Twins in African and Diaspora Cultures
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Twins in African and Diaspora Cultures : Double Trouble, Twice Blessed

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In Africa, where the birthrate of twins is among the highest in the world, twins can be seen as a burden to their families and a threat to the social order, or they can be seen as a gift from God and beings with unique abilities who bring about social harmony. Philip M. Peek and the contributors to this illuminating, multidisciplinary volume explore this rich cultural heritage by examining topics such as twins in artistic representation, twins and divination, and twins in performance, cosmology, religion, and popular culture.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 376 pages
  • 152.4 x 304.8 x 25.4mm | 226.8g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 36 b&w illus., 2 maps
  • 0253223075
  • 9780253223074
  • 1,460,733

Review quote

The book's sixteen excellent essays are not so much about the lives of actual human twins, a subject that is only briefly discussed in a few chapters, but rather about African ideas concerning twins as they relate to broader conceptions of the cosmos, the social order, and humans' place within it. * African Arts * Philip Peek is to be congratulated on marshalling such a diverse range of papers on the topic of twins in ritual practice, belief and the arts. . . . He succeeds entirely in including sufficiently diverse approaches to the topic to annoy and satisfy everyone in equal measure. The broad range of views and wide ethnographic coverage of twins in sub-Saharan and diaspora communities encompassed here makes this an indispensable work for researchers, lecturers and students alike. * Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford * [T]his book will prove useful to general readers and academics alike, especially those who are interested in religion, cosmology, cultural transfers, sociology, history, and anthropology. * African Studies Quarterly *show more

About Philip M. Peek

Philip M. Peek is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Drew University. He is editor of African Divination Systems (IUP, 1991).show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments 1. Introduction: Beginning to Rethink Twins / Philip M. PeekPart 1. Roots 2. Twins and Double Beings among the Bamana and Maninka of Mali / Pascal James Imperato and Gavin H. Imperato 3. Twins and Intertwinement: Reflections on Ambiguity and Ambivalence in Northwestern Namibia / Steven Van WolputtePart 2. Doubles and Dualities 4. Sustaining the Oneness in their Twoness: Poetics of Twin Figures (Ere Ibeji) among the Yoruba / Babatunde Lawal 5. "Son Dos los Jimaguas" ("The Twins Are Two"): Worship of the Sacred Twins in Lucumi Religious Culture / Ysamur Flores-Pena 6. Twins, Couples, and Doubles and the Negotiation of Spirit-Human Identities among the Win / Susan Cooksey 7. Double Portraits: Images of Twinness in West African Studio Photography / C. Angelo MicheliPart 3. The Centrality of Liminality 8. Forever Liminal: Twins among the Kapsiki/Higi of North Cameroon and Northeastern Nigeria / Walter E. A. Van Beek 9. Snake, Bush, and Metaphor: Twinship among Ubangians / Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers 10. Fiction and Forbidden Sexual Fantasy in the Culture of Temne Twins / Frederick John Lamp 11. Embodied Dilemma: Tabwa Twinship in Thought and Performance / Allen F. Roberts 12. Children of the Moon: Twins in Luba Art and Ontology / Mary Nooter RobertsPart 4. Transformations 13. Two Equals Three: Twins and the Trickster in Haitian Vodou / Marilyn Houlberg 14. Divine Children: The Ibejis and the Eres in Brazilian Candomble / Stefania Capone 15. The Ambiguous Ordinariness of Yoruba Twins / Elisha P. Renne 16. Twins, Albinos, and Vanishing Prisoners: A Mozambican Theory of Political Power / Paulo GranjoList of ContributorsIndexshow more

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