Fusion of the Worlds: An Ethnography of Possession among the Songhay of Nigeria / Edition 1

Fusion of the Worlds: An Ethnography of Possession among the Songhay of Nigeria / Edition 1

by Paul Stoller
     
 

"This ethnography is more like a film than a book, so well does Stoller evoke the color, sight, sounds, and movements of Songhay possession ceremonies."—Choice

"Stoller brilliantly recreates the reality of spirit presence; hosts are what they mediate, and spirits become flesh and blood in the 'fusion' with human existence. . . . An excellent

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Overview

"This ethnography is more like a film than a book, so well does Stoller evoke the color, sight, sounds, and movements of Songhay possession ceremonies."—Choice

"Stoller brilliantly recreates the reality of spirit presence; hosts are what they mediate, and spirits become flesh and blood in the 'fusion' with human existence. . . . An excellent demonstration of the benefits of a new genre of ethnographic writing. It expands our understanding of the harsh world of Songhay mediums and sorcerers."—Bruce Kapferer, American Ethnologist

"A vivid story that will appeal to a wide audience. . . . The voices of individual Songhay are evident and forceful throughout the story. . . . Like a painter, [Stoller] is concerned with the rich surface of things, with depicting images, evoking sensations, and enriching perceptions. . . . He has succeeded admirably." —Michael Lambek, American Anthropologist

"Events (ceremonies and life histories) are evoked in cinematic style. . . . [This book is] approachable and absorbing—it is well written, uncluttered by jargon and elegantly structured."—Richard Fardon, Times Higher Education Supplement

"Compelling, insightful, rich in ethnographic detail, and worthy of becoming a classic in the scholarship on Africa."—Aidan Southall, African Studies Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226775456
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
06/28/1997
Edition description:
1
Pages:
268
Sales rank:
1,241,771
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue
Acknowledgments
Personae
1. Looking for Serci
Part One: Organization of the Possession Troupe
2. Zimas from Tillaberi
3. Gusabu's Mediums
4. Praise-Singers from the River
5. Cries of the Violin, Rhythms of the Drum
Part Two: Theaters of Songhay Experience
6. Rain Dance: Rites of the Ancestors
7. Horrific Comedy: The Hauka
Part Three: Possession in a Changing World
8. Sexual Comedy: The Sasale
9. Two Mouths, Two Hearts
Epilogue: Fusion of the Worlds
Notes
Glossary
References
Index

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