buja-sacred huts and magical aspects of food

Download Buja-Sacred Huts and Magical Aspects of Food

Post on 28-Sep-2015

218 views

Category:

Documents

2 download

Embed Size (px)

DESCRIPTION

The role played by magic among people of 19th century west Africa

TRANSCRIPT

  • SacredHutsandMagicalAspectsofFoodPostedon01/04/2015

    RobertNassau,asDavidLivingstonebeforehim,wasamissionary,explorer,andrecorderofpeople,geographyandcustomsintheareasthroughwhichhetraveledandlived.Also,asLivingstone,hewasaproductofthecolonialeraofthenineteenthcentury,andthushiswriting,analysesandclaimsshouldbereadinrelationtothathistoricalandpoliticalparadigm.

    ......

    DIANABUJA'SBLOG:Africa,TheMiddleEast,Agriculture,HistoryandCultureAmblingthroughthepresentandpastwiththoughtsaboutthefuture

  • Palmandplantainleaveshavebeenmadeintoclothingforthistraditionaldoctor.Source,Rev.NassauFetichisminWestAfrica.

    Earlier,Iwrotethefollowingaboutmagicalityandfood

    Premoderncuisineinmanypartsoftheworldcanbemorefullyunderstoodnotsimplyasatechnicalrecipetobeconstructedbutalsoinrelationtothecontextinwhichitissituated.Hence,theremaybesocial,sexual,political,religiousorotheraspectsthatfigureinthetotalrecipeaspresentedinthefinishedproduct.ItisourWesternproclivitytodisassociatefactfromcontextthatmaycreatedifficultiesinunderstandingagivencuisineinitstotality.

    DuringhisfortyyearsofmissionaryworkinwestAfrica,theRev.Nassauseemstohavelearnedthisimportantfactalthoughitisnotspecificallystatedassuchinhisworks.ToexaminetheapproachheusesinincorporatingwhatIshallcallthemagicalityofcuisineinanotherwiseseculardish.IwilltalkabouttheroleofSacredHutsandMagicalAspectsofFood.

    SourceTheMagicalityofCuisine1:MeatCookedinPlantainLeavesasaLovePhiltre,19thCenturyGabon,WestAfrica

    RobertHamillNassauportrait

    TheRev.Nassauexplains:

    Insomepartofthelongsinglestreetofmostvillagesisbuiltalowhut,sometimesnotlargerthanadogkennel,inwhich,amongalltribes,arehungcharmsorbywhichisgrowingaconsecratedplant(alily,acactus,aEuphorbia,oraFicus).Insometribesarudelycarvedhuman(generallyfemale)figurestandsinthathut,asanidol.Idolsarerareamongmostofthecoasttribes,butarecommonamongalltheinteriortribes.

  • VotivehutnexttoaresidentialhutinBurundi,c.1910.Source.MeyerLesBarundi:Uneetudeethnologique

    enAfrique

    ThattheyarenotnowfrequentlyseenontheCoastis,Ithink,notduetoalackoffaithinthem,butperhapstoaslightsenseofcivilizedshame.Theidolhasbeenthematerialobjectmostdenouncedbymissionariesintheirsermonsagainstheathenism.

    Thehalfawakenednativehidesit,orhemanufacturesitforsaletocuriohunters.Areallyvaluedidol,supposedtocontainaspirit,hewillnotsell.Hedoesnotalwayshidehisfetichcharmwornonhispersonforitpassesmusterinhisexplanationofitsuseasamedicine.Thatidol,charm,orplant,asthecasemaybe,isbelievedforthetimetobetheresidenceofaspiritwhichistobeplacatedbyofferingsofsomekindoffood.

    Ihaveseeninthosesacredhutsadishofboiledplantains(oftenbyforeignersmiscalledbananas)oraplateoffish.Thisfoodisgenerallynotremovedtillitspoils.Sometimes,wherethegiftisaverylargeone,afeastismadepeopleandspiritaresupposedtojoininthefestival,andnothingislefttospoil.

    atraditionalspiritualhutatthegateofkayakinondo.thesacredmijikendakayaforestsUNESCO:WorldHeritagesit

    Thatitisofusetothespiritisfullybelievedbutjusthow,fewhavebeenabletotellme.Somesaythatthehfeoressenceofthefoodhasbeeneatenbythespiritonlytheformofthevegetableorfleshremainingtoberemoved.

    Decle[authorofThreeYearsinSavageAfrica]alsodescribesthereligioushabitsoftheBarotsetribesofSouthernCentralAfrica:Theychieflyworshipthesoulsoftheirancestors.Whenanymisfortunehappens,thewitchdoctordivineswithknuckleboneswhethertheancestorisdispleased,andtheygotothegraveandofferupsacrificeofgrainorhoney.

  • AboutdianabujaWithagroupofBaTwa(pygmy)womenpotters,withwhomwe'veworkedtoenhanceproductionandsalesoftheirwonderfulpotsfantasticforcookingandserving.Toseethe2blogsonthisworkenter'batwapots'intothesearchenginelocatedjustabovethispicture.BlogentriesthroughoutthissiteareaboutAfrica,aswellasabouttheMiddleEastandlifeingeneralreflectingover35yearsofworkandresearchinAfricaandtheMiddleEastComeandjoinme!Viewallpostsbydianabuja

    Theyalsobringtothetombscookedmeats,whichtheyleavethereafewminutesandtheneat.Whentheygotopraybyagrave,theyalsoleavesomesmallwhitebeads.WhilstanEnglishmanwasjourneyingtoLialui,hepassednearalittlewoodwheretherelayaveryveneratedchief.Theboatmenstopped,andhavingsacrificedsomecookedmillet,theirheadmandesignatedamantoofferupaprayer,whichranthus:

    *Youseeuswearewornouttravellers,andourbellyisemptyinspirethewhiteman,forwhomwerow,togiveusfoodtofillourstomachs.

    AmongtheWanyamwezi,EverychiefhasnearhishutaMusimohut,inwhichthedeadaresupposedtodwell,andwheresacrificesandofferingsmustbemade.MeatandflouraredepositedintheMusimohuts,andarenot,aswithmanyotherpeoples,consumedafterwards.ThecommonpeoplealsohavetheirMusimohuts,buttheyaresmallerthanthatofthechief,andtheofferingstheymakeare,ofcourse,notsoimportantashis.

    fetichdoctorpatchhairistheprofessionaltonsure.Source,Rev.NassauFetichisminWestAfrica.

    TextsourceNassauFetichisminWestAfricaFortyYearsObservationofNativeCustomsandSuperstitions,bytheRev.RobertHamillNassau.UniversityPress,Cambridge,U.S.A.1904.

    Otherentriesinthisseriesare:

    1. TheMagicalityofCuisine1:MeatCookedinPlantainLeavesasaLovePhiltre,19thCenturyGabon,WestAfrica

    2. TheMagicalityofCuisine2:ARecipeforacomplicatedLoveFiltreforMen.19thCenturyGabon3. TheMagicalityofCuisine3:ADishofFishandPlantainstoGuaranteeSuccessfulFishing,19thCentury

    Gabon,WestAfrica4. TheMagicalityofCuisine4:FeedingtheSoilaStewofLeavesandBarktoGuaranteeSuccessfulGardening,

    19thCenturyGabon,WestAfrica