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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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Dynamics of Kapsiki Ritual

Dynamics of Kapsiki Ritual

(p.281) 13 Dynamics of Kapsiki Ritual
The Dancing Dead

Walter E. A. van Beek

Oxford University Press

The final chapter weaves together most of strands that were developed in the previous ones. First, the contradiction between the attention to the corpse with the abhorrence of its smell, leads into insight in the position of the smith‑undertaker. Second, the distinction between minimal and maximal rites is elaborated, which leads into an analysis of how meaning is constructed in each of these types of ritual. Symbols form the main venue for interpretation, and the text analyzes their varying relationship—iconic, metonymic, metaphoric—with the lived world, as one major way to construct their meaning. Finally, the dialectical relationship between ritual and time is discussed, both from a performance view and from the dwelling perspective that runs throughout the book, against the backdrop of ritual change over time.

Keywords:   minimal rites, maximal rites, symbols, interpretation, time, dwelling, change

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