The Swahili Coast: Spirit Possession, Islam and European Power

Beatrice Nicolini*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


On the East African coast, spirit possession is a vast and complex issue, and the focus here is essentially on a few aspects of the waganga’s (witch doctors) role within the exercise of local and regional power, and within the relationships with Islam during the colonial period in these two most important and influencing islands – Zanzibar and Pemba – in the history of the Indian Ocean in general, and within Swahili civilization. Accordingly, we wish to stress that anthropological, psychological, and ethnographical sources are functional to a better understanding of the role of charismatic figures such as the waganga within the exercise of power, especially during Omani and European presence along the islands and the littorals of Sub- Saharan East Africa.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteShackled Sentiments. Slaves, Spirits and Memories in the African Diaspora
Numero di pagine23
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • Slaves, Africa, Spirit possession, Diaspora


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