The building of Egypt's High Dam in the 1960s erased innumerable historic treasures, but it also forever obliterated the ancient land of a living people, the Nubians. In 1963-64, they were removed en masse from their traditional homelands in southern Egypt and resettled elsewhere. Much of the life of old Nubia revolved around ceremonialism, and in this remarkable study, John G. Kennedy and other leading anthropologists from around the world reveal and discuss some of the most important and distinctive aspects of Nubian culture.
Since its original publication, Nubian Ceremonial Life has become a standard text in the fields of anthropology and cultural psychology. In addition to basic ethnographic data, this groundbreaking study contains a number of theoretical discussions on topics of interest to students of comparative religions: the psychology of death ceremonies, the nature of 'taboo,' theories of circumcision rituals, and the importance of trance curing ceremonies. The book also presents information about a village of Nubians who had been resettled some thirty years earlier, thereby providing some clues regarding the possible patterns of future culture change among these recently relocated people. With a new foreword by Robert Fernea, this edition brings back into print a major work of scholarship on the unique ceremonial traditions of a changed and changing Nubian world.
Contributors: Hussein M. Fahim, Armgard Grauer, Fadwa al-Guindi, Samiha al-Katsha, John G. Kennedy, and Nawal al-Messiri.