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The Taste of Blood
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The Taste of Blood
Spirit Possession in Brazilian Candomble

Jim Wafer

240 pages | 6 x 9
Paper 1991 | ISBN 9780812213416 | $24.95s | Outside the Americas £18.99
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Contemporary Ethnography
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Winner of the 1992 Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing

"An excellent story, rich in ethnographic material, untraditional in form, courageous in personal revelations, and with definite qualities in the attempts to guide the reader through insights, recognitions, and increasing understanding, without hiding the researcher's own confusion and doubts. It gives us more than a slight glance into the fascinating, earthly, puzzling, and still too little known world of Brazilian Candomble."—Ethnos.

"Well written and rich in ethnographic detail, the book makes an engaging story with sometimes touching accounts of personal experiences with fellow initiates who have "tasted the blood" of a religion that traces its roots to Africa and Brazilian folk traditions."—Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists Newsletter

"A narrative full of almost novelistic devices, attempting to evoke the full reality of this complex, unknown, exciting and somewhat frightening way, or concept, of life."—British Bulletin of Publications

"Succeeds as an innovative ethnography. . . . Intriguing and scintillating . . . The Taste of Blood brilliantly explores both Condomble and the representations of ethnographic research."—Folklore Forum

Enter the fascinating world of the Condomble regions of Brazil, where interaction between spirits and human is considered an everyday occurrence. Jim Wafer uncovers the social life, rituals, folklore, and engaging personalities of the villagers of Jacari, among whom trances, sorcery, and spirit possession demonstrate the coexistence of different kinds of reality.

This ethnography is intriguing not only because of the originality of its approach to the more enigmatic aspects of another culture but also because it uses insights gained from participation in that culture to reflect on the paradoxes inherent in the writer's own culture, and in the human condition in general.

Jim Wafer works as a consultant anthropologist in central Australia.

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