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Title:The invention of anti-tradition: Dodo spirits in southern Niger
Author:Masquelier, AdelineISNI
Book title:Spirit possession, modernity & power in Africa / ed. by Heike Behrend & Ute Luig. - Oxford [etc.]: James Currey [etc.]
Year:1999
Pages:34-49
Language:English
Geographic term:Niger
Subjects:magic
African religions
spirit possession
modernization
Mawri
Abstract:In Arewa, the Hausaphone region of the Niger republic where the author conducted fieldwork in 1988 and 1989, resistance to modern technology and market goods takes the form of a highly personalized etiquette which the mediums of certain spirits by the name of Dodo struggle to enforce against all odds. The author describes some of the facets of Dodo mediumship in an attempt to explicate how some Mawri villagers have capitalized on the notion of tradition to reconfigure an order of values which, because it remained anchored in people's relationships to spirits, was threatened by the Mawri's growing lack of commitment to 'bori' deities. She relates the popularity and power of the new Dodo spirits to their moral rejection of the undue commoditization of 'bori' mediums, who seem to be interested more in money than in the well-being of their clients. The author points out the intricacies of this form of resistance as Dodo spirit mediums were themselves caught in relations of the market economy which, when they became too commercial, caused their spirits to abandon them. Bibliogr., notes, ref.
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