Twins in African and Diaspora Cultures

Twins in African and Diaspora Cultures

Double Trouble, Twice Blessed
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/18/2011
Format: Paperback 36 b&w illus., 2 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-22307-4
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In Africa, where the birthrate of twins is among the highest in the world, twins can be seen as a burden to their families and a threat to the social order, or they can be seen as a gift from God and beings with unique abilities who bring about social harmony. Philip M. Peek and the contributors to this illuminating, multidisciplinary volume explore this rich cultural heritage by examining topics such as twins in artistic representation, twins and divination, and twins in performance, cosmology, religion, and popular culture.

Author Bio

Philip M. Peek is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Drew University. He is editor of African Divination Systems (IUP, 1991).


Well-researched, well-presented, and theoretically informed. This volume displays a good range of themes as well as extensive geographical coverage.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Beginning to Rethink Twins / Philip M. Peek
Part 1. Roots
2. Twins and Double Beings among the Bamana and Maninka of Mali / Pascal James Imperato and Gavin H. Imperato
3. Twins and Intertwinement: Reflections on Ambiguity and Ambivalence in Northwestern Namibia / Steven Van Wolputte
Part 2. Doubles and Dualities
4. Sustaining the Oneness in their Twoness: Poetics of Twin Figures (Ère Ìbejì) among the Yoruba / Babatunde Lawal
5. "Son Dos los Jimagüas" ("The Twins Are Two"): Worship of the Sacred Twins in Lucumí Religious Culture / Ysamur Flores-Pena
6. Twins, Couples, and Doubles and the Negotiation of Spirit-Human Identities among the Win / Susan Cooksey
7. Double Portraits: Images of Twinness in West African Studio Photography / C. Angelo Micheli
Part 3. The Centrality of Liminality
8. Forever Liminal: Twins among the Kapsiki/Higi of North Cameroon and Northeastern Nigeria / Walter E. A. Van Beek
9. Snake, Bush, and Metaphor: Twinship among Ubangians / Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers
10. Fiction and Forbidden Sexual Fantasy in the Culture of Temne Twins / Frederick John Lamp
11. Embodied Dilemma: Tabwa Twinship in Thought and Performance / Allen F. Roberts
12. Children of the Moon: Twins in Luba Art and Ontology / Mary Nooter Roberts
Part 4. Transformations
13. Two Equals Three: Twins and the Trickster in Haitian Vodou / Marilyn Houlberg
14. Divine Children: The Ibejis and the Erês in Brazilian Candomblé / Stefania Capone
15. The Ambiguous Ordinariness of Yoruba Twins / Elisha P. Renne
16. Twins, Albinos, and Vanishing Prisoners: A Mozambican Theory of Political Power / Paulo Granjo
List of Contributors

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