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Signs of the SpiritMusic and the Experience of Meaning in Ndau Ceremonial Life$
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Tony Perman

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043253

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043253.001.0001

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Zvipunha, Signs, and Transformative Experience

(p.117) Chapter 4 Evening
Signs of the Spirit

Tony Perman

University of Illinois Press

The chapter addresses zvipunha spirits and signs of transformative experience, focusing explicitly on the here and now and the efficacy of musicking in reifying the emotional and spiritual possibilities of experience. The chapter is about a specific moment in which the zvipunha ceremony at Horus Farm transformed from one of adequacy and rote performance to one of spiritual awakening and joy. It is about how and when musicking is deemed effective and how semiotic transformations make such evaluations possible. The key was transforming resemblance and possibility into the immersive experience of presentness without mediation. Semiotic generality faded into the background. With skilled playing, enthusiastic participation, and collaborative performing, there was only one possible interpretant: spirit possession.

Keywords:   semiotics, possession, phenomenology, Ndau, Zimbabwe, experience, transformation

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