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Spirituality, Power, and Feminism: Historical Narratives of Bori Practice among the Women in Sabon Birni District of Sokoto State

Aisha Balarabe Bawa
Umar Aminu Yandaki


From time immemorial, human beings and humanity in general have been guided by intangible spiritual and supernatural forces. This is mainly through religious associations. Indeed, any type of religion usually comes along with distinct ideological beliefs. These beliefs guide its followers along the distinct religious practices, as well as the social, economic and political lives they should practice. These religious beliefs and practices as they satisfy the needs of their believers in many facets of life, forms intangible dimensions of reality. They, therefore, form an integral part of human history because their influences on historical processes are extremely profound. The people inhabiting sizable portions of the defunct Gobir Kingdom in particular and Hausaland in general are not left behind in this sense. This is because; they have their own distinct traditional religious beliefs and practices, mainly based on the belief in, and the worship of Iskoki (spirits). One of the major ideologies and practices in this respect is the Bori practice (that of Spirit Possession). This paper has examined Bori practice which is a female domain among the Gobirawa, led by a female priestess called Inna, who was both spiritually and politically influential in the defunct Gobir Kingdom. The paper also discusseds the persistence, continuities and changes in the practice of Bori among the Gobirawa women in Sabon Birnin Gobir as affected by the introduction of Islam, the 1804 Jihad, and more contemporaneously, the infusion of modernity

Key words: Gobir, Women, Bori, Religion and Politics

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eISSN: 2227-5452
print ISSN: 2225-8590