Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vii

Figures

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pp. viii-viii

Photographs

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvi

...Discourse is central to the construction of knowledge about misfortune and healing. In Central and Southern Africa, discourses of healing take a number of forms: the evocation of distress and hope before others; prayers to God, ancestors, and spirits; songs both out of the cultural stock at hand as well as original compositions from the wellsprings of individual emotion; highly codified...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

...An important feature of Sub-Saharan African religion and healing, historically and in the twentieth century, has been the interpretation of adversity, paradox, and change within the framework of specialized communities, cells, and networks. In Central Africa these communities have come to be called rituals or cults of affliction, defined by Victor Turner, a major author on the...

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1. Settings and Samples in African Cults of Affliction

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pp. 10-56

...This ethnographic survey is intended to sketch an impressionistic picture of cults of affliction in Central and Southern Africa, particularly in the contemporary urban settings of Kinshasa, Zaire; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Mbabane-Manzini, Swaziland; and Cape Town, South Africa. These national capitals represent the urban syntheses of four major regions of Africa respectively: the...

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2. Identifying Ngoma: Historical and Comparative Perspectives

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pp. 57-86

...The contemporary settings of ngoma-type cults of affliction in Central and Southern Africa, as seen in the previous chapter, may now be joined by historical and comparative perspectives of the entire region within which these cults appear. Evidence for ngoma's origin, spread, and distribution can be gleaned from a range of types of sources: linguistic evidence from a comparison of Bantu language...

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3. Core Features in Ngoma Therapy

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pp. 85-107

...A straightforward formulation of the subject of this work, based on material presented thus far, would be something like the following: Just as persons or social forces around the sufferer are involved in the cause of affliction (as understood in the proto-Bantu cognate dog), so others may help in the diagnosis, decision making of health seeking, and continuing support of the sufferer to...

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4. Doing Ngoma: The Texture of Personal Transformation

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pp. 108-129

..."Doing ngoma" is the central event in ngoma. It is the "dominant trope," the "symbol that stands for itself " (Wagner 1986:29-30) and defines the institution. "Doing ngoma" opens with a declarative statement, prayer, or utterance, then moves on to song begun by the one who makes the statement; as the call and song is developed, the surrounding people respond with clapping...

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5. How Ngoma Works: Of Codes and Consciousness

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pp. 130-152

...This chapter and the next wrestle with the nature of knowledge—both personal and cultural—and the way it is utilized in ngoma. In previous chapters ngoma has been presented in a number of perspectives: the ethnographic present, the deep history of linguistic analysis and archaeology, and the close-up view of the core features and the main ritual, "doing ngoma." This chapter...

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6. Now Ngoma Works: The Social Reproduction of Health

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pp. 153-172

...Exploring the issue of efficacy continues in this chapter, in terms of the survivorship of at-risk sectors of society and the role of ngoma in the creation and maintenance of a social fabric that contributes to health. Whereas in the previous chapter I identified practitioners' and analysts' theories of how ngoma rituals are intended to work, here I shall examine the consequences of ngoma...

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Conclusion

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pp. 173-180

...A major goal of this work has been to explore the basis for the institution variously known as the "ritual of affliction," "cult of affliction," or "drum of affliction," the latter term being derived directly from the widespread notion ngoma, a Bantu language cognate. Utilizing a variety of historical, linguistic, archaeological, and comparative sources, the case was made that ngoma may have emerged...

Appendix A: Partial Listing of Guthrie's Inventory of Bantu Languages

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pp. 181-188

Appendix B: Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

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pp. 189-208

Appendix C: Instrumentation Accompanying Healing Rituals in Central and Southern Africa

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pp. 209-214

Notes

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pp. 215-218

Bibliography

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pp. 219-234

Index

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pp. 235-241