Saturday, November 22, 2008

Jean Rouch on Youtube

The Mad Masters, documents a 1954 Hauka ritual in Accra, Ghana.

Hauka was developed by migrants of rural west African communities as they settled in larger urban areas. The migrants with different cultural and religious backgrounds found common ground in their shared possession cult traditions, and created new rituals based on their new experiences in urban colonial Africa.

While in a trance state, the participants literally exorcise the psychic demons of state control, intentionally breaking taboos and allowing themselves to become living effigies of the occupying military force.

When the ritual is over the participants get into taxis and go to their regular jobs the next day.

I've only seen this before on 16mm really with distorted sound,and no subtitles.
It was pretty rare for awhile, now there's a few of Rouch's anthropological films on youtube, there must be a dvd box set somewhere...

1 comment:

marco said...

being well adjusted takes some serious work.