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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Water symbolism in African possession cult of the Ikwerre people of north-eastern Niger Delta
Author:Wotogbe-Weneka, Wellington O.
Year:2009
Periodical:Orita: Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies (ISSN 0030-5596)
Volume:41
Issue:2
Pages:46-55
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:spirit possession
water
Ikwerre
Abstract:Symbolically speakingh, water, especially the saline type, acquires added significance in African thinking, particularly for the riverine communities within African indigenous societies which practise possession cults related to aquatic spirits. This paper examines the symbolic significance of water in the possession cult practised by the Ikwerre of Nigeria's north eastern Niger Delta. Dwelling among numerous creeks, streams and rivers (some of which saline), the Ikwerre believe that legions of aquatic spirits inhabiting the waters that surround them influence people who live in these areas in a number of ways, including actually 'possessing' the human beings. The paper presents examples of the symbolic role of water among the Ikwerre, as well as symbolic references to and usage of water in the Ikwerre cult. Ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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