By Philip M. Peek
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This certain selection of essays through a good foreign workforce of Africanists demonstrates the valuable function that divination keeps to play all through Africa in holding cultural structures and in guiding human motion. African Divination structures deals insights for present discussions in comparative epistemology, cross-cultural psychology, cognition stories, semiotics, ethnoscience, non secular experiences, and anthropology.
"This quantity of finely crafted case experiences is additionally the automobile for a tremendous basic idea of divination.... this can be a e-book overflowing with rules that might powerfully stimulate additional research." ― Journal of formality Studies
"The essays during this assortment offer a truly helpful evaluate of either the range of African divination structures and of contemporary methods to their study." ― Choice
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Additional resources for African Divination Systems: Ways of Knowing (African Systems of Thought)
23. Tandwa, lit. , "loved. " [It is significant that Callaway chooses not to enter this meaning in the text (although he has at least informed us of it) because this is certainly the more appropriate term for the relationship of the diviner and these powers. ] 24. That is, the Amatongo. 25. To have a soft or impressible head, that is, to be an inyanga. 26. Ukumbulula. —Sorcerers are supposed to destroy their victims by taking some portion of their bodies, as hair or nails; or something that has been worn next [to] their person, Page 35 as a piece of an old garment, and adding to it certain medicines, which is then buried in some secret place. They are at once the subjects of disease, and suffer and die. The power alluded to above is that of discovering and digging up this poison. Very similar to the practice of sorcerers amongst ourselves, who used to make an image of wax or clay of the person they wished to kill, and treat it with poisons, etc. , and every thing done to the image was felt by their victim. [Callaway's example of such practices from Danish tradition is deleted. ] 27. That is, an Itongo who shall influence for good, and enable him to see clearly and help others. They also speak of an Itongo elimnyma, a dark or black Itongo, that is one that is jealous, and when he visits any one causes disease and suffering without giving any reason for his doing so. It is said, ''Li lwe li tulile," that is, "It fights in silence,"—contends with people without telling them what to do to pacify it. They suppose that sorcerers are aided by the Amatongo of their house to practice sorcery with skill and effect; but such Amatongo are not said to be black or dark, but white, because they reveal with clearness their will to their devotee. 28. As we speak of "white witches;" [he should become] an inyanga who shall see clearly, and use his power for good purposes. [While this may well be true, Callaway has elsewhere cited white solely in terms of clarity of divinatory vision. ] 29. By sacrificing to the Amatongo he obtains their blessing; they enable him to treat disease and to divine successfully; and thus he obtains many cattle, which enter his kraal instead of those he has sacrificed. 30. Haiya, to cry as the diviner; a continued repetition of "Hai, hai, hai. " 31. Nkene, from ukunkeneza, "to echo. " 32. That is, who were not present at the former discussion. 33. Ku'mpondo zankomo, "It is the horns of a bullock;" a saying to express the earliest dawn, when the horns of the cattle are just becoming visible. 34. Lit. , "take out," viz. , from the place of concealment. Page 37 PART TWO — THE SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE The right conduct of affairs will need, first of all, the use of divination. . . . Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen, "The Dogon of the French Sudan" An understanding pervades African societies that the true reasons for all events can be known, but sufficient knowledge is seldom available through mundane means of inquiry; therefore, divination is employed to ensure that all relevant information is brought forward before action is undertaken.