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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Horses, musicians and gods: The Hausa cult of possession-trance
Author:Besmer, F.E.
City:South Hadley
Publisher:Bergin & Garvey
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subject:spirit possession
Abstract:Foreword by Willard Rhodes. Horses, musicians and gods are three of the essential elements of the Hausa cult of possession-trance. The horses are cult-adepts, so described because of the image they have of themselves as mounts for the spirits which possess them; the musicians are non-initiates, professionals, whose function it is to preserve much of the oral tradition of the cult and to invoke the spirits with special songs during possession-trance performances; the gods are the divine horsemen, the residents of the invisible city of Jangare, supernatural spirits who mark their victims with illness and misfortune and then provide the source for its remedy. The purpose of this study, based on data collected in 1972 and 1973 in Kano State (Nigeria), is to reach an understanding of who or what each of these groups is, what they do, and how they are brought together in bori practice and ritual.