Comfa Religion and Creole Language in a Caribbean Community

By Kean Gibson

Subjects: Language And Culture
Paperback : 9780791449608, 244 pages, May 2001
Hardcover : 9780791449592, 244 pages, May 2001

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Table of contents


1. Peoples and Religions of Guyana
2. Faithist Church and Spirit Beliefs
3. Comfa Ceremonies
4. Comfa as an African Derivation
5. Comfa as Social Process
6. The Continuums of Guyanese Creole and Guyanese Comfa


A description and analysis of the Guyanese religion known as "Comfa. "


Through a distinctive blend of description and analysis Kean Gibson examines the Guyanese religion known as "Comfa. " Reflecting the socio-cultural history of Guyana, Comfa shows influences of European and Asian cultures and religions in an essentially African framework. Gibson compares the variation exemplified in Comfa with the Guyanese Creole language and challenges the continuum theory of Creole linguistics, which predicts that the Creole language will evolve to become English. Gibson also explores the implications of both forms of social behavior for the notion of identity in a multicultural community.

Kean Gibson is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature at the University of the West Indies, Barbados.


"A lucidly written and enjoyable introduction to the religion and culture of the Guyanese. The wide range of theoretical and ethnographic perspectives presented on the significance of Comfa religious tradition make it an invaluable reference. " — Jacob Olupona, editor of African Spirituality: Forms, Meanings and Expressions

"This is an important contribution to the ethnography of religions of the African diaspora. " — Joseph M. Murphy, author of Working the Spirit: Ceremonies of the African Diaspora