Divine Fertility: The Continuity in Transformation of an Ideology of Sacred Kinship in Northeast Africa, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Divine Fertility

The Continuity in Transformation of an Ideology of Sacred Kinship in Northeast Africa, 1st Edition

By Sada Mire

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392 pages | 112 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138368507
pub: 2019-12-11
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Description

This book uniquely explores the impact of indigenous ideology and thought on everyday life in Northeast Africa. It examines the potential continuity of the rituals, symbolism and practices of indigenous religious institutions in the currently Christian and Muslim Horn of Africa. It thus bridges both the disciplines of anthropology and archaeology and past and present times.

Furthermore, in highlighting the diversity in pre-Christian, pre-Islamic regional beliefs and practices that extend beyond the dominant narratives and simplistic political arguments of current religions, the study shows that for millennia complex indigenous institutions have bound people together beyond the labels of Christianity and Islam; they have sustained peace through ideological exchange and tolerance (if not always complete acceptance). Through recent archaeological and ethnographic research, the concepts, landscapes, materials and rituals believed to be associated with the indigenous and shared culture of the Sky-God belief are examined. The author makes sense, for the first time, of the relationship between the notion of sacred fertility and a number of regional archaeological features and on-going ancient practices including FGM and other physically invasive practices, rain-making and the ritual hunt.

This archaeological study of the pre-Christian and pre-Islamic heritage of the Horn of Africa and Northeast Africa is the first to put forward a theoretical and analytical framework for the interpretation of the shared regional heritage and the indigenous archaeology of the region. It will be invaluable to archaeologists, archaeologists and historians interested in Northern Africa.

Table of Contents

ABOUT THIS BOOK

ILLUSTRATIONS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

A NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION

PREFACE

Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION Aims, structure, concepts, terminology, the movement of peoples and ideas

Chapter 2. SACRED LANDSCAPES, MATERIALITY AND FERTILITY RITUALS

Chapter 3. MATERIAL CULTURE, FERTILITY AND SACRIFICE AT THE SACRED SITE OF AW-BARKHADLE

Chapter 4. IN THE NAME OF DIVINE KINSHIP: THE FERTILITY BATH, BUN SHURUUR, BAANASHADA DUMARKA, ZAR, SITAAT, WAGAR, GUDNIID FIRCOONI (‘FGM’), WAQLAAL AND ISTUNKA

CHAPTER 5. SACRED FERTILITY OF A DIVINE KINSHIP IDEOLOGY: INDIGENOUS INSTITUTIONS AND SUFI ISLAM IN THE HORN OF AFRICA

CHAPTER 6. AN IDEOLOGY OF FERTILITY IN THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE HORN OF AFRICA: AW-BARKHADLE AND BEYOND

Chapter 7. CONCLUSIONS: DIVINE FERTILITY OF A SACRED KINSHIP IDEOLOGY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Appendix 1. Saint Aw-Barkhadle’s Genealogy

Appendix 2. The List of Sheikhs and Sheikhas buried at Aw-Barkhadle

Appendix 3. Glossary

INDEX

About the Author

Sada Mire holds a PhD from UCL’s Institute of Archaeology. She is founder and executive director of Horn Heritage Organisation, an archaeology and heritage research institution that assists Somaliland’s Department of Archaeology, which she also founded and headed previously. She has held academic positions at a several European universities including Leiden University. She has received a number of honours for her work, including being selected for lists such as NewScientist’s "Most Inspiring Women in Science of All Times" in 2016 and The Hay Festival of Literature and Arts’ list of 30 Global Thinkers and Writers. Mire’s popular contributions as well as commissioned features on her work appear regularly in the international media, such as the BBC, The Guardian, CNN and Channel Four, UK. At the moment, Mire is working on a book on Somali Heritage and Identity Conflicts.

About the Series

UCL Institute of Archaeology Publications

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC003000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology