Joking relationships in Western Burkina Faso Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 131.2006:183-196
Keywords: joking relationships, alliance, identity, Fulbe, blacksmiths, cohesion

##The article discusses joking relationships among different ethnic and professional groups of western Burkina Faso. It argues that the institution of joking plays an important role in supporting and reinforcing social cohesion and group membership in local societies of western Burkina Faso. The article provides first an overview of joking relationships, sketches out their characteristic features and discusses the perceptions, notions, beliefs and experiences of joking by local actors. Then, it explores joking relationships among Fulbe, a traditionally mobile people, and the pact between Fulbe and blacksmiths. Finally, the article examines the interplay of Fulbe and some non-Fulbe groups with regard to the custom of joking.##