Accepted paper:

When spirits ride their horses


Itsushi Kawase (National Museum of Ethnology)

Paper short abstract:


Paper long abstract:

In Gondar, Ethiopia, the possessed body of the Zar spirit medium is referred to as Yäzar Färäs (literally meaning ‘the horse of Zar') In this rhetoric, spirit possession can be understood as the spirit riding the body of the medium. Participants of Zar are described as amamaqi (‘the one who warms up the space’) or anqäsaqaš ( 'the one who shakes and wakes you up'), while the body of the medium through which the spirit departs is described with a word with best refers to ‘coldness’. The ceremonial space has to be warmed up by the dance, music and various kinds of smells to awaken spirits’ power. Spirit possession takes on almost sensuous overtones. The film portrays one lady who devotes her life to Zar spirits. It explores the sensory quality of the interaction between her and Seyfou Tchengar, who is said to be one of the most powerful spirits in the region. Duration:28 minutes Year of Completion: 2012 Location: Gondar, Ethiopia Camera, Editing: Itsushi Kawase Language: Amharic (English Subtitle) Selected screenings 13th Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) International Festival of Ethnographic Film 6th Moscow International Festival of Visual Anthropology 32nd Nordic Anthropological Film Association (NAFA) Film Festival, 4th Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 9th International Film Festival, the Heart of Slavonia, Republic of Croatia

panel F001
New horizon of anthropological films from Japan (Film-screening program)