Divination Lecture: "Silent Voices of African Divination Systems"

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In every culture, people use divination to solve problems and negotiate an ever-changing world. A key feature of any divination system is the careful communication between the diviner and the other world. Intriguingly, the agents which often aid the diviner in many African societies are silent, be they speechless spirits working through a diviner, inanimate objects tossed in a diviner’s basket, or quiet creatures, such as spiders, creating significant patterns to be read by the diviner. Why would the critical task of providing solutions to a person’s illness, social strife, or other serious problem be taken by a silent communicator?

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University presents the free lecture "Silent Voices of African Divination Systems" on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Geological Lecture Hall (24 Oxford St., Cambridge) at 6:00 PM. A reception will follow at the Peabody Museum (11 Divinity Avenue). The lecture is the second in a year-long series about divination.

Philip M. Peek is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Drew University. His forthcoming book, co-edited with W. van Beek, is Reviewing Reality: Dynamics of African Divination (LIT Verlag).

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Umbundu witch doctor's basket, Benquilla, Angola. PM 11-46-50/83148

"Silent Voices of African Divination Systems," part of the free Peabody Museum Divination lecture series, is Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge.

Philip M. Peek, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Drew University

A public reception follows at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.

Public information: 617-496-1027