chapter  IV
Ritual (continued)
ByS. F. Nadel
Pages 33

In analysing religious rituals, this chapter deals with two sets of facts: the form of the action; and its content of ideas and aims. In Nupe, the frame of reference is given in the conceptions of the deity, of the universe, of the force of kuti or cigbe, and so forth. The category of 'ritual' would include various other observances, which the Nupe hold apart from kuti—sacrifices to ancestors and twin-shrines, to certain 'great' medicines, and even the minor offerings to spirits. The individual 'ownership' of ritual implies no special validity of the thing owned for the owner. The validity of the ritual holds on two different planes, both coinciding with and extending beyond the group boundaries. Thus every ritual is valid for the community which actually performs it, promising its various benefits to that congregation; and every ritual is further valid for the wider or widest group of which the congregation forms a part.