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Among the Tuareg people in the Air Mountain region of Niger, women are sometimes possessed by spirits called 'the people of solitude'. The evening curing rituals of the possessed, featuring drumming and song, take place before an audience of young men and women, who joke and flirt as the ritual unfolds. In her analysis of this tolerated but unofficial cult, Susan Rasmussen analyses symbolism and aesthetic values, provides case studies of possessed women, and reviews what local people think about the meaning of possession.

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