Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Spirit Possession: Sub-Saharan Africa, Introduction
(1,776 words)

Spirit possession is found throughout Islamic areas of Africa, and is strongly connected with gender, body, health, and often sexuality. Spirit possession is associated primarily but often not exclusively with women. It entails the belief that both the body and self are not self-contained entities but can be influenced, penetrated, and even taken over by an external spirit, frequently with accompanying implicit and sometimes explicit associations with sexual relations. Spirits directly affect bo…

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Giles, Linda L., “Spirit Possession: Sub-Saharan Africa, Introduction”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0206d>
First published online: 2009

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