Spirit Possession and Muslim Practice in Northern Nigeria

Spirit Possession and Muslim Practice in Northern Nigeria

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Description

Northern Nigeria is home to the largest concentration of Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa. However, Susan M. O'Brien finds that the controversial practice of bori spirit possession often has challenged the dominant, public face of Islam. O'Brien tracks a long history of bori ritual persisting through several centuries of Islamic censure and British colonial suppression-as a healing practice, a form of entertainment, and a repository of Hausa memory. O'Brien situates bori spirit mediums as typical, rather than deviant or marginal members of the Muslim community. She documents a less orthodox application of Islam that forces new interpretations of how to be Muslim today.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 306 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 10 b&w illus., 1 map
  • 0253223466
  • 9780253223463

About Susan M. O'brien

Susan M. O'Brien is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Florida. Her work has appeared in Africa Today.show more

Review quote

"Illuminates major aspects of Hausa society and challenges long-held assumptions about bori, Islam, and gender." -John H. Hanson, Indiana University Bloomingtonshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Glossary Map of Nigeria Introduction Part I. Islam, Bori, and the State 1: Spiritual Authority, State Power, and Healing in Pre-Colonial Hausaland 2: Colonial Discourses of Difference: The Logic of Indirect Rule and British Suppression of Bori 3: Spirits and Bodies: Schoolgirl Possession, Islamic Exorcism, and the Everydayness of Bori 4: Spirits in the Shari'a State: Contesting Islamic Orthodoxy in Contemporary Kano Part II. Muslim Practices, Bori Lives 5: Pilgrimage, Power, and Identity: the Narrated Hajj in the Lives and Communities of 'Yan Bori 6: Narrating Bori Lives: Fantasy, Folktale, and the Hausa Moral Imagination 7: Marriage and Gender in Bori Lives Conclusion Source Materialshow more