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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Spirit media: The electronic media and Islam among the Dyula of northern Côte d'Ivoire
Author:Launay, RobertISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
electronic resources
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161183
Abstract:In 1973 the Muslim Dyula of Korhogo town in northern Côte d'Ivoire listened to the radio and might occasionally see an Italian 'western' at the cinema. Television was an exotic rarity; cassettes were a novelty. By 1984 television was ubiquitous and cassettes had become even more common than radios. The shift from radio and film to television and cassettes brought religion more fully into the forefront of the electronic media. For Muslims, religious cassettes consisted of sermons or 'recitations' in Dyula. Sermons, given in the open air and accompanied by refreshments, are festive occasions, a spectacle where the audience expects to be entertained. The form of the sermon bears a striking resemblance to Mande epic recitation, and the sermons are readily taped by individuals in the audience, to be listened to as entertainment. Sermons on television, however, have very different requirements: the Thursday evening Muslim 'show' has younger, Saudi-oriented clerics who are not allowed to ramble; the 'show' is tightly scripted and clerics read from a text rather than quote from memory. In short, the production and diffusion of 'low-tech' cassettes and 'high-tech' television shows privileges different categories of individuals. However, differences in style are far starker than differences in content. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.