Journals Higher Education



Published: 30 December 2016

176 Pages | 13 color photographs

6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 9789774166976

Bookseller Code (01)


Spirit Possession, Music, and Healing Rituals in Egypt

Hager El Hadidi

A Publication of The American University in Cairo Press

Zar is both a possessing spirit and a set of reconciliation rites between the spirits and their human hosts: living in a parallel yet invisible world, the capricious spirits manifest their anger by causing ailments for their hosts, which require ritual reconciliation, a private sacrificial rite practiced routinely by the afflicted devotees. Originally spread from Ethiopia to the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf through the nineteenth-century slave trade, in Egypt zar has incorporated elements from popular Islamic Sufi practices, including devotion to Christian and Muslim saints.