Advanced

The Birth of Religion among the Balanta of Guinea-Bissau

Callewaert, Inger LU (2000) In Lund studies in African and Asian religions 12.
Abstract
This thesis deals with a recent event within the history of religions, the rise and development of a non-Christian prophetic movement named Kiyang-yang within the oral, kinship and ancestor based society of the Balanta in Guinea-Bissau. Kiyang-yang is headed by young women and men under the leadership of a woman prophet. The movement aims at a global and radical change of the existing Balanta way of life, opposing gerontocracy, sorcery and spirit cult contamination in favour of the pure and right way of Nhaala, the unique Balanta god. The thesis analyses the ambiguity of the effects, being either a global questioning of the society (pre-modern and undifferentiated), or the birth of religion as a specific religious domain, where the... (More)
This thesis deals with a recent event within the history of religions, the rise and development of a non-Christian prophetic movement named Kiyang-yang within the oral, kinship and ancestor based society of the Balanta in Guinea-Bissau. Kiyang-yang is headed by young women and men under the leadership of a woman prophet. The movement aims at a global and radical change of the existing Balanta way of life, opposing gerontocracy, sorcery and spirit cult contamination in favour of the pure and right way of Nhaala, the unique Balanta god. The thesis analyses the ambiguity of the effects, being either a global questioning of the society (pre-modern and undifferentiated), or the birth of religion as a specific religious domain, where the movement can realise its objectives. The movement is proved not to be the creation of something totally new, but the moulding of something new with elements of the old order, which at the same time legitimates the new order. The thesis is based upon fieldwork carried out in various periods stretching over ten years in different parts of the Balanta area. The result being corpuses of ritual songs, transcribed from the Balanta oral language into written form and translated into English, and descriptions of the rituals in which the songs are performed, both of the Kiyang-yang movement and of a parallel traditional women’s movement among the Balanta. The interpretation of daily life practices, rituals and songs is elaborated both from the point of view of the participants, and from the objectifying point of view of the researcher looking for elements of explanation. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Ph. D. Larsen, Kjersti, Sosialantropologisk Institutt, University of Oslo
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Herbal medicine 3.Modernisation, Divination, Ritual songs, Witchcraft, Ritual, Prophetic movement, Ancestor cult, Anthropology of Religion, Balanta 2.History of Religions, 1.West Africa, Guinea-Bissau, Gender, Theology, Teologi
in
Lund studies in African and Asian religions
volume
12
pages
296 pages
publisher
Almqvist & Wiksell International
defense location
Edens hörsal
defense date
2000-09-23 10:15
ISSN
0284-8651
ISBN
91-22-01885-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
620e8935-476f-4dd5-8b9d-18bcde08455f (old id 19530)
date added to LUP
2007-05-25 13:07:59
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:58
@phdthesis{620e8935-476f-4dd5-8b9d-18bcde08455f,
  abstract     = {This thesis deals with a recent event within the history of religions, the rise and development of a non-Christian prophetic movement named Kiyang-yang within the oral, kinship and ancestor based society of the Balanta in Guinea-Bissau. Kiyang-yang is headed by young women and men under the leadership of a woman prophet. The movement aims at a global and radical change of the existing Balanta way of life, opposing gerontocracy, sorcery and spirit cult contamination in favour of the pure and right way of Nhaala, the unique Balanta god. The thesis analyses the ambiguity of the effects, being either a global questioning of the society (pre-modern and undifferentiated), or the birth of religion as a specific religious domain, where the movement can realise its objectives. The movement is proved not to be the creation of something totally new, but the moulding of something new with elements of the old order, which at the same time legitimates the new order. The thesis is based upon fieldwork carried out in various periods stretching over ten years in different parts of the Balanta area. The result being corpuses of ritual songs, transcribed from the Balanta oral language into written form and translated into English, and descriptions of the rituals in which the songs are performed, both of the Kiyang-yang movement and of a parallel traditional women’s movement among the Balanta. The interpretation of daily life practices, rituals and songs is elaborated both from the point of view of the participants, and from the objectifying point of view of the researcher looking for elements of explanation.},
  author       = {Callewaert, Inger},
  isbn         = {91-22-01885-9},
  issn         = {0284-8651},
  keyword      = {Herbal medicine 3.Modernisation,Divination,Ritual songs,Witchcraft,Ritual,Prophetic movement,Ancestor cult,Anthropology of Religion,Balanta 2.History of Religions,1.West Africa,Guinea-Bissau,Gender,Theology,Teologi},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {296},
  publisher    = {Almqvist & Wiksell International},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund studies in African and Asian religions},
  title        = {The Birth of Religion among the Balanta of Guinea-Bissau},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2000},
}