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Pierre Déléage

Translator : Translated by Matthew Carey

October 1964. Tïlïwe village on the Upper Maroni river, French Guyana. Palanaiwa, a Wayana chief, decides to organize a major initiation ritual known as a maraké . Opoja, chief of a neighboring village called Tïpïti, accepts the invitation. The

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Instructive Ritual

The Arab Student Union and the Communitas of the Palestinian Israeli Educated

Lauren Erdreich

In spite of state efforts to limit public nationalist ritual of the Palestinian Israeli community, one ritual system, as this article details, is kept intact by the Arab Student Union (ASU). Based on an ethnographic study of the Hebrew University ASU, I show how this ritual system is instructive in a specific, educated Palestinian Israeli identity. Instruction revolves around the root paradigms of a specifically Israeli Palestinian-ness and of the national responsibility of the educated. The instructive ritual system arouses communitas of the educated Palestinian community through instruction carried out in the context of sacralized space and time and by means of the use of ritual art and events, the recruitment of ritual commentators, and the intermeshing of ethos and world-view. This ritual system can be understood as an indigenous Palestinian Israeli pedagogy for liberation.

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Assessing Ritual Experience in Contemporary Spiritualities

The Practice of ‘sharing’ in a New Age Variant of Umbanda

Viola Teisenhoffer

In contemporary Pagan and New Age rituals aimed at self-enhancement and personal development, verbal exchanges generally referred to by the emic term ‘sharing’ often follow the ritual endeavors. The experts who conduct these rituals (whether

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Assessing and Adapting Rituals That Reproduce a Collectivity

The Large-Scale Rituals of the Repkong Tantrists in Tibet

Nicolas Sihlé

In discussions on processes of ritual assessment and modification, the rituals examined are most often of a ‘performance-centered’ nature. 1 I am drawing here on Atkinson’s (1989: 14–15) useful distinction between ‘liturgy-centered’ and

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Jens Kreinath and Refika Sariönder

( Kehl–Bodrogi 1988: 121, 230 ; Markoff 1986: 42 ; Vorhoff 1995: 64–68 ). Organized in cultural associations, Alevis started to make their ritual practice intentionally accessible to non–initiated Alevis and to non–Alevis, in contrast to their former

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Helen A. Robbins and Leigh Kuwanwisiwma

While repatriation legislation in the United States was always intended to be restorative, the highly ritualized, bureaucratic processes involved often serve to reinscribe the very power structures they are, in theory, designed to remedy. This

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Ritual and Emotions

Moving Relations, Patterned Effusions

François Berthomé and Michael Houseman

This article reconsiders the connection between 'ritual' and 'emotion' from a pragmatic, relational perspective in which rituals are seen as dynamic interactive contexts and emotions as fairly short-lived emergent properties and integral components of these interactions. It emphasizes ritual's capacity to reallocate social positions by instantiating characteristic patterns of relationship, and the way particular emotions crystallize and express these patterns. In short, ritual emotions are treated as the sensate qualities of ritual relationships. From this standpoint, emotions feature in ceremonial settings not as striking experiences grafted onto practices and representations, but as constitutive aspects of ritual interactions themselves, whose properties of bodily salience and relational reflexivity both reflect and inflect the latter's course in a variety of sensory, expressive, moral, and strategic ways. Four issues relating to ritual and emotion are discussed within the framework of particular ceremonial practices that have been the object of much recent research: (1) the ritual expression of emotions in funerary laments, (2) the waning of cathartic models in the interpretation of rites of affliction, (3) the intense emotional arousal characteristic of initiatory ordeals, and (4) the self-constructive, affective dimensions of contemporary devotional practices.

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Ritualizing the Everyday

The Dangerous Imperative of Hospitality in Apiao, Chiloé

Giovanna Bacchiddu

Based on an analysis of ethnographic data collected in Apiao, Chiloé, this article offers a view of relations as inescapably fraught connections between different entities. These relations are articulated in highly ritualized hospitality practices involving reciprocal exchange of food and drinks in a domestic space. Cutting across established, contrasting analytical categories, such as consanguines/affines and friends/enemies, hospitality practices reveal the immanence of otherness. Relations can occur only among different/differentiated individuals and are always expressed through an alternation of the contingent positions of host and guest, where one offers and another receives. In hospitality interactions, sameness is denied and transformed into otherness, revealing the importance of asymmetry and disclosing the latent hostility and potential danger implicit in relations. The other is first and foremost a dangerous and unpredictable guest.

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Javanese Kanuragan Ritual initiation

A Means to Socialize by Acquiring Invulnerability, Authority, and Spiritual Improvement

Jean-Marc de Grave

Kanuragan is a secret ritual initiation tied to local cosmological practices and cults used by the Javanese as a source of self-help on issues related to health, welfare, and protection. At basic levels, the practitioners of kanuragan use special entities called aji to gain strength and invulnerability. At the next level, the teaching of the master involves a specific mystical knowledge tied to the acquisition of spiritual authority. This article describes the process of transmission, the persons involved, and the role that kanuragan plays in Javanese society for security purposes and in warfare. The analysis shows how kanuragan competes with new secular and religious systems of value as well as with sorcery and new embodied practices such as sports competitions, to provide comparative insights on the formation of social categories.

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‘Ashura in Bahrain

Analyses of an Analytical Event

Thomas Fibiger

'Ashura is an annual Shi'i ritual commemorating the death of Imam Husayn at the Battle of Karbala in AD 680. In Bahrain, the ritual runs for two weeks and involves processions with more than 100,000 participants. Bahrain is a small but ethno-sectarian heterogeneous island state, where a Sunni minority dominates a Shi'i majority. The religious ritual of 'Ashura therefore has deep political connotations, and a variety of analyses, aspirations, and actions are played out in the context of the ceremonies. This article discusses 'Ashura from the various viewpoints of participants and observers, thereby raising the question of the relationship between analysis and event. I argue that the ritual itself includes an interpretation of the relationship between the Sunni and Shi'i sects, and that this leads to a variety of reflections among Bahrainis on what 'Ashura is and should be.