The experiences and course of treatment shown by Rausch’s interview of shuwwafat in Morocco correlated closely with earlier readings on the Hamadsha. Both of these groups in popular religion create a community, establish a new identity and connect to the possession of jinn. The relationship between becoming a shuwwafa and creating a space for women to connect is especially fascinating in the Moroccan context.
A common theme amongst all the biographical information was the absence of the mother in the life of the shuwwafa. From amongst the nine case studies included in Rausch’s work, six of the stories related by the women mentioned being sent away at a young age or their mother’s death (119-125). The absence of a mother, often paired with neglect from the father, greatly affected the life story these women recounted. Rausch does establish that childhood trauma might be a fiction meant to add to the mystique of the shuwwafa and even if it is just a story what can account for the repetition among the sources (127)?
The answer which Rausch does not explicitly mention in her chapter lies in the function of the shuwwafat. Whether the story’s of abandonment, neglect and death are fictional or based in reality the emphasis of all the stories relies on the shuwwafa coming from a place of vulnerability to autonomy, and even power, in their relationship with jnun. Part of the backlash against shuwwafa occurs because of their transgression of certain gender boundaries in Morocco. Whether their background is fictive or real the shuwwafa establish themselves as victims who can use their personal experience, and relationship with jinn to help their clients. In helping their clients to cope with their own jinn, the shuwwafa create a community of support meant to replace their clientele just like their relationship with jinn in their stories made them independent.