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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ndembu, Luunda and Yaka Divination Compared: From Representation and Social Engineering to Embodiment and Worldmaking
Author:De Boeck, Filip
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Zambia
Yaka (Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo)
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1581328.pdf
Abstract:This study deals with the Ndembu of northern Zambia, and the neighbouring Luunda and Yaka of the Kwaango in southwestern Zaire. Ndembu and Yaka peoples owe a great deal of their ritual institutions to the Luunda. Based on field research among the Luunda and the Yaka (De Boeck carried out research among the Luunda between 1987 and 1989 and in 1991, Devisch draws on research conducted among the Yaka in 1972-1974, and annual sojourns since 1986), the authors present a critical evaluation of Victor Turner's views on Ndembu ritual from a comparative perspective. They focus on his approach to Ndembu basket divination, 'ngombu yakusekula'. They first discuss Turner's cognitivist stress in his presentation of the way in which ritual, symbols and metaphors operate through their multidimensional meanings in social drama and, in particular, in divination. Drawing on Luunda and Yaka data on divination, they point out some of the shortcomings and biases of Turner's view on (divinatory) ritual, and present alternative approaches. Second, they compare divination among Ndembu, Luunda and Yaka, in order to show how much divination goes beyond the interactional setting of the consultation, the (textual representation of the) social drama, and the purpose of social engineering. Seen in its own terms, divination does not so much offer a mimetic model of a social context, but rather makes a world. Bibliogr., notes, ref.