The Dancing Dead: Ritual and Religion among the Kapsiki/Higi of North Cameroon and Northeastern…

Paperback | June 18, 2012

byWalter E. A. van Beek

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Walter E. A. van Beek draws on over four decades of extensive fieldwork to offer an in-depth study of the religion of the Kapsiki/Higi, who live in the Mandara Mountains on the border between North Cameroon and Northeast Nigeria. Concentrating on ritual as the core of traditional religion, vanBeek shows how Kapsiki/Higi practices have endured through the long and turbulent history of the region. Kapsiki rituals reveal a focus on two fundamental concepts: dwelling and belonging. Van Beek examines their sacrificial practices, through which the Kapsiki show a complex and pervasive connection with the Mandara Mountains, as well as the character of their relationships among themselves and withoutsiders. Van Beek also explores their rituals of belonging, rites of passage which take place from birth through initiation and marriage - and even death, with the tradition of the 'dancing dead,' when a fully decorated corpse on the shoulders of a smith 'dances' with his mourning kinsmen.The Dancing Dead is the result of the author's lifelong study of the Kapsiki/Higi. It gives a unique description of the rituals in an African traditional religion based not upon ancestors, but on a completely relational thought system, where in the end all rituals are integrated into one majorcycle.

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Walter E. A. van Beek draws on over four decades of extensive fieldwork to offer an in-depth study of the religion of the Kapsiki/Higi, who live in the Mandara Mountains on the border between North Cameroon and Northeast Nigeria. Concentrating on ritual as the core of traditional religion, vanBeek shows how Kapsiki/Higi practices have ...

Walter E. A. van Beek is Professor of Anthropology at Tilburg University, Netherlands.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:June 18, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199858160

ISBN - 13:9780199858163

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Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgmentsLanguage and orthography1. The funeral of Zra Teri Kwada2. Understanding African ritual3. Slaves, war and the wider worldRituals of dwelling4. At home in the mountains5. Sacrifice and the history of dwelling6. The other side of the world7. Rain and cycle of ritualRituals of belonging8. Starting life9. The song of the bride10. The brass boys: initiation11. Harvesting crops, harvesting people12. The dancing dead13. Dynamics of Kapsiki ritualAppendixReferences