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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Bringing What People Want': Shrine Politics among the Agar Dinka
Author:Mawson, A.N.M.
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:African religions
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1160030
Abstract:Large shrines are built by Dinka in parts of the central southern Sudan. In 1983, coinciding with the deepening political crisis which led to the current civil war in Sudan, the byre of the divinity Mayual, a shrine of the Agar Dinka of southern Bahr al-Ghazal, was rebuilt by representatives of several subtribes with lands around the town of Rumbek. In late 1982 and early 1983 the imminent rebuilding of the shrine became the focus of a politico-religious dispute between the master of the byre and a divinely inspired rival from a different subclan. The dispute was a struggle for influence within the rebuilding community. The form and logic of the dispute were in part created by the particular nature of each man's religious abilities, which in turn derived from his possession by particular manifestations of Divinity, manifestations which imaged differing (but not distinct) areas of historically constituted experience and which were intrinsic to the creation of that experience. The episode demonstrated the way that, among the Agar Dinka at least, divinely inspired leadership depends upon an interpretive deal continually negotiated between a leader and his followers, a deal in which all parties are speculating on the future in the light of both the present and the past. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. also in French.