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The Possessed and the Dispossessed – Spirits, Identity, and Power in a Madagascar Migrant Town - California Scholarship Online
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The Possessed and the Dispossessed: Spirits, Identity, and Power in a Madagascar Migrant Town

Lesley Sharp


This finely drawn portrait of a complex, polycultural urban community in Madagascar emphasizes the role of spirit medium healers, a group heretofore seen as having little power, and whom, the book argues, are far from powerless among the peasants and migrant laborers who work the land in this plantation economy. In fact, the book's wide-ranging analysis shows that tromba, or spirit possession, is central to understanding the complex identities of insiders and outsiders in this community, which draws people from all over the island and abroad. This study also reveals the contradictions between ... More

Keywords: Madagascar, spirit medium healers, peasants, plantation economy, tromba, spirit possession, Africa

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1994 Print ISBN-13: 9780520080010
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520080010.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lesley Sharp, author