Zar: Group distress and healing

S. H. Al-Adawi, R. G. Martin, A. Al-Salmi, H. Ghassani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes Zar, a spiritual cosmology and ritual performance whose meaning is associated with the experience of spirit possession. Commentators on spirit possession such as Zar have provided evidence that it may serve three interrelated functions. It is compatible with religious mythology and cosmology; it may represent a mechanism of psychological manipulation of oppressed individuals and it can be a form of culturally defined group therapy. In this paper, we report the phenomenon of Zar possession in Oman and attempt to relate it to these three interrelated functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-61
Number of pages15
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Zar: Group distress and healing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this