Fieldwork 2010: The Lingering Field

Anna-Riikka Kauppinen reports from Ghana regarding her research on beauty centers. This post is part of the fieldwork 2010 series. Shea butter is warming up in my hands. I rub my palms together in order to dissolve the waxy texture into a soft and glowing substance. Akosua, 3 years old, is sitting still on the bed. I start applying the cream over her tiny body. First come the shoulders, neck and back. She raises her hands so that I can rub the armpits and stands up to let me work on the belly, buttocks, tights, legs, feet and toes. Lastly, …

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