two July 1968 Coups in Iraq: The Bacth is Returning to Power
R. Sorby Karol

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Situation in Iraq after the June War; dissatisfaction on the political scene; plans for overthrowing the regime; the coup of 17 July; power struggle after the coup; the coup of 30 July; the Bacth in power again.

In Iraq on 8 February 1963 the Socialist Party of Arab Resurrection (the Bacth Party) carried out an armed coup. It overthrew the regime of cAbdalkarīm Qāsim and came to power. Its short reign turned out as an unsuccessful experiment and ended on 18 November of the same year in a countercoup staged by the army. A difficult period followed in which the Bacth leadership worked to overthrow the existing military regime and restore its former position. The Bacthists returned to power by accomplishing two coups, one on 17 July and the other on 30 July 1968. In both instances, they prevailed by stratagem rather than through force. In the first they deposed the president by allying themselves with his closest aides. In the second they got rid of their inconvenient temporary allies. The two distinct groups which in an odd alliance finally carried out the first coup were the Bacth Party and a small group of dissatisfied supporters of the regime whose leaders were cAbdarrazzāq an-Nāyif and Ibrāhīm ad-Dā’ūd. The two men who held the fate of the regime in their hands belonged to a group of younger moderate Arab nationalist officers within the army.

Asian and African Studies. Volume 26, 2017, No. 2: 297-318.

  On the Problem of Sacred Space: Solomon´s Temple in Jerusalem and Temple-Palace in Fengchu (China) around 1000 B.C. (A Comparative Study)
Marián Gálik

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Solomon´s Temple (Jerusalem), palace-temple in Fengchu (China), Near Eastern sacred continua, their dissimilarities with China, Victor (Avigdor) Hurowitz, John Monson, David N. Keightley, Edward L. Shaughnessy, Yuri Pines

The aim of this essay is to present a study about the problem of sacred space in comparing Solomon´s Temple in Jerusalem and the temple-palace in Fengchu (China) around 1000 B.C. and later, together with the situation in the Near Eastern countries, Sumer, Assyria, Canaan(Levant), their writings and concrete buildings. Sacred continua both in sacred space and partly also sacred time in Mesopotamia, Canaan, Judah, Israel,and China are studied here on the basis of available material between approximately 1000 B.C. up to about 450 B.C. The choice of the studied material was selected in order to see the differences between the understanding of the sacred space in the countries of Near East and in China in times when there were no relations between them. This essay points to the differences in the Chinese situation which was very different from that of Hebrew tradition. If in the first up to about the first half of the 1st cent. B.C. sacred space and also sacred time was with the exception at the end of the Shang Dynasty in high esteem, and then a more secular approach was acknowledged, among the Hebrews the theocracy of God became to be absolute.

Asian and African Studies. Volume 26, 2017, No. 2: 319-349.

  Impact of Nollywood Films on Children’s Behaviour in Ekpoma, Nigeria
Osakue S. Omoera, John O. Edemode, Peter Aihevba

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Nollywood films, Impact, Children’s behaviour, Africa, Nigeria, Ekpoma, Image, Nollywood content creators

Using Ekpoma in Nigeria as a case study, this article investigates the impact of Nollywood films on the lives of children, and the possible behavioural implications of emergent visual (mis)representations on African society. It uses the perception/ representation model of ‘NoSRA theory on Gaze Setting’ developed by Kayode Animasaun as a theoretical anchor. The study employs both quantitative and qualitative methods to provide insights into the perceptions of Nigerian (African) children about the films they watch. While a very significant percentage of the sampled population finds Nollywood films such as Issakaba, Beyond Sin, The Destroyer, Ukwa, Ultimate Warrior, Aki and Popo, Black Arrow, Cain and Abel 1&2, Crazy Twins 1, Yahoo Boys etc., interesting and entertaining, a content analysis of many of these films reveals that they are replete with disturbing tropes which are at variance with cherished Nigerian (African) cultural values. Interviews conducted with parents/adults also provided some useful contexts. In spite of the sampled population’s enjoyment of Nollywood films, a clear majority believe that the films do not properly portray or represent Nigerian (African) children. Thus, Nollywood films may have little to offer for the proper development of children. In fact, there is a strong connection between the unwholesome and violent behaviours which the children regularly see on Nollywood videos and their physical exhibition of anti-social behaviours and attitudes such as the frequent use of swear and abusive words, indiscriminate use of lethal objects such as knives, guns, and membership of cult/gang groups, etc., which unfortunately are on the increase in the Ekpoma locality in Nigeria and in many other parts of Africa. To reverse this trend and maximise the gains of Nollywood, this article holds that, among other things, Nollywood content creators should begin to place emphasis on a range of culturally enlivening, entertaining, and character building narratives in scripting and shooting of movies.

Asian and African Studies. Volume 26, 2017, No. 2: 350-374.


Book Review:

  KARÁSEK, MATEJ – SOUČEK, IVAN (eds.): Indické cesty do duchovného sveta [Indian Journeys to the Spiritual World].
Anna Rácová

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Asian and African Studies. Volume 26, 2017, No. 2: 375-378.