Herskovits, Melville J. (Melville Jean), 1895-1963. An outline of Dahomean religious belief

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Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: An outline of Dahomean religious belief

Published By: Original publisher Menasha, Wis.: The American Anthropological Association. 1933. 77 p. ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication By Melville J. Herskovits and Frances S. Herskovits

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2016. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Fon (FA18)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF General character of religion (771); Animism (774); Spirits and gods (776); Cult of the dead (769); Congregations (794); Religious experience (781); Prayers and sacrifices (782); Revelation and divination (787); Sacred objects and places (778); Magic (789); Theory of disease (753); Sorcery (754); Magical and mental therapy (755); Priesthood (793); Theological systems (779);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document A collaborative work of Herskovits and Herskovits, this book systematically outlines the many dimensions of Dahomean religious beliefs. Combining information from existing accounts and original fieldwork, the authors describe Dahomey religion as a complex system consisting of a several gods, ancestral cults, personal spirits and magical powers. Relations among these powers are viewed as though hierarchical. Yet Dohomean did not worship to a universal God. Instead, each god was historically associated as the God of a specific community and/or locality. The authors argue that variations in degree of attachment and worship forms occurred only in the later years mainly due to population migration across different sections of the kingdom.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 3

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. fa18-003

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1931

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Anthropologists-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Teferi Abate Adem

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1863-1931

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) southern Benin (Dahomey)

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Fon (African people)//Ethnology--Benin//Benin--Religion


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