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Fusion of the Worlds: An Ethnography of Possession among the Songhay of Niger [NOOK Book]

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 ...
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Fusion of the Worlds: An Ethnography of Possession among the Songhay of Niger

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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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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Stoller anthropology, West Chester U. lived amongst the Songhays intermittently for 18 years, he presents a vivid view of a possession cult from an insider's perspective as he recounts the many possession ceremonies he took part in during a drought in 1984. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226775494
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/16/2010
  • Series: NONE Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 589,009
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

<B>Paul Stoller<B> teaches anthropology at West Chester University and Temple University. He is the author of numerous books including <I>Money Has No Smell<I> and <I>Jaguar,<I> both published by the University of Chicago Press.
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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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