Front cover image for The Ḥamadsha : a study in Moroccan ethnopsychiatry

The Ḥamadsha : a study in Moroccan ethnopsychiatry

Vincent Crapanzano's excellent study of the Hamadsha, a group of curers in Morocco who have taken the form of a Sufi brotherhood, is particularly significant because it combines and interweaves the psychological, the cultural, and the sociological levels of explanation. It is perhaps inevitable that such a rich and suggestive book should raise more questions than it answers: the new dimensions it opens up, however, may well make it a seminal study in our understanding of North African religious behavior. The Hamadsha have the formal structure of two parallel Sufi brotherhoods whose founders are linked saints, Sidi 'Ali ben Hamdush and his servant or pupil, Sidi Ahmed Dghughi. If legends can be trusted, these saints lived around 1700; there is no direct historical confirmation. Each of these saints has left a body of 'descendents' centered in two neighboring villages on the Jebel Zerhoun near Meknes. The structure of the orders includes the 'children' of the saints, each group with its leader or mizwar who is also the head of the order, the devotees clustered around shrines in the cities, the team of curers in the shantytowns, and those who in one way or another have established a personal relationship with the saints or with thejnun they control. The Hamadsha have a special relationship with 'Aisha Quadisha, a powerful jinniyya of West African origin, whose role in the cosmology of the order is virtually on a level with that of the saints. Crapanzano describes these various groups and the social, political, and financial relationships among them. - From (Sep. 9, 2016)
Print Book, English, 1973
University of California Press, Berkeley, 1973
xiv, 258 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
9780520022416, 9780520045101, 0520022416, 0520045106
Part One. 1. Historical origins : sufism
- 2. The saints and the orders
- 3. The legends
Part Two. 4. The saints' villages
- 5. The lodges of Meknes
- 6. The shantytown teams
- 7. The circle of exchange
Part Three. 8. The theory of therapy
- 9. The pilgrimage
- 10. The Ḥadra
- 11. The explanation of therapy
Includes glossary