Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
MacGaffey, professor of anthropology at Haverford College, has based this carefully crafted book on twenty years of fieldwork and archival research. This is the first systematic study of BaKongo religion. But the study is far more than an analysis of the religion, as MacGaffey demonstrates how BaKongo social structure and power relationships are embedded in its very fabric. Dividing the study into three parts, MacGaffey first focuses on a discussion of BaKongo cosmology, then describes BaKongo ritual and power, and finally deals with issues of change in the BaKongo religion and society. Taking the perspective of the BaKongo themselves, MacGaffey explains the significance of BaKongo cosmology and how it is reflected in their myths and rituals, and in the life cycle of the BaKongo people themselves. The cosmology serves as the model upon which marriage alliances are based and the religion is the basis for the sacred and secular power held by priests and chiefs.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1987