The Afterlife Is Where We Come from

By Alma Gottlieb,

Book cover of The Afterlife Is Where We Come from: The Culture of Infancy in West Africa

Book description

When a new baby arrives among the Beng people of West Africa, they see it not as being born, but as being reincarnated after a rich life in a previous world. Far from being a tabula rasa, a Beng infant is thought to begin its life filled with spiritual knowledge.…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

1 author picked The Afterlife Is Where We Come from as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book is the only ethnography of infants, the Beng of Ivory Coast, West Africa. Gottlieb does a masterful job of explaining what is “normal” for the Beng and how very different their attitudes about parenting and babies are from Western Culture, and why the Beng believe their parenting ways are better. Gottlieb’s telling of the Beng baby story, like her writing, is engaging and life-changing.

From Meredith's list on the anthropology of parenting.

Want books like The Afterlife Is Where We Come from?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like The Afterlife Is Where We Come from.

Browse books like The Afterlife Is Where We Come from

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in anthropology, West Africa, and sociology?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about anthropology, West Africa, and sociology.

Anthropology Explore 99 books about anthropology
West Africa Explore 27 books about West Africa
Sociology Explore 135 books about sociology