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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Transformation and Power in Moba (Northern Togo) Initiation Rites
Author:Kreamer, Christine MullenISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Togo
secret societies
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1160907
Abstract:Among the Moba of northern Togo, initiation into the voluntary and secret association of Kondi offers men and women a way of achieving a measure of social and ritual power. For the Moba, accepted notions of ancestral authority, specialist knowledge, and the spatial realm of the wilderness inform their concepts of power. One of the ways in which the achievement of power is conceptualized is through the transformation of the individual during the process of initiation into Kondi. Following the tripartite structure of separation, transition and reintegration, Kondi initiation directs the individual through the movement of social space as the initiate's status is transformed from that of a newborn to that of an adult in the community. This transformative process is reinforced in the spatial domains of bush and village in which initiation takes place and in the kinds of dress worn during the various phases of initiation which signal the initiate's dissociation from and association with the community. The present article, which is based on field research carried out in 1980-1981, with a follow-up visit in 1982, examines the physical settings and spatial relationships inherent in the ritual structure of initiation into Kondi as it is practised in certain villages in the western part of Moba country. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.