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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Embodying colonial memories: spirit possession, power and the Hauka in West Africa
Author:Stoller, PaulISNI
City of publisher:New York
ISBN:0415908760; 0415908779
Geographic terms:West Africa
Subjects:African religions
spirit possession
Abstract:The author uses the example of the Hauka, Songhay spirits that mimic Niger colonial culture, to think about spirit possession as a set of embodied practices with serious cultural, social, and political consequences. In this way the study of spirit possession moves from the abstract consideration of how ahistorical, ritual texts constitute a discourse to the concrete analysis of how one set of embodied practices molds historical contexts to constitute power-in-the-world. In part I, the author argues for an embodied approach to the analysis of spirit possession. In part II he establishes the colonial context from which the Hauka movement emerged. In part III he focuses specifically on how the French colonization of Niger resulted in the birth and migration of the Hauka movement. In part IV he considers the survival of the movement in the postcolonial era. The book concludes with an epilogue which explores the theoretical importance of the relationship among memory, embodiment, power, and spirit possession.