Save

African Spectral Pasts and Their Presences on the Malabar Coast

In: Matatu
View More View Less
  • 1 Pennsylvania State UniversityDepartment of Asian Studies and the African Studies Program, USA, State College, PA
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

Abstract

In the coastal regions of Kochi in Kerala, memories of forced African migration to India are preserved through shrines dedicated to African or Kappiri spirits, belief in their mischievous acts, and their intercessory powers. Shrines for African spirits are eclectic and modest, and they operate as indexical reminders of the troubled African pasts during the colonial occupation of Kerala. For most local people, Kappiri is a spectral deity, figureless and seemingly abstract, and a pervasive spirit who inhabits the coastal landscape. By studying vernacular histories, tales of spirit sightings, and worship practices surrounding the spectral figure of Kappiri, I have analysed how African spirits manifest their phantom presences and channel their spectral powers to those who seek to believe in their histories, which otherwise are obliterated from institutional discourses. Focussing on different material and intangible manifestations of African spirits, I discuss how different recollective practices—ritualistic, creative, and secular—offer alternative discursive exegesis on Afro-Indian connections.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 247 247 10
Full Text Views 17 17 1
PDF Views & Downloads 29 29 2