By Philip M. Peek
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This detailed selection of essays by means of a very good overseas workforce of Africanists demonstrates the relevant position that divination keeps to play all through Africa in protecting cultural platforms and in guiding human motion. African Divination structures bargains insights for present discussions in comparative epistemology, cross-cultural psychology, cognition experiences, semiotics, ethnoscience, non secular reports, and anthropology.
"This quantity of finely crafted case reports can be the car for an enormous normal concept of divination.... this can be a ebook overflowing with principles that may powerfully stimulate extra research." ― Journal of formality Studies
"The essays during this assortment supply a really necessary review of either the variety of African divination platforms and of modern ways to their study." ― Choice
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Extra resources for African Divination Systems: Ways of Knowing (African Systems of Thought)
E. , "ancestral spirits" [see Callaway 1970:14748 n. 14]. eight. "Your people move in him," that is, the Amatongo. Or, he is possessed by your people. nine. When he takes medicines, he eats nothing and is worse than usual. When he leaves off medicines, he is better and takes a little food. 10. "What is good," viz. , the power to divine. eleven. Yawning is considered a sign of approaching inspiration by the Itongo. [Callaway's reference to the effects of a troll's yawns found in Icelandic legends are deleted. ] 12. Lit. , "It is now seen by the morning," viz. , that he is still alive. They retire to rest doubtful whether they shall find him still living at daybreak. thirteen. Lit. , "We see the head," viz. , that it is affected in that way which is followed by the power to divine. 14. That is, by the Itongo in a dream. 15. Ubulawo, "a class of medicines, used for cleansing and brightening. Medicines used with the view of removing from the system something that causes dislike [black ubulawo], and introducing into it something that will cause love [white ubulawo]. [See Callaway 1970:14243 n. 10. ] sixteen. "People," viz. , the dead, the Amatongo. 17. The supposed voice of the familiar spirits is always in a shrill, whistling tone; hence they are called imilozi. 18. Uhlabo, the name of a disease, from ukuhlaba, to stab, because it is attended with a stabbing pain or stitch in the side. It is applied either to pleurodynia or pleurisy. 19. Isibobo, "a hole;" that is, the patient feels as though a hole has been made in his side with a sharp instrument. The same sensation that we call a "stitch in the side. " 20. He speaks of the disease as though it was a knife, or something of that kind; he personifies it. 21. Ukxulo: the same as uhlabo, from ukukxula, "to stab. " 22. We may compare the following faith in evil Nats, which seem to hold very much the same position in the East as the Amatongo among the Amazulu. . . . [The long quotation about the role of Nats in Burma is deleted. ] 23. Tandwa, lit. , "loved. " [It is significant that Callaway chooses not to enter this meaning in the text (although he has at least informed us of it) because this is certainly the more appropriate term for the relationship of the diviner and these powers. ] 24. That is, the Amatongo. 25. To have a soft or impressible head, that is, to be an inyanga. 26. Ukumbulula. —Sorcerers are supposed to destroy their victims by taking some portion of their bodies, as hair or nails; or something that has been worn next [to] their person, Page 35 as a piece of an old garment, and adding to it certain medicines, which is then buried in some secret place. They are at once the subjects of disease, and suffer and die. The power alluded to above is that of discovering and digging up this poison. Very similar to the practice of sorcerers amongst ourselves, who used to make an image of wax or clay of the person they wished to kill, and treat it with poisons, etc. , and every thing done to the image was felt by their victim. [Callaway's example of such practices from Danish tradition is deleted.