Between Islam and the Sacred Forest

Martin Gruber
Frank Seidel
52 minutes


An anthropologist and a linguist fromGermany are trying to understand a ritual, taking place in a small village onthe coast of Guinea, West Africa. They are told that two seeminglyconflicting ceremonies take place during a four-day event commemorating arecently deceased woman: A Muslim celebration of the 40th day after deathconducted by a local Imam and the Mkisaata ritual, performed by the membersof a Nalu female secret society in honour of its deceased member. As theinvolved men explain the filmmakers their respective vision of the events,the researchers get increasingly drawn into the ritual by the women of thesecret society and become part of their performance. “Between Islam and theSacred Forest“ also shows the possibilities and impossibilities ofaudio-visual ethnography.

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