DSAE test file

khalifa, noun

Forms:
califa, chalifahShow more Also califa, chalifah, kalifa, kalifer, khalifah, and with initial capital.
Origin:
ArabicShow more Arabic khalīfah a caliph, the chief civil and religious leader in an Islamic society.
1.
a. A Cape Muslim ceremony at which a sword-ritual is performed by worshippers while they are in a trance-like state. b. This sword-ritual; also called ratiep. Also attributive.
1856 Cape Monitor 16 Jan. 3Several Malay priests have been examined..and it would seem from their evidence that the Califa is by no means part of the Mahomedan religion, and..ought only to be played on a certain night in each year.
1991 Best of S. Afr. Short Stories (Reader’s Digest Assoc.) 217The strange rituals of the Khalifa (originally a religious ceremony), when swords and skewere pierce flesh, yet draw no blood and cause no pain.
2. The priest or leader conducting the Khalifa ceremony; a participant in the ceremony.
1861 Cape Monthly Mag. in I.D. Du Plessis Cape Malays (1947) 36During this time, the Khalifa, or schoolmaster, was divesting himself of his upper garments...He..took in each hand a peculiar sort of dagger..flung both his armed hands to their full height above his head, and then dashed them down, as if driving both daggers..through his stomach!
1985 S. Afr. Panorama Jan. 22Kalifa is really the name of the leader who blesses the sword, leads the performance, and prays continuously while it is under way.
A Cape Muslim ceremony at which a sword-ritual is performed by worshippers while they are in a trance-like state. b. This sword-ritual; also called ratiep. Also attributive.
The priest or leader conducting the Khalifa ceremony; a participant in the ceremony.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

18561991