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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Eagle as Messenger, Pilgrim and Voice: Divinatory Processes among the Waso Boorana of Kenya
Author:Aguilar, Mario I.
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Kenya
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
esoteric sciences
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1581894
Abstract:Since their settlement in the Waso area of northeastern Kenya in 1932, the Waso Boorana, who are part of a wider Oromo nation, have gone through several processes of religious change. Their current religious practices combine Islamic with Oromo ones. It is in this context of religious 'diversification' among the Waso Boorana that the author focuses on a particular form of divination, carried out through the means of an eagle. According to the Waso Boorana the eagle brings a message from God, which relates to an individual's misfortune: a medium is required in order to understand the cause of that misfortune. The author presents an account of a communal session of the 'ayyaana' cult in Garba Tulla, in the Eastern Province of Kenya, in which a ritual specialist, who represents the concern of a particular community, tries to listen to such a message. In the midst of the gathering, one or more of the participants show signs of spirit possession, and the person possessed enters into dialogue with the diviner. The Waso Boorana assert that the voice of the possessed person is the voice of the eagle, which in turn corresponds to the voice of God. The author conducted fieldwork in Garba Tulla in 1987-1988 and 1992. Bibliogr., notes, ref.