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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Awakening spirits: the ontology of spirit, self, and society in Ndau spirit possession practices in Zimbabwe
Author:Perman, Tony
Year:2011
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa (ISSN 0022-4200)
Volume:41
Issue:1
Pages:59-92
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:spirit possession
religious rituals
Ndau
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/157006611X559077
Abstract:In the Ndau communities of southeastern Zimbabwe people are born with a variety of spirits, thus spirit possession itself is a public manifestation of this relationship that is profoundly affected by local understandings of the Ndau self. There has often been an implication in the study of African (and Zimbabwean) spirit practices that the spirits themselves are actually something else, reflecting the agnostic assumptions of contemporary social sciences. By approaching spirit possession in relation to the Ndau sense of self, the author offers an approach that reconciles the seemingly contradictory evaluations of spiritual truth inherent in local explanations of mediums and these scholarly explanations. Approaching possession as an intersubjective habit of the self accommodates local regimes of truth and explanations while simultaneously allowing for an agent-oriented psychology and semiotics that recognizes the obvious power that such experiences have for people. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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