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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Taxonomy and Classification of Divination with Emphasis on African Divination Systems
Author:Danfulani, Umar H.D.
Periodical:Africana Marburgensia
Geographic term:Africa
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Abstract:The practice of divination dates from prehistoric times, and has existed in various forms and patterns in every human society. Its variant features and patterns have made divination a very elusive concept to define. Attempts to classify divination systems are rendered difficult by the fact that each culture normally employs several divination forms, and diviners often use different types in the same session. Using a framework adapted from P.M. Peek (1991, the present author recategorizes and plots the list and typologies provided by H.J. Rose (1911) and E.M. Zuesse (1987) along a continuum between a 'physical/mechanical' pole and a 'spirit/mediumistic' pole. Four major divination types are identified through this method: divining by mechanical means, divination based on body forms and actions, omens, and mediumistic/spirit possession types. These four types of divination are then examined with reference to Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref.