By Nadia Lovell
The connection among people and their gods lies on the centre of all questions of id, person and collective. Nadia Lovell examines how spiritual emotions replicate notions of personhood and belonging, and the way spiritual involvement can rework gender kinfolk, through concentrating on cults of Vodhun (voodoo) ownership one of the Watchi in Southern Togo. utilizing this targeted ethnographic research as some extent of departure she bargains a desirable perception into the advanced interaction among faith, gender, ethnography and globalisation. Lovell argues that the connection of fellows and ladies to the Vodhun is certainly one of mutual dependency: at the one hand people will gods to exist; nonetheless, gods embrace themselves in humans, particularly girls, via ownership. ownership, in accordance with Lovell, implies not just ailment, however the manifestation of inventive capability in which girls can exhibit a number of identities -- a procedure by which techniques of gender are either proven and dismantled. having a look particularly on the position of the devotees, Lovell offers 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)
Sufuhunde, my ‘co-wife’ (atusi),14 was relatively new to the village, having settled here after her marriage to Kpaka. As the last and relatively young wife of a prominent man in the village, she was aware of the difficulties facing her children, especially her son, the Lovell 01 chaps 19/11/03 10:41 Page 31 Blood and Place, Persons and Gods 31 eldest of her three children. 15 She kept close ties with her own parents, who looked after her and helped her to set up her household, and regularly provided her with additional foodstuffs.
If a precedent for initiation Lovell 01 chaps 42 19/11/03 10:41 Page 42 Cord of Blood is unknown, the new disciple is said to have taken the cord of the vodhun, the vodhunka. Certain parallels can be drawn between the organisation of the descent group, ƒomé, and that of the hunka. Both refer to genealogical continuity, and both are linked with a notion of space and locality. Some of the referents used inside the shrines to describe and address its ‘personnel’ parallel the terminology of kinship used in Watchi secular organisation.
The male descendants in turn will follow the stool, but this in itself is not enough to legitimate either new settlements nor proper cosmological security. 13 The planting of the hunde palm tree, which I discussed earlier, outside a settlement can thus be seen to root the male household (aƒé) in its new location provided the red clay pot representing the female womb of the apical ancestress is present at its base. The tree thus penetrates and fills this original, primordial pot in the same way as a man’s penis fills a woman’s womb during sexual intercourse, ensuring fertility and continuity.