Mambila divination

David Zeitlyn
  • February 2020, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.4324/9780367199517-8

Mambila divination and oracles: what are they used for?

What is it about?

The book considers the variety of different forms of Mambila divination (including spider divination which sometimes is done with crabs!) As well as considering the conceptual logic of consulting divination the book considers the way that the questions asked are in themselves revealing of patterns of concern and significance in society.

Why is it important?

The book seeks to change the emphasis in academic research from the diviners to the clients of divination. There is a large literature on how divination is undertaken, but very little has been written about the clients and the questions asked.


Professor David Zeitlyn
University of Oxford

This is based on ongoing involvement in Cameroon with Mambila people gong back to 1985 when my doctoral research started. The most recent data was collected in 2019.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor David Zeitlyn