Spirit Possession in Sudan Term Paper by bellebear

Spirit Possession in Sudan
An analysis of the socialization, psychotherapeutic adjustment and meaning of spirit possession in Sudanese women.
# 100857 | 1,969 words | 3 sources | APA | 2007 | AU

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This paper describes the type of spirit possession called zar that is found among Sudanese women. It analyses the meanings of zar in Hofrifati culture in order to realize the positive potential of this movement. It then examines the ways that issues of socialization, psychotherapeutic adjustment and meaning are played out in relation to possession.

From the Paper:

"Examining the implicit meanings of zar spirit possession in Hofriyati culture from a cultural perspective allows us to realize the positive potential of this movement. Not only is zar an outlet whereby Sudanese women can free themselves from the sanctions put on them within their culture, but also a vital form of socialization between women in the tribe whereby they are able to express emotion without any responsibility for their actions (Boddy, 1988). Where western psychoanalytic theories of spirit possession may portray it in a negative way, as an illness needing to be cured, a broader perspective allows us to see the healing potential of the zar (Boddy, 1994). Zar spirit possession can be beneficial for Sudanese women as it allows them an avenue for self- reflection, something they wouldn't otherwise have access to under the constrains of the moral obligations of their culture (Boddy, 1988)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Boddy. J.1988. 'Spirits and Selves in Northern Sudan: The Cultural Therapeutics of Possession and Trance', American Ethnologist, 15 (1): 4-27.
  • Boddy. J. 1989. Wombs and Alien Spirits: Women, Men, and the Zar Cult in Northern Sudan, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
  • Boddy. J. 1994. 'Spirit Possession Revisited: Beyond Instrumentality', Annual Review of Anthropology, 23: 407-434.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Spirit Possession in Sudan (2008, February 07) Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/spirit-possession-in-sudan-100857/

MLA Format

"Spirit Possession in Sudan" 07 February 2008. Web. 22 February. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/spirit-possession-in-sudan-100857/>