A study of the Igbo people's belief in a water Goddess that resides in Lake Oguta in south- eastern Nigeria. Bahlsen looks at the rituals, beliefs and social organisation associated with it.
“This evocative study of a water Goddess among the Igbo of Lake Oguta in southeastern Nigeria, thoroughly explores the rituals, beliefs and social organization associated with rituals of women's power. A form of Mammy Wata found through coastal Western Africa … the analysis of this powerful Goddess, based on many years of research, is a notable contribution to African female ritual studies, long neglected by scholars."
--Dr. Simon Ottenberg, University of Washington, Seattle
“To the best of my knowledge, this is the most informative study yet on the Water Goddess in Igbo cosmology, and it seems poised to remain for a long time, the most authoritative work on the subject.” --Dr. Ernest N. Emenyonu, University of Michigan, Flint
“Produced with the cultural sensitivity and thoroughness of a seasoned ethnographer and an accomplished filmmaker, this long-awaited interdisciplinary work is a study of confluences on a grand scale. Ogbuide (the Lake Goddess) holds sway in an environment where the force and flexibility of water determines commerce, artistic expression, gender relations, and communal life. Located at the confluence of the rivers Nigerand Urashi, Ogbuide (Oguta Lake) stands as a metaphor for where worlds meet;revealing the intertwining of numerous registers—myths, symbols, aesthetics, customs, medicine, spirituality, religion, history/histories, literature, and ecology.” --Obioma Nnaemeka, Indiana University, Indianapolis
“This brilliantly researched and documented book is a must read for all serious scholars and researchers of Africa and its various cultures, religious beliefs and practices especially the adoratory worship of the Water Goddess in the Oguta riverine areas of southeastern Nigeria.” --Dr. Michael C. Mbabuike, Hostos Community College of the City University of New York
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabine Jell Bahlsen holds an MA in ethnology from the Free University in Berlin/Germany and a PhD in anthropology from the New School University in New York. She edits the journal Dialectical Anthropology and is the director of Ogbuide Films. Her published articles appear in many publications.