Some Spirits Heal, Others Only Dance: A Journey into Human Selfhood in an African Village by Roy WillisSome Spirits Heal, Others Only Dance: A Journey into Human Selfhood in an African Village by Roy Willis

Some Spirits Heal, Others Only Dance: A Journey into Human Selfhood in an African Village

byRoy Willis

Paperback | June 1, 1999

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Where does 'the self' in 'myself' begin and end? And what do ideas of 'spirit' tell us about the nature of human selfhood? To investigate these poorly understood matters, veteran anthropologist, neo-shaman and paranormal healer Roy Willis spent five months in a remote part of northern Zambia exploring human consciousness in a fascinating and sometimes terrifying series of adventures. This absorbing book tells the story of Willis' and his three local colleagues' quest, as they participate in and film rituals of ecstatic union with nature spirits and talk in depth with experts in managing the awesome powers of a world beyond the ordinary. The narrative follows the research team's day-to-day involvement with rituals of spirit revelation, healing, and exorcism, their encounters with the evil powers of sorcery, and the sometimes troubled relations between team members. The African healers in this book emerge both as exceptional individuals and as pioneering explorers of consciousness. Their experience is surprisingly congruent with our present sense of multiple and shifting selfhoods in the age of global electronic communication.
Roy Willis Emeritus Fellow in Social Anthropology,University of Edinburgh
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Title:Some Spirits Heal, Others Only Dance: A Journey into Human Selfhood in an African VillageFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8 × 5 × 1 inPublished:June 1, 1999Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1859732887

ISBN - 13:9781859732885

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Reviews

Table of Contents

"A fascinating, well-documented ethnographic study of ritual trance, sorcery and healing behavior among the Lungu people of northern Zambia. . . Willis' study has a unique twist -- he describes his own paranormal experiences. . . This rather non-traditional ethnography should be a useful addition to anthropology collections in large academic libraries." --Library Journal

"I cannot put it too strongly how important it is to publish this book, to correct the balance of ethnography to include the deeper levels of ritual that as yet fall outside the boundaries of "science". Willis is one of the new breed of experiencing anthropologists, producing meticulously documented ethnography. What the author has done during his fieldwork is to use his own deepest power, that of healing, for his field people. This alone makes the book truly unique. The book shows how he continually edged in his style and thinking towards the ways of the Lungu until he began to experience as they did. In the minds of some anthropologists this is supposed to be impossible, but he can be seen doing it." --Professor Edith Turner, University of Virginia

"A remarkable account of the author's recent field trip in Africa that marks a sea change in the way that anthropologists operate by including deeper levels of reality normally dismissed by orthodoxy." --Network

"Willis writes with the power of conviction." --African Studies Review

Editorial Reviews

'A fascinating, well-documented ethnographic study of ritual trance, sorcery and healing behavior among the Lungu people of northern Zambia. . . Willis' study has a unique twist -- he describes his own paranormal experiences. . . This rather non-traditional ethnography should be a useful addition to anthropology collections in large academic libraries.'Library Journal'I cannot put it too strongly how important it is to publish this book, to correct the balance of ethnography to include the deeper levels of ritual that as yet fall outside the boundaries of 'science'. Willis is one of the new breed of experiencing anthropologists, producing meticulously documented ethnography. What the author has done during his fieldwork is to use his own deepest power, that of healing, for his field people. This alone makes the book truly unique. The book shows how he continually edged in his style and thinking towards the ways of the Lungu until he began to experience as they did. In the