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Ritual Tattooing and the Creation of New Buddhist Identities

An Inquiry into the Initiation Process in a Burmese Organization of Exorcists

Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière

, 2012, 2014 and in April 2015, I present in this article an analysis of ritual tattooing performed on these occasions as the culmination of the initiation process in the Manaw Seittokpad congregation. The rituals marking entry into Burmese exorcist

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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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European rituals of initiation and the production of men

JOHN BORNEMAN

This article examines how male rites of initiation in Europe have been replaced by adjustments to lifecourse events located within the enlarged sphere of entertainment. These adjustments foster new forms of attachment and separation. Based on an interpretation of European films and informed by ethnographic fieldwork, it argues that contemporary European masculinity no longer relies on violent, transformative, collective rituals. This violence still exists, however, experienced vicariously within Europe, while actual violence is largely displaced outside the West. Masculinity nonetheless survives, as a counterconcept to femininity to give expression to the comic, the lost, the confused, the contingent, the unnecessary, the needy, the playful.

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Paddling and the Repression of the Feminine in Male Hazing

Jay Mechling

Despite a nearly two decades’ long war on high school and college hazing, the traditional practice of paddling male pledges on the buttocks persists as a physical and psychological test of worthiness for membership in certain all-male organizations. In its elements of nudity, homoeroticim, and stylized sadomasochism, this ritual condenses a great many of the psychological processes essential to male bonding in groups. An application of Freud’s insights in his 1919 essay, “A Child Is Being Beaten,” to the puzzle of posterior paddling reveals a complex psychological process by which the pledge is feminized by the paddling, represses the feminine part of his self, and is initiated into the status of a brother among other heterosexual males.

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Anthropology and Initiation of Teachers' Training

Caridad Hernández Sánchez

This article explores the pedagogical strategies of applying anthropology in the field of Education, particularly in the initial training courses for teachers. It shows a way of doing applied anthropology by anthropologists who work as non-anthropologists but use their anthropological training and knowledge in their work. This study presents anthropology as a productive discipline in promoting different perspectives for the analysis and understanding of the social phenomena which, used in the classroom, facilitates students in training as educators to critically approach the fundamentals of Education as much as the processes of teaching and learning. Ultimately, this article points out how the shifts in Education students' perspectives instigated by the use of anthropology in the classroom might eventually lead to changes in education policies.

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Voir par‐derrière. Sorcellerie, initiation et perception au Gabon

Julien Bonhomme

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The Chinese in the Initiation of America's Pan-Indianism

Tao Zhang

Abstract

Despite some scholarly attention, the Native-American–Chinese association is mainly studied from the White perspective. One may get the impression that connections between the two similarly marginalized groups are either imagined or promoted by Whites for their own benefit. But, as a matter of fact, American Indians, joined by their White friends, did initiate associations with the Chinese out of their own racial considerations. One case in point is Pan-Indians’ reference to the Chinese in the process of forging a united and unique identity for the Indian race at the turn of the twentieth century. With those allusions, Native Americans were constructed into a group that was exceptional and progressive, benevolent and cosmopolitan—in short, a group that Whites should accept and respect as fellow Americans. Passively involved in proving Indians’ eligibility for American nationality, the Chinese emerged as racialized but less repugnant than they had been in Whites’ racist depictions. Pan-Indians’ citation of the Chinese thus registers the caution with which they navigated the constraints imposed by American racism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Note from the Editorial Board

The Challenges of Brexit and COVID

have played a decisive role in the initiation and development of the theory of social quality and its approach worldwide over the past decades. They focused on social justice and the equitable participation of citizens in societies that are sustainable

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Toward an Epidemiology of Ritual Chants

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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The Red and the Black

A Practical Experiment for Thinking about Ritual

Michael Houseman

This essay reports on the performance of an initiatory rite of the author’s invention, undertaken as a practical experiment for thinking about certain recurrent features of ritual action and, specifically, of (male) initiation. In keeping with an approach that sees ritual as the enactment of special relationships, this initiation, The Red and the Black, was designed to demonstrate the importance of interactive patterning both for the structuring of ritual performance and for the participants’ commitment to the relationships they ritually enact. Its meaningfulness, as well as its capacity to affect the participants’ perceptions and ideas, is shown to derive less from the (minimal) explicit symbolism it employs, the beliefs it presupposes, or the social functions that can be attributed to it than from the relational entailments of the coordinate interactions it involves. Framing, simulation, secrecy, imposed suffering, symbolism, ceremonial efficacy, ritual condensation, and the complex interplay of in-group and out-group perspectives are among the issues that are illustrated and discussed.