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Black Critics and Kings : Hermeneutics of Power in Yoruba Society - Andrew Apter

Black Critics and Kings

Hermeneutics of Power in Yoruba Society

Paperback Published: 1st January 1992
ISBN: 9780226023434
Number Of Pages: 298

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How can we account for the power of ritual? This is the guiding question of "Black Critics and Kings," which examines how Yoruba forms of ritual and knowledge shape politics, history, and resistance against the state. Focusing on "deep" knowledge in Yoruba cosmology as an interpretive space for configuring difference, Andrew Apter analyzes ritual empowerment as an essentially critical practice, one that revises authoritative discourses of space, time, gender, and sovereignty to promote political---and even violent---change.
Documenting the development of a Yoruba kingdom from its nineteenth-century genesis to Nigeria's 1983 elections and subsequent military coup, Apter identifies the central role of ritual in reconfiguring power relations both internally and in relation to wider political arenas. What emerges is an ethnography of an interpretive vision that has broadened the horizons of local knowledge to embrace Christianity, colonialism, class formation, and the contemporary Nigerian state. In this capacity, Yoruba "orisa" worship remains a critical site of response to hegemonic interventions.
With sustained theoretical argument and empirical rigor, Apter answers critical anthropologists who interrogate the possibility of ethnography. He reveals how an indigenous hermeneutics of power is put into ritual practice---with multiple voices, self-reflexive awareness, and concrete political results. "Black Critics and Kings" eloquently illustrates the ethnographic value of listening to the voice of the other, with implications extending beyond anthropology to engage leading debates in black critical theory.

The Oyo Empire, c. 1780
The Ibadan Empire, 1874
Daniel May's Journey Through Ayede
The Kingdom of Ayede, c. 1878
A Model for the Are Generation-Set System
Generational Seniority in the Are System
Centralized Recruitment to the Orisha Ojuna Cult in Ayede
Devolution of Yemoja Cult Offices
Kinship and Affinity in Ayede's Yemoja Cult Pantheon
Dynasic Succession in Ayede7
Popular Depiction of a Capricious Bush SpiritPLATES1
Beaded Olukun Crowns of Ayede and Iye
The ata of Ayede's Ritual Representative
Carrying Fire for Orisha Ojuna
Yemoja's Sacred Calabash
iya Sngo Predicting for the Town
osun in the Yemoja Festival
The ata During the King's Sacrifice
Yemoja Priestess Emerging from the Bush
The ata Embodying the Powers of Yemoja's Calabash
Orisha Iyagba Masqueraders from Ipao
A Wife of the Balogun aagrave;fin
The ata Returning from Orisha Ojuna's Shrine
The aworo of Orisha Olua
Sacrifice to Ogun
Orisha Ojuna Priestesses
Concluding their Festival
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226023434
ISBN-10: 0226023435
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 298
Published: 1st January 1992
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.45

Earn 104 Qantas Points
on this Book