• Along an African Border: Angolan Refugees and Their Divination Baskets

    Author(s):
    Sonia Silva (see profile)
    Date:
    2014
    Group(s):
    Anthropology, History of Art, Indigenous Studies, Performance Studies, Religious Studies
    Subject(s):
    African studies, Cultural studies, History of religions, Phenomenology, Ritual studies
    Item Type:
    Book
    Tag(s):
    Divination, knowledge, objectification, Personification, Refugees
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6SP39
    Abstract:
    In Along an African Border, anthropologist Sónia Silva examines how the Angolan refugees living in Zambia during the Angolan civil war used their divination baskets to cope with daily life in a new land. To many people, these baskets are capable of thinking, hearing, judging, and responding. They communicate by means of small articles drawn in configurations, interact with persons and other objects, punish wrongdoers, assist people in need, and, much like humans, go through a life course that is marked with an initiation ceremony and a special burial. The lipele functions in a state between object and person, being often described as a fetish or a personified object. Notably absent from lipele divination is any discussion or representation in the form of symbolic objects of the violence in Angola or the struggles of living in exile—instead, the consultation focuses on age-old personal issues of illness, reproduction, and death. Through basket divination, people in Zambia and Angola maintain their links to kin and tradition in a world of transience and uncertainty.
    Notes:
    "With great originality, Silva accesses the life stories of these human subjects through the material objects with which they (inter-)relate. . . . Silva provides a stimulating model for any researcher hoping to partner with individuals in their efforts to confront the myriad ways they are objectified, whether by circumstances, by the state, or by scholarship."—Journal of Religion in Africa
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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