Historical Fiction

Watch a bori spirit possession from the 1970s

I’ve read and written about bori but it’s something else to see it in action.

Below is a video excerpt from a longer documentary I’d like to watch. You’ll also see some old school “booty shaking” here.


  1. I come from a family that practiced ‘bori’ once before repenting to Islam. My uncle beats the calabash (it’s almost the only thing he’s skilled at). I have an aunt who gets possessed by one particular spirit or jinn. I was little then, but I now remember why my aunt had to summon her’s. It was because of my sister who was possessed and didn’t ‘zoumbou’, literally meaning to drop down, from her state of spirituality. As it was her first possession, it would be harmful to her if she had exceeded a certain time, which is why my aunt had to call on her spirit so to plead to the one that’s possessed my sister.

    My aunt didn’t want to be possessed, yet she had to, as I’d said my family are repented Muslims.

    I witnessed a ritual, in Niger, 2015, to pray to the gods of rain and thunder, ‘red’ and ‘black’. It’s amazing to see a familiar god in a far-away land: Sango, the god of thunder, with his axe.

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