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The Dancing DeadRitual and Religion among the Kapsiki/Higi of North Cameroon and Northeastern Nigeria$
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Walter E. A. van Beek

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199858149

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199858149.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 October 2020

Harvesting Crops, Harvesting People

Harvesting Crops, Harvesting People

(p.230) 11 Harvesting Crops, Harvesting People
The Dancing Dead

Walter E. A. van Beek

Oxford University Press

The name Kapsiki refers to beer brewing, and that is what this chapter starts with. Its main topic is the year ritual during harvest time, that finalizes the girls’ and boys’ initiation, and ties together various ritual strands. The brides have a spectacular display of their trousseau, ending the long series of gift exchanges. The boy initiates perform the final rites of their initiation, with the test of the river crossing as high point. The feast itself zooms in on the secondary marriages, the adult new wives and their grooms, who form the focus of a huge and spectacular dance. The final section details how this year feast is the high point of the ritual calendar and thus serves as an identity marker for the Kapsiki/Higi as a whole. This ritual calendar is crucial: one major feature of Kapsiki/Higi ritual is a close integration between the rites of dwelling and those of belonging in this ritual calendar: the harvest of crops is also the harvest of people.

Keywords:   harvest, initiation, exchange, test, second marriage, calendar, identity

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