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Art, Performance and Ritual in Benin City$
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Charles Gore

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748633166

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633166.001.0001

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Shrines and Deities

Shrines and Deities

(p.31) 2 Shrines and Deities
Art, Performance and Ritual in Benin City

Gore Charles

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter looks at local Edo definitions of shrines and the deities to which they are dedicated, outlines the range of different shrines and their uses, and explores some of the local significances that are constructed in relation to shrines. Individuals place themselves in particular relationships through the concrete materiality of shrines and their associated artefacts, linking the individual to this metaphysical world; also, by the same means, individuals place themselves in social relationships. This is most obvious in the relations between ohens (priests) and their clients, but many other social relations are enabled. The chapter focuses on the categories and contexts of shrines in their concrete materiality.

Keywords:   shrines, deities, Edo kingdom, metaphysical world, social relationships, materiality

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