By Philip M. Peek
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This detailed choice of essays by way of a very good overseas staff of Africanists demonstrates the critical function that divination maintains to play all through Africa in conserving cultural platforms and in guiding human motion. African Divination structures deals insights for present discussions in comparative epistemology, cross-cultural psychology, cognition stories, semiotics, ethnoscience, spiritual stories, and anthropology.
"This quantity of finely crafted case experiences can also be the car for a huge common idea of divination.... this can be a ebook overflowing with rules that would powerfully stimulate additional research." ― Journal of formality Studies
"The essays during this assortment offer a really precious evaluation of either the variety of African divination platforms and of contemporary methods to their study." ― Choice
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Extra resources for African Divination Systems: Ways of Knowing (African Systems of Thought)
This critical Page 25 matter of diviners' crossgender identification is discussed in Peek's essay in this volume. An individual's selection may be signaled by patterned nonnormal behavior (see Blier's essay) or, as among the Bena Lulua, by a period of illness or misfortune (McLean and Solomon 1971:38). High intelligence, good memory, and especially personal control must be manifest as well, even for mediumistic diviners (see Zuesse 1979:210–11 and Bauer and Hinnant 1980:224). Symbols of death and rebirth dominate the elaborate initiation ceremonies of the Bena Lulua of Zaire (McLean and Solomon 1971:39–42).
Africa 43(1):5970. Paris: Institute d'Ethnologie. New York: Doubleday Anchor. " Journal of Religion in Africa 9(1):3350. Berkeley: University of California Press. London: Oxford University Press. New York: Doubleday Anchor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Vogt, 37679. New York: Harper and Row. The Hague: Mouton. New York: Columbia University Press. New York: Schocken Books. London: Academic Press. Glasgow: Collins. : Natural History Press.
Bascom (1969:1–12 and 1980) and Bastide (1968) provide comparative studies of AfricanAmerican divination forms. Although the jao cause misfortune, they enable the Atuot to "see" the true consequences of human actions through their possession of diviners. This process is similar to that of the Ethiopian awdunigist diviner, who also uses synoptic texts to guide his numerological diagnoses (Young 1977). Certainly there has been Arabic influence in East Africa, as Whyte and Parkin note (see their essays in this volume), and in Nigeria (see Bascom 1969; Boston 1974; Nadel 1970); but in Madagascar, as elsewhere, Arabic systems probably were either appended to indigenous systems or absorbed in a syncretic process by the diviners to augment their divinatory repertoires.