In Sorcery's Shadow and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading In Sorcery's Shadow on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

In Sorcery's Shadow: A Memoir of Apprenticeship among the Songhay of Niger [Paperback]

Paul Stoller , Cheryl Olkes
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 24.57 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Friday, August 29? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition CDN $13.61  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $24.57  
Save Up to 90% on Textbooks
Hit the books in Amazon.ca's Textbook Store and save up to 90% on used textbooks and 35% on new textbooks. Learn more.
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

Feb. 15 1989
The tale of Paul Stoller's sojourn among sorcerors in the Republic of Niger is a story of growth and change, of mutual respect and understanding that will challenge all who read it to plunge deeply into an alien world.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The tribal sorcerer is both hunter and hunted in a world of power seekers. The ominous sense of a narrowly oppressive quest for power is captured in this startling field report by an anthropologist who was himself initiated into African sorcery. Stoller made five field trips to study the Songhay, proud, fierce subsistence farmers of Niger. Becoming an apprentice, then a practitioner of the black arts, he took part in one ritual attack that, he claims, paralyzed the face of the intended victim's sister. After hostile sorcerers' spells temporarily paralyzed the author's legs, he began carrying around protective charms. On his last field trip, he was joined by his coauthor wife, a sociologist; she adds a measure of objectivity to this firsthand account. Although the narrative unfolds slowly and doesn't measure up as the metaphysical adventure it might have been, it is nevertheless a responsible attempt to pierce a hidden realm.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In the last decade, anthropologists have allowed personal concerns to become an acknowledged part of their ethnographic work. In this vein, Stoller "learned much about Songhay sorcery as an initiated apprentice," and consequently his book is more "memoir" than standard ethnography. Still, the account contains incisive information about fieldwork in Niger and about Songhay sorcerythe incantations, power attributed to plants, antagonisms between sorcerers, and details of daily life that both he and, later, Olkes collected. A good presentation of many of the ethical dilemmas anthropologists face when doing fieldwork for informed laypersons and specialists. Schneebaum's book is again more autobiography than ethnography, but in contrast to Stoller's, it contains sketchy ethnographic information. Though Schneebaum incessantly interviewed the Asmat during his four years in New Guinea, little of that information is conveyed. The book is more a search for identity: Schneebaum knew the Asmat as no other ethnographer has (or would admit to); as "an exchange friend" he developed intimate bonds with male friends. The lack of detailed cultural information is therefore the more regrettable. The book does, however, give us clear descriptions of Schneebaum's anthropological encounter and subsequent personal questions. Winifred Lambrecht, Brown Univ., Providence, R.I.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars neither anthropology nor shamanism Sept. 18 2003
Format:Paperback
In this book, Paul Stoller, an ambitious graduate student, tries to make sense of social life of Songhay-speaking people in the eastern Niger. The Songhay have once possessed the largest empire in African history; their formidable magician-king Sunni Ali created an elaborate and effective administrative system extending all the way up to Timbuktu and even Morrocco and, as Stoller shows in this book, Sunni Ali's memory is still very much alive in contemporary Niger.
The book follows Stoller as he wanders around Songhay villages trying to document social mores. He quickly finds what M. Mead never did - that polling and questionnaire techniques he was taught in the US do not work with the Songhay. In Niger, a direct question typically elicits an outright lie; effective field work consists of listening and participating whereas direct interrogation is counter-productive. Stoller then falls into the hands of a local "sorko", or magician-healer, who offers to teach him the secrets of the trade. At this point, the author is faced with the question: should one maintain, in bona fide anthropological work, classical aims of "objectivity" and "impartiality" or should one immerse oneself totally and completely into indigenous life, risking drowning into it and being forever lost to science? Stoller does neither: he is awed by the power and mystery of the secrets that he is witnessing yet at the same time he seems to be unable to comprehend the most elementary laws of indigenous shamanic practices. Thus, like the proverbial deer facing headlights of a car, Stoller is is constantly paralyzed by incomprehension and fear.
For me, the book provides more evidence for the hypothesis that the "Western paradigm" is just one of many, and not that empowering at that.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars neither anthropology nor shamanism Sept. 18 2003
By kaioatey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this book, Paul Stoller, an ambitious graduate student, tries to make sense of social life of Songhay-speaking people in the eastern Niger. The Songhay have once possessed the largest empire in African history; their formidable magician-king Sunni Ali created an elaborate and effective administrative system extending all the way up to Timbuktu and even Morrocco and, as Stoller shows in this book, Sunni Ali's memory is still very much alive in contemporary Niger.
The book follows Stoller as he wanders around Songhay villages trying to document social mores. He quickly finds what M. Mead never did - that polling and questionnaire techniques he was taught in the US do not work with the Songhay. In Niger, a direct question typically elicits an outright lie; effective field work consists of listening and participating whereas direct interrogation is counter-productive. Stoller then falls into the hands of a local "sorko", or magician-healer, who offers to teach him the secrets of the trade. At this point, the author is faced with the question: should one maintain, in bona fide anthropological work, classical aims of "objectivity" and "impartiality" or should one immerse oneself totally and completely into indigenous life, risking drowning into it and being forever lost to science? Stoller does neither: he is awed by the power and mystery of the secrets that he is witnessing yet at the same time he seems to be unable to comprehend the most elementary laws of indigenous shamanic practices. Thus, like the proverbial deer facing headlights of a car, Stoller is is constantly paralyzed by incomprehension and fear.
For me, the book provides more evidence for the hypothesis that the "Western paradigm" is just one of many, and not that empowering at that. If we start to tinker with our paradigm by "apprenticing" to cultures based on hard, merciless and pragmatic obsession with spiritual power (such as the Songhay) we are in for a tough ride. Stoller was; he ran away and I do not blame him.
On the other hand, the dialogues in this book are great and often funny and the book is a must read for anyone contemplating visiting Niger, Mali or Burkina Faso.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaining Perspective Aug. 24 2014
By William J. Siems - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We are preparing for a short term medical mission to Niger. This helped me gain an additional perspective.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting. Oct. 14 2013
By Isabel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was a very interesting book. Although I read it initially as a requirement for my class, I found it very interesting to read.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book April 7 2013
By Danyelle Mulin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book, gives you a (somewhat) insider experiences of Songhay culture and Sorcery. I enjoyed it. I guess he also has another book that is like a prequel to this one and I guess reading this one is good after that one, I don't know what it's called though.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great anthropology book Nov. 24 2012
By RK - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Needed for anthropology class. Was great reading even though it was required reading. It was well-written and kept up my interest.
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback