n De Arte - Sacred waters : arts for Mami Wata and other divinities in Africa and the Diaspora, Henry John Drewal (Ed.) : book reviews

Volume 2009, Issue 80
  • ISSN : 0004-3389
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This massive book contains a large variety of material, all of which has one thing in common : water spirits. Most of the material is drawn from African contexts, but extensions are made to include strands from the African Diaspora. While a large part of the volume consists of a collection of conventional essays, this does not adequately describe its scope. There are a number of photo essays, copious illustrations, narratives, transcripts of interviews and, on the DVD, additional images in the form of slides with notations and video clips, all of which add up to a of (largely) African water-spirit lore. The book is catholic in its inclusivity : it caters for those who may be prone to the seductive wiles of , to those who are interested in the otherness or alternative of water-spirit veneration in its indigenous manifestations, and for those who, through more sober habits of critical academic practice, are inclined to deconstruct the discourses of religion and beliefs rather than participate in them.

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