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21 December 2018 Divination with Plants in West Africa
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Abstract

The Sèmè make particularly abundant use of plants in the field of divination. Diviners practice their art with the assistance of a bush spirit that comes to live with them at home. Plants serve as material support for settling this bush spirit in the diviner's home and as powerful objects on the divination scene. Each species of plant plays one or several specific roles. This article is based on extensive field research and the analysis of the meaning of the plants used in divination (names in the Sèmè language, ritual use). It describes the role of plant species and their symbolic roles in settling the bush spirit in the diviner's home and during the divination process. Although similar to those of other societies located in the Volta River Basin, the Sèmè divination practices show some original aspects.

Anne Fournier "Divination with Plants in West Africa," Journal of Ethnobiology 38(4), (21 December 2018). https://doi.org/10.2993/0278-0771-38.4.550
Published: 21 December 2018
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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