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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Jangamizi: Spirit and Sculpture
Author:Orchardson-Mazrui, Elizabeth C.
Periodical:African Languages and Cultures
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:African religions
spirit possession
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Architecture and the Arts
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1771771
Abstract:A variety of sculptural forms is known to mediate the interaction between the human community and the spirit world in various African communities. Among the Mijikenda of the East African coast, the mediational role of sculpture is most noticeable in the natural human processes of sickness and death. Sickness is often associated with spirit possession and its cure may require elaborate exorcism in which sculpture has a crucial function. This article looks specifically at a particular spirit referred to by the Giriama (Kilifi District, Kenya) as 'jangamizi', and various other sculptural forms used in the exorcizing of this spirit which is associated with fertility disorders. The sculptures involved in 'jangamizi' possession rites consist of several figures representing animals and human beings. The main sculpture is composed of a male-female Janus form joined back-to-back. During the ceremony, the evil spirit is transferred from the patient to the sculptures which are then broken. Bibliogr., notes, ref.