Elders, Shades, and Women: Ceremonial Change in Lango, Uganda - Richard T. CurleyBerkeley, Los Angeles & London: University of California Press, 1973, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with a little loss to the head of the spine. Previous owners' name to the head of the title page, Paul Spencer from whose estate this was acquired. Scattered pencil underlining and marginalia throughout the text.
Contains: Maps; Tables; References; Appendix;
From the cover: “Mr. Curley is here concerned to describe the ceremonial life of a Nilotic community in northern Uganda and to trace the alterations in its ceremonial activities during the past fifty years. Setting his analysis within the broad context of Lango social organization, he discusses the makeup of the community and shows how the innovations of the colonial period led to changes in kinship relations and residential patterns. He is particularly attentive to the husband-wife relationship and to the changing status of women within a patrilineal system.
After describing Lango social organization and the changes that it has undergone, Mr. Curley turns to the three complexes of Lango ceremonial activity. One of these, traditionally performed by older men, has virtually disappeared, a victim of altered political relationships. The second set, comprising eight separate ceremonies performed for married women, concerns the problem of incorporating a woman into her husband’s lineage while recognizing that she was born in her father’s. The third complex, centering on spirit possession, has become increasingly popular, and women participate to a much greater extent than men.
The author treats his religious material within the framework of structural-functionalism by concentrating on ceremonial activities rather than on belief and by relating the ceremonies to social processes. He departs from structural-functionalism, however, in borrowing heavily from recent work on the analysis of symbols, and he attempts to describe change rather than analyzing Lango religious activity at a single point in time.”