「薬」の想像力--ケニア海岸地方ドゥルマの妖術とムハッソの観念 [in Japanese] Imaginary power of 'medicine': the notion of 'muhaso' and witchcraft belief among the Duruma of the Coast Province of Kenya [in Japanese]
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This paper is intended to be the first part of the ethnographic description of whichcraft beliefs and practices among the Duruma of the Coast Province of Kenya. Use of medicinal substance, called 'muhaso' in Duruma language, is the core of the witchcraft beliefs and practices among the Duruma. The Duruma distinguish two categories of medicinal substances : 'dawa (a Swahili word)' and 'muhi (means "plant" in Duruma language)'. The former, including both ordinary Western and traditional medicines as well as poisons, are thought to be effective without invoking any verbal command (a spell), while the latter are such medicines as are only effective when accompaned by verbal commands by their legitimate owners. Main ingredients of 'mihi' (plural of 'muhi') derive from various bush plants. 'muhaso' is a kind of 'mihi' used in witchcraft attacks ('utsai') as well as in treatments ('kulagula') of the troubles caused by witchcraft. Various bush plants are made into 'muhaso', scorched completely on the top of an iron sheet or a piece of pottery, ground into black powder. 'muhaso' can give its holder almost supra-human power. Witches are thought to have a vast knowledge of various 'muhaso' (plural of 'muhaso') -their ingredoentas and accompanying spells ('makokoteri' or 'marumi')- and to be able to produce almost every kind of miraculous events, most of which are harmful to other people, though. While many 'mihaso' are harmuful in nature, some accepting different command syntax (using if-clause) are utilized as medicines for preventing thefts or for judicial ordeals. They can be called 'chirapho', which sometimes mistranslated as "oath". I will show the imagination surrounding the notion of 'muhaso' should be seen as a kind of liminal imagination, playing on the borders between the real of the everyday life and the impossible, which is distinct from the simpleimagination of fantasy, aswell as from the imagination constitutive of what phenomenologists call the 'supremr reality'.
- Research bulletin
Research bulletin (13), 95-131, 2010