By Victor Turner
The middle of this booklet is a whole description of 2 very important Ndembu rituals of illness (Chihamba and Kayong'u), and an research of the procedure of rules underlying greater than a dozen modes of divination. Written through an internationally-known social scientist, the publication demonstrates how the research of small-scale occasions may possibly display as a lot approximately what it skill to be a individual in society as do grand macrosocial and macrocultural surveys.
Drawing on and a part years of fieldwork, Victor Turner deals thorough ethnographic experiences of Ndembu revelatory ritual and divinatory thoughts, with working commentaries on symbolism via quite a few Ndembu informants. impressive a private notice within the introductory bankruptcy, Turner recognizes his indebtedness to Ndembu ritualists for alerting him to the theoretical relevance of symbolic motion in realizing human societies. He believes that ritual symbols, like botanists' stains, allow us to become aware of and hint the stream of social methods and relationships that regularly lie less than the extent of direct observation.
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Additional info for Revelation and Divination in Ndembu Ritual
The adepts drank beer and ate food in the hut, but the patients were allowed beer only. 66 Chihamba According to other informants, Kavula "appeared" at that time. What form Kavula takes when "he" enters a singleroomed wattle-and-daub hut, I cannot say. Informants denied that his impersonator was masked, covered in a blanket, or hidden by a mat-partition from the patients. Nor would they tell me whether patients were forbidden to look in his direction. " According to Muchona's account, Kavula s interrogation of the patient does not take place on the day isaku medicine is collected but on the following day, the day of isoli—in fact, after Kavula has been ritually slain by the candidates.
In between dancing and singing, both initiated and uninitiated had frequent recourse to the beer calabashes which the sponsoring village supplied in generous quantities. Flirtations, leading to illicit sexual intercourse in the bush, are common features of such public dances. At Chikinta, indeed, dancers cross the circle and choose a member of the opposite sex to sing with them in the middle. Later the chosen one may slink away to a secret assignation with the chooser. Since "sweethearts" are usually married to others, and since their spouses are also present, much jealousy is aroused, and fights break out between the lawful and illicit mates of men and women.
Forms of Chihamba. I asked Muchona why the Chihamba spirit was said to be a hippopotamus. ) If Chihamba has "come out in nğuvu" the patient has been caught by a spirit from the water or from the river. If it has "come out in katala 1 matting a" a spirit from the bush has caught the patient. It is the diviner, consulted about the patient's illness, who decides whether the hippo or lourie form of Chihamba has been mani fested. If the former is divined, medicines are first collected in the streamside forest, and afterward from plants in the dry bush; if the latter, the order is reversed.