A study of the West African Hauka - spirits that grotesquely mimic and mock "Europeans" of the colonial epoch. The author considers spirit possession as a set of embodied practices with serious social and cultural consequences. Embodying Colonial Memories is the first in-depth study of the West African Hauka, spirits in the body of (human) mediums which mimic and mock Europeans of the colonial epoch. Paul Stoller, who was initiated into a spirit possession troupe, recounts an insider's tale of the Hauka with respect and "brotherly" deference. He combines narrative description, historical analysis, and reflections on the importance of embodiment and mimesis to social theory, with particular reference to the Songhay peoples of the Republic of Niger.

chapter |12 pages

Prologue Diplomacy on a Dune

part I|2 pages

Sensing Spirit Possession

chapter |2 pages

Introduction Sensing Ethnography

chapter 1|10 pages

Spirit Possession

chapter 2|10 pages

Cultural Memory

part II|2 pages

Confronting Colonialism in West Africa

chapter |2 pages

Introduction Forms of Confrontation

chapter 4|10 pages

From First Contacts to Military Partition

chapter 5|14 pages

Colonizing West Africa

chapter 6|16 pages

Embodied Oppositions

part III|2 pages

Migrating with the Hauka

chapter |4 pages

Introduction Thunderous Gods

chapter 7|18 pages

Colonizing Niger

chapter 8|10 pages

The Birth of the Hauka Movement

chapter 9|10 pages

Transgressing to the Gold Coast

part IV|2 pages

Transforming State Power: The Hauka Movement in the Postcolony of Niger