Embodying Colonial Memories: Spirit Possession, Power, and the Hauka in West Africa

Overview

A study of the West African Hauka - spirits that grotesquely mimic and mock "Europeans" of the colonial epoch. The author considers spirit possession as a set of embodied practices with serious social and cultural consequences. Embodying Colonial Memories is the first

in-depth study of the West African Hauka, spirits in the body of (human) mediums which mimic and mock Europeans of the colonial epoch. Paul Stoller, who was initiated into a spirit possession troupe, recounts an ...

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Embodying Colonial Memories: Spirit Possession, Power, and the Hauka in West Africa

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Overview

A study of the West African Hauka - spirits that grotesquely mimic and mock "Europeans" of the colonial epoch. The author considers spirit possession as a set of embodied practices with serious social and cultural consequences. Embodying Colonial Memories is the first

in-depth study of the West African Hauka, spirits in the body of (human) mediums which mimic and mock Europeans of the colonial epoch. Paul Stoller, who was initiated into a spirit possession troupe, recounts an insider's tale of the Hauka with respect and "brotherly" deference. He

combines narrative description, historical analysis, and reflections on the importance of embodiment and mimesis to social theory, with particular reference to the Songhay peoples of the Republic of Niger.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
On contemporary life & culture in the Espanola Valley of northern N.M. Covers colonial history and its influence upon the cultural diversity of the region. Interviews and some 80 fine, evocative b&w photos give a good sense of the current society. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415908764
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/27/1995
  • Pages: 238
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Stoller is Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University. He is the author of In Sorcery's Shadow (1987), Fusion of the Worlds (1989), The Taste of Ethnographic Things (1989) and The Cinematic Griot. He is currently conducting research among West African street vendors in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue: Diplomacy on a Dune 1
Ch. 1 Spirit Possession 17
Ch. 2 Cultural Memory 27
Ch. 3 Embodied Memories: Mimesis and Spirit Possession 37
Ch. 4 From First Contacts to Military Partition 51
Ch. 5 Colonizing West Africa 61
Ch. 6 Embodied Oppositions 75
Ch. 7 Colonizing Niger 97
Ch. 8 The Birth of the Hauka Movement 115
Ch. 9 Transgressing to the Gold Coast 125
Ch. 10 Independence and the Postcolony of Niger 139
Ch. 11 Peasant and Hauka in Niger's Postcolony 149
Ch. 12 The Hauka and the Government of General Seyni Kountche 167
Epilogue: Memory, Power, and Spirit Possession 193
Notes 201
References 215
Index 223
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