BORI

Bori is a religion based on spirit possession. In Niger the term Bori means the act of being possessed by a spirit, but it can also refer to the spirits who periodically invade human bodies during theatrical and colourful rituals known in Hausa—one of the major languages of Niger—as wasani. On certain nights the sharp clatter of calabash drums bursts from the mud walls of a compound, drowning the noises of radios and televisions. People slowly gather in a circle as musicians sing praise songs. These gatherings are performances held to honour the spirits and strengthen the bonds they share with humans. ... During possession, the human body is emptied of its soul, and becomes the ideal receptacle for spirits striving to take on a human shape. As long as their souls are gone, hosts have no will of their own. Like a shell emptied of its content, they sense no pain, feel no emotion, and will remember nothing of the experience once possession is over. Whatever the hosts say or do during possession will be attributed to the external entity that has taken hold of their bodies.

Extract of the introduction text by Adeline Masquelier of the book 'Caroline Alida, BORI Healers of the Soul'

Niger 2003-2009
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