ISSN 1753-0849

Childhoods Today Online JournalChildhoods Today

An online journal for childhood studies


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Volume 8 Issue 1 - August 6, 2014

Playing at Possession: How do Children Come to Grips with Spirit Possession

Christiane Rocha Falcăo

Spirit Possession has been regarded as a cross-cultural phenomenon by many scholars in different parts of the world. The question is how do people who experience Spirit Possession perceive it and how do the mediums make sense of it. Inspired by Márcio Goldman’s work, this paper argues that, for Candomblé people, Spirit Possession is a given. To affirm this, I will examine how children playing at Ritual Possession can be part of the process of constituting meanings of spirit possession. I make use of Márcio Goldman’s model of idea of the person (1984) and of his draw of an ontology of Candomblé (2005), and Christina Toren’s (1999, 2012) unified model of mind to analyse ethnographic data from five years of research on Candomblé in a Brazilian terreiro (temple).