The Drums of Affliction: A Study of Religious Processes Among the Ndembu of Zambia, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Drums of Affliction

A Study of Religious Processes Among the Ndembu of Zambia, 1st Edition

By V. W. Turner


352 pages

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In this study of the Ndembu of Zambia, ritual is examined under two aspects: as a regulator of social relations over time and as a system of symbols. Social life is thereby given direction and meaning. An extended case-study of a series of ritual performances in the life of a single village community is analysed in order to estimate the effects of participation in these symbolic events on its component groups and personalities.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Divination and Its Symbolism

3. The Morphology of Rituals of Affliction

4. Field Context and Social Drama

5. The Social Setting of the Ritual Sequence

6. A Performance of Ihamba Analysed

7. NKang'a: Part 1

8. Nkang'a Part 2

9. Rituals and Social Processes

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