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#2590: Dolls in Vodou : Craig comments : Morris replies


<<     In regards to dolls with pins jabbed into their bodies, I will suggest 
that, more likely than  European witchcraft sources,   these "charms" are 
derived from Dahomean Bocio forms ( see African Vodun by Suzanne Preston 
Blier) and from Kongo Minkisi charms and Nkondi figures (see Robert Farris 
Thompson's Flash of the Spirit and Wyatt McGaffey's Astonishment and Power) 
which all have sharp pegs or nails driven into their surfaces to incite 
and/or placate spiritual forces.  >>

Great letter.  But it is not only to incite or placate but often to drive 
home in a ceremonial gesture the importance of the contract formed.  It is 
also a form not so much of piercing but rather of binding.  It binds the 
object, the moment and the binder together in a ceremonial space.