Ritual and environment: the 'mósit' ceremony of the Ethiopian Me'en people

TitleRitual and environment: the 'mósit' ceremony of the Ethiopian Me'en people
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsG.J. Abbink
Secondary TitleJournal of religion in Africa
Pagination163 - 190
Date Published1995///
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsenvironment, Ethiopia, Me'en, Mekan, rituals, Rural

This essay deals with the relation between ritual behaviour and environmental conditions in an African rural society, that of the South-East Surmic (Nilo-Saharan)-speaking Me'en people, a group of 'tribal' cultivators in Käfa region, Ethiopia. The study attempts to integrate 'ideational' and material-environmental elements, in order to explain how meaning in ritual is constituted in the dialectic between human action and environmental conditions. For this purpose, a text of the 'mósit', a central ritual of the Me'en, is presented and discussed. The author looks at the significance of environmental referents in the ritual acts and words, and at how the language and the context of the 'mósit' reflect social and reproductive relations within Me'en society. The aim is an explanatory account of the 'mósit' as a religious ritual system. The unifying theoretical perspective which informs this analysis is derived from the theory of E.T. Lawson and R.N. MacCauley (1990), which advocates a 'competence'-approach to religious ritual behaviour. Bibliogr., notes, ref

IR handle/ Full text URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1887/9088
Citation Key1959