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Home » "Yawige" Finger ring in the shape of a chameleon
Galerie Afrikanische Kunst
Price: 50,00 EUR
The Senufo believe that most problems are caused by disharmony in people's relations with the spirit beings. Divination can prove that the client's misfortune is caused by being from the bush. The farmer's fields are out in the bush, in the world of the bush spirits. Especially on their own "turf", the "madebele" insist on being acknowledged as undisputed lords and masters. Their permission must be requested before a new field is dug, and the farmer must make very sure not to upset these quick-tempered spirits. If he does arouse a "mandeo's" anger ("mandeo" is the singular of "madebele"), the Senufo believe the spirit being will turn against him or "pursue" him. The spirit being must then be propriated, and the diviner must find out what it wants from her client. The reconcilliation process usually involves a number of different actions. Often an animal - in most cases a chicken - must be sacrificed to the "mondeo".
The bush spirit may also require the person to wear a "yawige" garment or ornament ("yawige" ornaments include rings, bracelet, anklets and pendants):"Yawige" means "something that follows you", a reference object which a person wears on a diviner's advice when he is being "persued by a spirit". By wearing a "yawige" the person shows he is willing to comply with the spirit's wishes and acknowledge its power. Once the bush spirit's anger has subsided, it may even become his personal protector or tutelary spirit.

Source - "Forms of Wonderment - The History and Collections of the Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal" - 2002 - Pages 114 and 115.

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Specialist African art translations