Ordering being, divining time: Nilotic sacrifice as iconic poiesis: Part 1–Ikoni

Quincy Amoah


The Karimojong prophet Apaokere was called by Divinity in a dream to sacrifice. In this vision, Divinity instructed him to kill a prized dark ox for the women of his household to avoid the onset of “nothingness.” This two-part essay (the second part to appear in the following issue of Hau) theorizes that the sacrifice of the “Dark One” was a unique iconic poem and that, in general, prime Nilotic sacrifices are founded on iconic principles whose ends are enrapturing poiesis, and not scapegoating. The account also proposes that phenomenology of language and “rhyme-reasoning” may be able to resolve some of anthropology’s “apparently irrational beliefs.”

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/727741