Cord Of Blood: Possession and the Making of Voodoo by Nadia Lovell

By Nadia Lovell

The connection among humans and their gods lies on the centre of all questions of id, person and collective. Nadia Lovell examines how non secular emotions mirror notions of personhood and belonging, and the way spiritual involvement can remodel gender family members, through targeting cults of Vodhun (voodoo) ownership one of the Watchi in Southern Togo. utilizing this specified ethnographic research as some extent of departure she bargains a desirable perception into the complicated interaction among faith, gender, ethnography and globalisation.Lovell argues that the connection of fellows and ladies to the Vodhun is one in all mutual dependency: at the one hand people will gods to exist; nevertheless, gods include themselves in people, specifically girls, via ownership. ownership, based on Lovell, implies not just ailment, however the manifestation of inventive power by which ladies can show a number of identities -- a strategy by which strategies of gender are either proven and dismantled. taking a look particularly on the position of the devotees, Lovell provides an attractive account which bargains a big contribution to the learn of faith, gender and society.

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Extra info for Cord Of Blood: Possession and the Making of Voodoo (Anthropology, Culture and Society)

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Aƒé can best be translated as house or home, although I believe that the connotations are much wider, and shall return to this point later. In the literature, ƒomé is usually translated as lineage (Nukunya 1969, Verdon 1983) or family (Adzomada 1983). However, using the term ‘lineage’ to translate ƒomé is, I believe, misleading, as the term is not imbued with any notion of linearity. Both aƒé and ƒomé are referred to when commenting upon the health of relatives at home or discussing events of personal importance that may have taken place there, and they are both included in the formal greetings used to welcome someone who has come to visit: Aƒémetowo wofoa?

These examples have focused on relatively structural features of Watchi kinship, pointing to ‘strategies’ which are sometimes explicitly employed in order to secure certain rights for children. Women play an important role in these circumstances, as they are well placed to draw the attention of their own fathers and brothers to the plight of their children. However, beyond these strategic positionings lay important conceptual issues relating to identity and belonging. If, as we have seen, locality in a general and collective sense is partially predicated on the presence of vodhun and the metaphors that surround fertility, women, clay and emplacement, these concepts can be explored further when linked to individual notions of place, position within the household and belonging.

Nukunya tells us the following about aƒé and ƒomé: the Anlo word ƒomé means multilateral kinship and refers to a ‘kindred’. When, however, it is necessary for the Anlo to distinguish the lineage from other kin groups with bilateral connotations the terms kponu, entrance; aƒéme, house; or more commonly, aƒédo, ancestral home, is used for the former. (1969: 25) Lovell 01 chaps 34 19/11/03 10:41 Page 34 Cord of Blood He then goes on to assimilate (aƒé)do with ƒomé, arguing that the close link between them makes them conceptually interchangeable.

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