#369 Blood, kin and shared mediumship in xinguilamento ritual practice (Luanda, Angola)

Coresponding author's contact details

First name Federica Middle name Last name Toldo
Title Mrs Organization / Institution LESC Department n/a
Address Via Monte Nero 67 Postal / Zip code 33100 Country IT
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Abstract title

Blood, kin and shared mediumship in xinguilamento ritual practice (Luanda, Angola)

Abstract text

My presentation will focus on the Angolan ritual practice of xinguilamento, which is based on possession by Ilundu spirits. The Ilundu are considered hereditary illnesses passed from generation to generation (“da geração”). The treatment of this illness requires a reunion of kin of the ill person. This ritual therapy is emblematic of what kin share among themselves and with an ancestor endowed with mediumistic powers. Does this ritual mechanism enact a shared substance? Even if there is no explicit mention of blood relation as a core of shared identity, all key rituals concerning ilundu spirits are based on actual blood. This allusion to blood distinguishes ilundu from other supernatural beings like “saints”, which are not inherited and whose ritual treatment excludes sacrifice and blood manipulation. This ethnographic example will not only allow a merging into the local concept of “geração” and an opportunity to evaluate whether or not the concept/idea of shared substance could be a pertinent interpretative device. It will also provide a mode in which to appreciate the power of ritual as a modality of expression of local relational logic.

Conference topic

Panel no. 104 - Performing Substances, Transmitting Legacies

Preferred format


Abstract Review

This abstract was reviewed on 2021-01-07 10:21h by Federica Juliana

Reviewer decision