Spirit Possession and Muslim Practice in Northern Nigeria
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.
- Paperback | 306 pages
- 152 x 229mm
- 08 Apr 2013
- Indiana University Press
- Bloomington, IN, United States
- 10 b&w illus., 1 map
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 Material
"Illuminates major aspects of Hausa society and challenges long-held assumptions about bori, Islam, and gender." -John H. Hanson, Indiana University Bloomington
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.