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Death in Abeyance

Illness and Therapy among the Tabwa of Central Africa

Christopher Davis


This is a comprehensive survey, in both its theory and its practice, of the Tabwa who live on the western shore of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo (fomerly Zaire). The following topics are covered: concepts of the body and of illness, illness categories and approaches to diagnosis, divination and the meaning of illness in the life-histories of individuals and lineage groups. Moving to a broader perspective, it embraces therapies both of bodily events ('medicine') and of social circumstances ('magic' and 'religion'), and relates them to the cosmological beliefs which link and underwrite all three.

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About the Author

Christopher Davis is a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

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