Mambila traditional religion : Sua in Somie
University of Cambridge
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Zeitlyn, D. (1990). Mambila traditional religion : Sua in Somie (doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.16262
This is a revised version of my PhD thesis “Mambila Traditional Religion. Sua in Somié” submitted to Cambridge University in June 1989, examined in November 1989 and awarded in February 1990. The revision takes account of some of the comments made by my examiners and enables me to incoporate some of the corrections which I wish to make after further research which has included more fieldwork in Somié. The post-doctoral research has been made possible by the tenure of a Junior Research Fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford for which I am very grateful.
This work is an analysis of Mambila religion based on fieldwork in Somié village, Cameroon. An ethnographic and historical introduction to the Mambila is followed by an account of their religious concepts. It is argued that, despite their adherence to Christianity (and to Islam), traditional practices continue to be of great importance in everyday life. In order to examine traditional practice descriptions are given of divination and oath-taking rites. Translated transcripts of the different forms of the sua-oath form the empirical core of the thesis. The transcripts illustrate the way that Mambila experience and understand the meaning of sua. Descriptions are also given of the sua masquerades. Finally I examine problems inherent in the analysis of non-literate societies lacking a reflective tradition, and in particular, societies lacking precise, structured religious concepts. This allows for discussion of resulting implications on the relationships between religion, politics and ‘symbolic power.’
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.16262