Ritual, class and urban-rural relations : elements for a Zambian case study

TitleRitual, class and urban-rural relations : elements for a Zambian case study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1976
AuthorsW.M.J. van Binsbergen
Secondary TitleCultures et developpement
Pagination195 - 218
Date Published1976///
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsfieldwork, magic, Nkoya, Zambia

V.W. Turner's theory of ritual symbolism among the Ndembu Lunda (1958) is analysed with regard to its applicability to urban ritual. Main purpose in this paper is not to provide a thorough summary and evaluation of Turner's work, but to consider only one limited portion of it, use it to introduce some of the major theoretical problems which both Turner's and the author's own work are facing, then move away from Turner's work and proceed to indicate the direction from which a part solution may be expected in future. The results of the analyses are brought into the context of the experience gathered by the author during fieldwork among the Nkoya (some 250 km. away from the Ndembu). Manipulation of ritual concerning illness and death seems to provide a major basis for power in the social structure of the village, particularly between members of different generations. The same situation obtains among urban Nkoya. The Nkoya data demonstrate weak spots in the body of establishe theory and suggest an alternative approach. Understanding of the non-ritual basis of ritual may well provide a lever for change. Ref

IR handle/ Full text URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1887/8922
Citation Key1531