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Wim van Binsbergen, Virtuality as a key concept in the study of globalisation: Aspects of the symbolic transformation of contemporary Africa

Figure 1. The global pattern of formation and diffusion of geomantic divination systems, 1000 BCE-2000 CE

  • Sikidy of Madagascar and Comoro Isl.
  • ramalasastra of India
  • Ifa, Fa, 'sixteen cowries', of West Africa and the New World
  • Southern African four-tablet system
  • simple geomancies of the African interior
  • I Ching system of China
  • 'ilm al-raml and European derivates (since the late Middle Ages)
  • focal points in the distribution of geomancy: A. China (1st mill. BCE); B. N.W. Africa (before 1st mill. CE); C. South Mesopotamia (end of 1st mill. CE); D. Madagascar (2nd mill. CE); E. West Africa (2nd mill. CE)
  • probable diffusion pattern of geomancy


(c) 1997, 1999 Wim van Binsbergen

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