Rituals of Kinship Among the Nyakyusa: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Rituals of Kinship Among the Nyakyusa

1st Edition

By Monica Wilson


296 pages

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Originally published in 1957, analyses the rituals celebrated by groups of kinsmen on the occasion of births, marriages and deaths within the age villages of the Nyakyusa. the connection between the form of the rituals and the kinship structure is examined. The symbolism of the rituals throws great light on the psychological reactions of this African people to death and birth, sin and misfortune, expiation and reconciliation.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Burial Rites

3. Farewell to the Dead

4. The Ritual of Puberty and Marriage

5. The Ritual of Birth

6.The Ritual of Abnormal Birth

7. Rituals of Misfortune

8. The Participants

9. The Nyakyusa Conception of Reality

10. The Sociological Analysis of the Rituals of Kinship

Select Records:

1. Reports of Particular Funerals

2. Local Variations in the Death Ritual

3. Marriage Negotiations and Gifts

4. Misfortunes Attributed to the Shades

5. Causes of Misfortune

6. Participants in Rituals Illustrated by Genealogies

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 https://www.routledge.com/ 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

Additional Information