Spirits of Protest

Spirit-Mediums and the Articulation of Consensus among the Zezuru of Southern Rhodesia

Peter Fry



In this study, Peter Fry describes and analyses spirit-mediumship amongst a community of Zezuru people living near Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). He examines the belief system which underpins spirit-mediumship and the basis of the mediums' authority. He pays special attention to the way in which religious beliefs are used politically in specific social situations ranging from village disputes to issues of national importance. Instead of portraying the spirits and their mediums as a fixed and stable hierarchy, Peter Fry stresses the dynamics of a religious system which changes over time.


Anthropologists will find Fry's contribution to the literature of intrinsic interest, but also a validation of the role the discipline continues to play in African studies. - W. Arens, Africa Today


Peter Henry Fry is an anthropologist, born in England, and a naturalized Brazilian. His research interests include African religion, race relations, African languages in Brazil , among others.