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Title:Possession as cure: The Ayaana cult of Waso Borana
Author:Dahl, G.ISNI
Book title:Culture, experience and pluralism: essays on African ideas of illness and healing
Editors:Jacobson-Widding, A.
Westerlund, D.
City of publisher:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Cultural Anthropology, University of Uppsala
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:spirit possession
Abstract:This article presents data on a Muslim spirit possession cult, the 'ayaana' cult of the Husseiniya order, which is widespread in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. It deals mainly with the form that this cult has taken at its furthest southern border, in the Isiolo District of Kenya, and particularly among the Waso Borana. The cult plays an essential role in the diagnosis and treatment of particular forms of ill health. On the basis of material collected in 1973-1974, the author describes the concept of 'ayaana', the 'ayaana' specialists, the 'ayaana' sessions, spirit families and interethnicity, the 'ayaana' cult and modern health care, and various interpretations of the cult. Bibliogr., notes.