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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Religious mobility and body language in Kubandwa possession cults
Author:Pennacini, CeciliaISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies
Geographic term:Great Lakes region
Subjects:spirit possession
African religions
healing rites
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531050902972972
Abstract:Spirit possession in the Great Lakes region was first observed by European travellers in the second half of the nineteenth century, and was later studied by numerous authors during the twentieth century. This paper reflects on the transnational dimension of the practice, analysing examples of Kubandwa rituals from various places and periods: Kubandwa tends to cross linguistic, political and temporal frontiers, reappearing in different forms, often having been renovated but still clearly recognizable. Despite the variety of the spirits - forming a dynamic pantheon which is continuously increasing - the ritual, based on the mechanism of spirit possession and a specific body language, tends to remain constant throughout the region. While the discourse of ethnicity in the Great Lakes region has come to underline political divisions and separations, this religious and healing tradition can be presented as an alternative cultural discourse of transnationality and multi-ethnicity. Bibliogr., ref., sum. [Journal abstract]