Spirits of Protest: Spirit-Mediums and the Articulation of by Peter Fry

By Peter Fry

During this examine, Peter Fry describes and analyses spirit-mediumship among a group of Zezuru humans dwelling close to Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). He examines the idea procedure which underpins spirit-mediumship and the foundation of the mediums' authority. He will pay detailed recognition to the best way non secular ideals are used politically in particular social events starting from village disputes to problems with nationwide significance. rather than portraying the spirits and their mediums as a set and strong hierarchy, Peter Fry stresses the dynamics of a spiritual method which alterations through the years in terms of altering exterior elements and to the facility of person competing mediums to accumulate followings via responding to and moulding consensus. The e-book makes comparisons among the spiritual platforms of the Zezuru and the Valley Korekore, either subgroups of Shona-speaking peoples, and concludes by way of discussing the function of Zezuru mediums within the context of the disagreement among black and white nationalisms. The spirit-mediums, adverse structurally to the white undertaking church buildings, are noticeable as autos of black cultural nationalism within the zone.

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Extra resources for Spirits of Protest: Spirit-Mediums and the Articulation of Consensus among the Zezuru of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)

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Women, and to a lesser extent younger sons, are excluded from hereditary office. They are there37 Spirits of protest fore partially liberated from the most partisan positions in situations of family strife. Because spirit-mediums, and advice givers in general7 are persons who are structurally 'outside' in relation to the people to whom they are giving advice, it would seem that younger brothers and women would be more suitable candidates than elder brothers. This applies especially to women who, because of the virilocal marriage norm, tend to be geographical outsiders as well.

If all goes well, the new medium is 'gripped' and, like the other mediums, falls to the ground in the characteristic manner. The music stops, and the new medium/spirit is asked by the senior spirit-medium present to disclose his name and parentage. He is then expected to give his own personal name, the name of his father and the clan name (chidawo) of his mother, thus establishing his precise genealogical status. If all present consider this information to be satisfactory and true, then that is taken as prime facie evidence of the genuineness of the trance state.

Very soon, the heat generated in the house, the insistant rhythm of the rattles (magosho), the melismatic tinkling of the upper register of the mbira over the inexorable passacaglia-like melodies of the lower, sometimes reinforced by the bass drone of the men, the ululation of the women and the clapping of hands on the cross rhythm join with the dust thrown up by the pounding feet of the dancers in bringing on trance. The first mediums to fall into trance are the already established ones. 3 When the music stops and beer is drunk conversations are held with the spirits present.

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