This article examines the sacred mineral springs in Arshan, Buriatiia. These springs have been inscribed as sacred due to their medicinal properties and are marked as sacred through rituals and material offerings. Residents lament the loss of healing, and implicitly sacred, strength of Arshan. The author argues that the sense of loss is due to the medicalization of healing in Tsarist and Soviet times and from the commodification of this type of sacred site through bottling and tourism.
“Taking the Waters” in Tunka Valley, Russia
The Seer Vanga in the Everyday Life of Bulgarians during Socialism (1960s-1970s)
This article focuses on a little-known aspect of everyday life in socialist Bulgaria: the act of consulting a clairvoyant for health issues, thereby dealing with the broader process of medicalisation of healing. It is grounded on files from consultations with the renowned Bulgarian seer, prophetess and healer baba Vanga, which were collected between 1966 and 1974. These highly specifi c historical sources allow me to analyse late twentieth-century ideas and notions of health and disease, of pain and suffering, and thus to access social realities, cultural practices and representations of healing under socialism. By scrutinising the categories used in these records, the article delineates the relationship between the seer-healer, her patients, and the state institutions involved in the regulation of this process.
This article discusses the sociological hierarchies among Nanay shamans. The shamans evaluate one another and the community also evaluates them, ranking them in myriad informal ways in terms of effectiveness with spirits and healing power. These rankings come about through discursive activities associated with recounting shamanic healing and other ritual practices. While shamans try to maintain close communicative and social relationships with their community, they actively avoid direct interaction with one another as part of a conflict avoidance strategy.
Border Medicine and Health Tourism
This essay exemplifies a particular approach to the field of health tourism, whereby the anthropology of tourism and medical anthropology can be used in conjunction. The serious business of healing is not usually associated with the pleasures of relaxation; however, Czech spas have historically been sites of both healing and leisure for visitors. Building on the suggestion of Veijola and Jokinen (1994), the body of the tourist is made the centre of this study. The bodies of patient-tourists at Czech health spas undergo various healing regimens, and their bodies signify a negotiation of national and cultural identities. Just as Bunzl (2000) considers bodies as constituting European cultural landscapes, this essay considers the ways in which German patient bodies at Czech health spas constitute a changing national, political and cultural relationship at a 'border' of Europe.
Searching New Paradigms for Ancient Practices
This essay discusses the concept of kyrgyzchylyk (rather inadequately rendered in English as 'Kyrgyzness') as a way of transcending different boundaries: the Soviet past, Koran-based Islam, rational thinking. Several aspects of the concept and its meaning in everyday life are discussed; in particular the idea of kyrgyzchylyk as spirituality is examined. Moreover, the concept can be seen as transcending the boundaries between traditional beliefs and Islam. Traditional practitioners - healers, clairvoyants, epic storytellers, sacred sites custodians and others - are seen as becoming powerful people through their practices, and the role of kyrgyzchylyk in the context of the traditional worldview is assessed.
Itamar Rabinovich, The Lingering Conflict: Israel, the Arabs, and the Middle East, 1948-2011 Review by Daniel Kurtzer
Yoav Gelber, Nation and History: Israeli Historiography between Zionism and Post-Zionism Review by Shlomo Aronson
Asher Susser, Israel, Jordan, and Palestine: The Two-State Imperative Review by Paul L. Scham
Michael Feige, Settling in the Hearts: Jewish Fundamentalism in the Occupied Territories Review by Arye Naor
Juliana Ochs, Security and Suspicion: An Ethnography of Everyday Life in Israel Review by Dganit Manor
Daniel Byman, A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism Review by Samy Cohen
Michael Lerner, Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East Review by Kenneth Waltzer
Explanatory Models, Philosophies and Behaviour
Analysis of my ethnographic data on medical popular culture in tribal south-west Iran, mostly from 1965 to 1983, suggests several traditional explanatory models and philosophical tenets that guide approaches to health issues. Empirical knowledge of natural processes motivates people to observe their bodily requirements. The belief in God's autocratic power is tempered with God's purported wish that people use their abilities to take responsibility for their health, complicating the notion of 'fate'. The various models provide health management choices. Traditionally, patients and healers shared these models, acting on the same cosmological assumptions.
The ‘Latvian Stonehenge’
The ideologies, beliefs and practices associated with new cult places in post-Soviet Latvia are discussed. When social movement for the restoration of an independent nation state started at the end of the 1980s, new pantheistic cult sites gained a certain topicality. In relation to such sites esoteric New Age style ideologies and practices were constructed. Pokaiņi forest - a remote place in Latvia, abundant in stone piles and big stones, has been interpreted as an ancient sanctuary of global significance, as a cosmological and healing centre. Latvian scholars - archaeologists, geologists and folklorists - are treating Pokaiņi as a site with traces of ancient agricultural activity, and its popularity is attributed to the 'use of good management'. The historical perspective of the Pokaiņi phenomenon and modern interpretations of its perception are discussed in the context of revitalisation movements. The analysis of the complex socio-cultural situation of Latvia in the turn of the twentieth and the twenty- first century reveals the reasons, facilitating the emergence and significance of Pokaiņi and similar phenomena in post-Soviet Latvia.
Jonathan David Bobaljik, Christopher L. Hill, David Lempert, Brian Donahoe, Irena Vladimirsky, Jaroslaw Derlicki, Melissa Chakars, John P. Ziker, and Liesl L. Gambold
Megumi Kurebito, ed., Comparative Basic Vocabulary of the Chukchee-Kamchatkan Language Family: 1.
Alevtina N. Zhukova & Tokusu Kurebito, A Basic Topical Dictionary of the Koryak-Chukchi Language.
Michael Fortescue, Comparative Chukotko-Kamchatkan Dictionary
Constantine Grewingk, Grewingk’s Geology of Alaska and the Northwest Coast of America: Contributions toward Knowledge of the Orographic and Geognostic Condition of the Northwest Coast of America, with the Adjacent Islands
Bryn Thomas, Trans-Siberian Handbook: Sixth Edition of the Guide to the World’s Longest Railway Journey
Kira Van Deusen, Singing Story, Healing Drum: Shamans and Storytellers of Turkic Siberia
Jamie Bisher, White Terror: Cossack Warlords of the Trans-Siberian
Joachim Otto Habeck, What it Means to be a Herdsman: The Practice and Image of Reindeer Husbandry among Komi of Northern Russia
Robert W. Montgomery, Late Tsarist and Early Soviet Nationality and Cultural Policy: The Buryats and Their Language
Igor Krupnik, Rachel Mason, and Tonia W. Horton, eds., Northern Ethnographic Landscapes: Perspectives From Circumpolar Nations
Margaret Paxson, Solovyovo: The Story of Memory in a Russian Village
force his former patients to visit him or her again in order to sacrifice and pay back the spirits that helped to heal them. According to Nanai shaman Lingdze’s explanation, 3 after each healing séance, her soul-shadow kneels in the spiritual world in