Track: Shamanism and Its Potential for Modern Man
Spirits that heal. The world of the spirits among the Fang of Equatorial Guinea.
For the Fang, the spirit world is today one of the main aspects of the field of the occult. There are spirits of dead people or spirits concerning other non-human entities. The belief in spirits is something shared by the Fang people in general, but they are specialists, mainly nganga (healers), those who understand the spirits within a complex esoteric dimension, which includes knowledge as well as a whole range of practices that are especially put into manifest in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. In this paper I will present results of field work carried out in the African country of Equatorial Guinea. I will basically focus on the conceptualization of the spirits among the Fang, the type of relationship that is established between traditional healers and these spiritual entities, how they are invoked, and on the specific role that they have in therapeutic practices.
Josep Martí earned his doctorate in 1985 from the Phi¬lipps-Universität of Marburg (Germany) after having studied Cultural Anthropology in Barcelona and Göttin¬gen. Since 1989 he has been working as a researcher at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (Barcelona) where he is carrying out research projects in Cultural Anthropology. Throughout his professional career, the most important subjects of research have been centered in the fields of new social meanings of intangible cultural heritage, collective identities and culture (ethnicity, multiculturalism), anthropology of beliefs and anthropology of the body and expressive culture. As an anthropologist, he has carried out fieldwork in Germany, Italy (Sardinia), Japan, Equatorial Guinea and Spain. As a guest professor he regularly gives lectures in different universities.