l’arbre à palabre

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by paradigme, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. paradigme Member

    UK English
    Does anyone know what this refers to?

    Context: "L’XXX– sans exclure d’autres lieux de prise de décision telle que l’arbre à palabre - devient ainsi, dans la perspective d’une recherche participative, le lieu privilégié d’une épistémologie mettant au centre le point de vue local, appréhendé à son tour à travers la langue locale."
  2. PeterH Member

    USA English
    Search for that exact phrase on the internet. You'll get lots of hits. I gather it's an expression from French-speaking Africa, and has been adopted in corporate knowledge management circles, as part of the currently popular emphasis on storytelling in organizations as a way to pass on knowledge.
  3. paradigme Member

    UK English
    Thanks for your advice -- I'll check it out.
  4. Scipiona

    Scipiona Senior Member

    This reply is obviously posted too late for paradigme, but for future reference: "l'arbre à palabre" refers to the tree under which African communities traditionally sat in order to solve problems together. The group would include the head of the village or community, a moderator, the elders, the conflicting parties, their witnesses, a representative of the women and another of the children. All parties would be heard in a search for the truth and for the best way to solve the conflict. This holds a certain parallel to our "consensus-building" methods today, only it was richer from a human point of view.

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