Communal Rituals of the Nyakyusa: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Communal Rituals of the Nyakyusa

1st Edition

By Monica Wilson


252 pages

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Paperback: 9781138600348
pub: 2020-05-01
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Originally published in 1959, this book includes detailed accounts of Nyakyusa traditions of origin, osmology and moral values, often in direct quotations from informants, while part of the book is devoted to a description of Christian missions, the growth of African churches and the conflict between pagan and Christian ethics and practices. The analysis of the effects of cchanges in the social and economic structure on the one hand, and religious beliefs and practices on the other, makes this a study of enduring relevance.

Table of Contents

1. Introductory 2. The Mythological Charter 3. The 'Divine Kings' 4. The Ritual of Chieftainship 5. Sacrifices at the Groves of Chiefs 6. Land and Power 7. Cleansing the Country 8. Rain-Making and 'Sprinkling the Homesteads' 9. Kasitile The Priest 10. Medicines 11. Nyakyusa Cosmology 12. Pagan and Christian 13. Twenty Years' Change 14. Religion and Social Structure

About the Series

African Ethnographic Studies of the 20th Century

Routledge is delighted to be re-issuing 79 volumes originally published between 1931 and 1988 in association with the International African Institute. Unavailable outside a few key libraries, many of these republished volumes were at the cutting edge of a fieldwork and ethnographic revolution in African anthropology in the decades after 1930. It involved the production of a wide body of fieldwork-based ethnographic documentation about the cultures of the different societies in Africa. Secondly, it saw a methodological turn to intense, localized investigations of cultural tradition and social change in a rapidly modernizing context. These investigations involved a more sustained and systematic, more professional and ‘scientific’ form of immersion and participant observation, than anything that had gone before. The sites of engagement were urban as well as rural; the pioneering researchers were female as well as male. No longer was the journal essay the repository of the latest research in the discipline, but rich ethnographies running into hundreds of pages.

The volumes are supplemented with maps, which will be available to view on or available as pdfs from the publishers.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies