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Title:Charisma and medicine in Northern Nigeria
Author:Last, MurrayISNI
Book title:Charisma and brotherhood in African Islam
Editors:Coulon, C.
Cruise O'Brien, D.B.
City of publisher:Oxford
Publisher:Clarendon Press
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
traditional medicine
Abstract:The science - or alchemy - of fusing the ingredients of power was, and still is, the speciality of Muslim scholars in northern Nigeria. It is to their role in creating confidence and fortifying the charisma - outstanding power - of leaders through the use of '.tibb' (as that science is often called, translated usually as 'medicine') that this chapter draws attention. It takes a single text, the Kano Chronicle, to illuminate from within a culture of power and the scepticism that characterizes it. The author suggests that charisma, along with force, is seen as an essential component of success. Given the role of scholars as counsellors, success was for them a matter of central concern, first in their competition with traditional, non-Muslim counsellors, and secondly in their relations with the military. The author further argues that the Kano Chronicler presents a history of how the scholars' inventory of techniques expanded as conditions required, how they not so much replaced old methods as supplemented and elaborated them. Notes, ref.