The introduction delineates models of transcultural contact and notes their limits. It then lays out the model of discursive possession and textual energumens, addresses possible challenges to the model, and provides two instructive examples of spirit possession from West and East Africa. Finally, it addresses the vexed terms “Africa,” “Europe,” “Ethiopia,” and the “Habesha” (the name of the people of the highlands of modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea who are the focus of this book) and describes how the terms are used.
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