In re-engaging the classic theme of sorcery and witchcraft in African anthropology, it is asserted that something new is happening in terms of the manifestation and magnitude of the phenomena that are commonly included in these notions.1 Geschiere, for one, claims that ‘nearly everywhere on the continent the state and politics seem to be true breeding grounds for modern transformations of witchcraft and sorcery’ (1999: 6). And Jean and John Comaroff (1999) speak of escalations of what they label ‘occult economies’ in postapartheid South Africa, escalations they also trace in other parts of the world, including the West and the post-communist East.
Popular Reaction to Political Leaders in Botswana
Tantric Principles in Tamil Tiger Instrumentalities
This study highlights the Tantric threads within the transcendental religions of Asia that reveal the commanding role of encirclement as a mystical force. The cyanide capsule (kuppi) around the neck of every Tamil Tiger fighter was not only a tool of instrumental rationality as a binding force, but also a modality similar to a thāli (marriage bond necklace) and to participation in a velvi (religious animal sacrifice). It was thus embedded within Tamil cultural practice. Alongside the LTTE's politics of homage to its māvīrar (dead heroes), the kuppi sits beside numerous incidents in LTTE acts of mobilization or military actions where key functionaries approached deities in thanks or in preparation for the kill. These practices highlight the inventive potential of liminal moments/spaces. We see this as modernized 'war magic'—a hybrid re-enchantment energizing a specific religious worldview.
Doing Ritual While Thinking about It?
Focusing on the reflexive attitudes that religious specialists adopt toward their ceremonial practices, this themed section proposes to renew a line of inquiry developed around the complex and protean link that exists between ritual and reflexivity
A Study of Mortuary Ritual as Sacrifice among the Siberian Chukchi
Jeanette Lykkegård and Rane Willerslev
warfare. When a person dies in Achaivaiam, he or she only appears to die. The dead are still very much alive. All life always has existed and always will exist, but it takes ritual work to ensure that it continues within the Chukchi circle of rebirths and
Repatriation and Ritual, Repatriation as Ritual
Laura Peers, Lotten Gustafsson Reinius, and Jennifer Shannon
survival. The editors and authors of this special section of Museum Worlds have taken a different set of perspectives. We explore repatriation as ritual: a set of highlighted performances enacting cosmological beliefs for a special purpose, deeply
A Contribution to Discussions on Piety and Ethics
Drawing on an ethnographic research in some rural communities of Trabzon, Turkey, this article provides insights about the diversity of Islamic pieties and their relations to religious norms. An exploration of everyday Islamic practices in the area demonstrates how piety can take peculiar forms within which norms are both publicly and socially upheld and yet also hollowed out. Among Muslim men of ‘the Valley’ in Trabzon, piety emerges as an aggregate of reiterative practices exterior to the pious self. Highlighting the aestheticised and ritualised state of these engagements with Islam in the Turkish context allows discussion of the relationships among practices of piety, pious subjectivities, and ethics.
Translator : Tatiana Argounova-Low
rituals was published in Atlas Arkhangel’skoi gubernii 1797 goda (The Atlas of the Arkhangelsk Gubernia of 1797). The atlas contains first mentioning of the Vaygach Island as “a public place of sacrifice” ( Baryshev 2012: 331 ). In 1855 Archimandrite
Translator : Tatiana Argounova-Low
, an understanding of how the world was constructed and operated. Osuokhai , a circle ritual dance, originates in the ancient Turkic culture and is associated with a summer festival called ysyakh , which has since the 1990s obtained symbolic
Parasitic Mimesis and the Government of Savagery in Colonial East Timor
In this article, I investigate the colonial trade between ‘civilization’ and ‘savagery’ through the relations that the representatives of the colonial state maintained with indigenous ritual violence. I explore this topic on the basis of a revealing
Animal Representations and Urban (Dis)orders during the ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’ in Istanbul and Khartoum
Alice Franck, Jean Gardin, and Olivier Givre
cultural and religious contexts. A kind of universal ritual item for anthropologists ( Cartry 2002: 643 ), it has nonetheless been interpreted in such various manners that any assumption of a common sacrificial model (from Mauss and Hubert to Girard) is