Rite en wraak : de smaak van rechtvaardigheid

TitleRite en wraak : de smaak van rechtvaardigheid
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsW. E. A.van Beek
Secondary TitleJaarboek voor Liturgie onderzoek
Pagination85 - 103
Date Published2014///
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsCameroon, Kapsiki, revenge, rituals

Rite and revenge : the taste of justice. Reciprocity is one of the main rules in human interaction, as people balance what they receive from and give to others quite meticulously, both in kind and in acts. Negative reciprocity, the proportionality of how others inflict on us and how we measure out our retribution, strongly informs our notions of justice. This is shown clearly in the ways of ritual revenge of perceived afflictions, in this contribution among the Kapsiki/Higi of North Cameroon and northeastern Nigeria. In this culture four ways of ritual revenge are shown to operate. Three of them are rather straightforward - the means to settle debts, swearing oaths and curses - but one is complicated and involves an elaborate ritual aims at avenging a death by occult means. The dynamics of this ritual, described in some detail, show why this kind of revenge is attributed such a huge power: it is the basic notion of proportional retribution that renders these magical means so irresistible.In fact, these means of retribution are so strong that they often overshoot their targets: revenge is sweet, but poisonous.

Citation Key7496