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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Exploring Bori as a Site of Myth in Hausa Culture
Author:Sullivan, Joanna
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Geographic term:West Africa
spirit possession
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13696850500448378
Abstract:The topic of myth has rarely emerged in Hausa studies due to the lack of conventional mythic material. This article looks at how myth emerges not in Hausa literature, but in the spirit possession ceremony known as 'bori'. Unlike traditional myths, 'bori' is a performed event accompanied by musicians who sing diverse and creative praise-epithets and songs to and about the spirits, and the spirit possession ceremony possesses only a marginally standard form. Enveloped by ritual, the performance itself is unique in each particular manifestation, with only vaguely predictable elements confining its realization. It is here, within the performance, guided by tradition, an aetiological origin, and a stable pantheon of spirits, that we find myth communicating itself, mediating between a host of binary opposites, emerging and then disappearing with the close of each performance. Bibliogr., note, sum. [Journal abstract]