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ZarSpirit Possession, Music, and Healing Rituals in Egypt$
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Hager El Hadidi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166976

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166976.001.0001

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Localization of Bodies in Time: Life Cycle and Other Crises

Localization of Bodies in Time: Life Cycle and Other Crises

Chapter:
(p.87) 4 Localization of Bodies in Time: Life Cycle and Other Crises
Source:
Zar
Author(s):

Hager El Hadidi

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774166976.003.0004

This chapter explores the association between zar possession crises and those that relate to the anxieties around periods of transitions in the life cycle of a person. Symptoms of zar affliction tend to occur during special moments of anxiety surrounding life-cycle transitions. The first episode of possession, or zar ritual crisis, typically occurs prior to marriage, when a woman is still a teenager. The chapter first considers crises related to adolescence, fertility, marriage, pregnancy, birthing, and menopause by using a variety of narratives to present people's varied perceptions and practice for zar. It then links Arjun Appadurai's concept of “locality” to the ways zar orients the devotee's body in time in time and space. It also examines how times of transition—ritual cycle crises—become socialized through zar initiations.

Keywords:   zar possession crises, zar affliction, anxiety, life-cycle transitions, adolescence, pregnancy, locality, zar initiation

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