This book of exquisite duotone photographs looks at the Bori, a West African shamanist cult centered on possession by the spirits of ancestors. Its followers, priests (also known as Bori), and assistants are clairvoyants or faith healers. They perform ecstatic ritual dances to conjure up djinns--spirits--to protect society and its individual members from evil. Faith healers (Boka) employ traditional plants to heal the sick. Caroline Alida's black-and-white portraits of the Bori and the objects used in their ritual practices were taken in dim natural light, imbuing the photos with a contemplative atmosphere.
Spirit Possession in the Age of Technical Reproduction
Author: Anja Dreschke
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
Category: Social Science
Ongoing debates about the “return of religion” have paid little attention to the orgiastic and enthusiastic qualities of religiosity, despite a significant increase in the use of techniques of trance and possession around the globe. Likewise, research on religion and media has neglected the fact that historically the rise of mediumship and spirit possession was closely linked to the development of new media of communication. This innovative volume brings together a wide range of ethnographic studies on local spiritual and media practices. Recognizing that processes of globalization are shaped by mass mediation, the volume raises questions such as: How are media like photography, cinema, video, the telephone, or television integrated in seances and healing rituals? How do spirit mediums connect with these media? Why are certain technical media shunned in these contexts?
Since the introduction of photography by commercial studio photographers and the colonial state in Kenya, this global medium has been intensely debated and contested among Muslims on the cosmopolitan East African coast. This book does not only explore the making, circulation, and consumption of popular photographs, but also the other side, their rejection and obliteration, an essential aspect of a medium's history that should not be neglected. It deals with various »social spaces of refusal« in the local Muslim milieu and in that of »traditional« spirit mediums in which (gendered) visibility was (and is) contested in various and creative ways. It focuses on the »aesthetics of withdrawal«: the various ways and techniques that process the photographic act as well as the photographic image to theatricalize the surface of the image in new ways by veiling, masking, and concealing. In a fragmented historical perspective, Heike Behrend seeks to complement, decenter, and counter the history of photography as it has been told by the West and to narrate another history beginning with preceding local media such as textiles and spirit possession.
A History of Childbirth and Reproduction in the Sahel
Author: Barbara M. Cooper
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Category: Health & Fitness
How do women in Niger experience pregnancy and childbirth differently from women in the United States or Europe? Barbara M. Cooper sets out to understand childbirth in a country with the world's highest fertility rate and an alarmingly high rate of maternal and infant mortality. Cooper shows how the environment, slavery and abolition, French military rule, and the rapid expansion of Islam have all influenced childbirth and fertility in Niger from the 19th century to the present day. She sketches a landscape where fear of infertility generates intense competition between communities, ethnicities, and co-wives and creates a culture where concerns about infertility dominate concerns about overpopulation, where illegitimate children are rejected, and where the education of girls is sacrificed in the name of avoiding shame. Given a medical system poorly adapted to women's needs, a precarious economy, and a political context where it is impossible to address sexuality openly, Cooper discovers that it is little wonder that pregnancy and birth are a woman's greatest pride as well as a source of grave danger.
Containing Every Word in Alphabetical Order, Arranged Under Its Hebrew Or Greek Original, with the Literal Meaning of Each, and Its Pronunciation; Exhibiting about Three Hundred and Eleven Thousand References, Marking 30,000 Various Readings in the New Testament, with the Latest Information on Biblical Geography and Antiquities, Etc. Etc. Etc. ...
Focuses on women and the civilizations and societies in which Islam has played a historic role. Surveys all facets of life (society, economy, politics, religion, the arts, popular culture, sports, health, science, medicine, environment, and so forth) of women in these societies.
Despite the large-scale destruction of traditional practices throughout the world, the Zar-Bori spirit-healing cult continues to hold tremendous meaning for some women in West Africa, the Sudan and North Africa, and even in the more progressive countries such as Tunisia, Kuwait, Egypt and the Gulf States.