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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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(p.211) Epilogue
Signs of the Spirit

Tony Perman

University of Illinois Press

The epilogue shows that ceremonial traditions do not thrive simply because custom is resilient or because the so-called structures from which they emerge are fixed, but because they provide hope. Performing, playing, and doing are the means by which ideas and habits become action. Performances help form, solidify, and embody the values of local communities, meaningfully generating habits and habitus. Values properly embodied in ritual performance make people and their spirits happier, improving the communities involved. The model presented here is a tool for understanding meaning and experience as felt in lived moments, and for making that leap from the minute to the magnificent. Signs initiate complex processes of perception, interpretation, and experience that both distinguish self from other and integrate self with other.

Keywords:   ritual, hope, Zimbabwe, Ndau

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