This article aims to shed light on a divination episode, which most blood sacrifices begin with in many West African societies, by examining how this ritual practice is carried out among the Kabye of northern Togo and by analyzing it in relation to
Triggering Critical Reflexive Stances on Ritual Action in Togo
Bilal Tawfiq Hamamra
. Clytemnestra’s maternal, moral and authoritative voice challenges and interrogates those of the male figures. While Iphigenia’s voluntary death, dramatized as a substitute for marriage, can be read as a validation of patriarchal voices her sacrifice exposes the
Ritual, Social Change and Les Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse
The article begins by examining Durkheim’s editorial role in the creation of Hubert and Mauss’s essay on sacrifice, published in his new journal, the Année sociologique, in 1899. It then brings out how, in Les Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse, Durkheim operated both with an ‘official’ and a more or less ‘hidden’ theory of sacrifice, the first based on the approach in Hubert and Mauss’s essay, the second rooted in Durkheim’s earlier views and critical editorial comments on Hubert and Mauss’s ideas. In the process it brings out, through a detailed analysis of the work’s chapters specifically on sacrifice but also on piacular rites, tensions, ambiguities and cross-purposes in the work as a whole. These especially turn round Durkheim’s approach to violence and to the sacrificial offering or gift, and are also evident in his concern with different types of effervescence, the foundational and commemorative, as well as the ‘joyous’ and piacular. The article concludes by linking these tensions with issues at stake in Durkheim’s interest in the French Revolution and account of the role of effervescence in moments of rupture and fundamental social change.
Sacrifice is an act and a concept of considerable importance to contemporary conflict. However, interpretations of the role and nature of sacrifice vary historically, culturally, and situationally. This article discusses the various ways that sacrifice has been interpreted in the anthropological literature, including an analysis of forms of conflict, negotiation, and sacrifice pertaining to Bougainville. Professional conciliators and government emissaries negotiating a solution to the Bougainville conflict brought into play ideologies and processes they often claimed were based on an understanding of indigenous ways of resolving conflict. A critical assessment of this claim discusses the possible effects of the co-option of ritual and traditional means of negotiation and considers what is lost in translation.
A Study of Mortuary Ritual as Sacrifice among the Siberian Chukchi
Jeanette Lykkegård and Rane Willerslev
is not overtaken by tannit . This life-generating mortuary ritual is the focus of this article. Enacted as a ritual blood sacrifice, the Chukchi mortuary ritual serves to transform an ordinary death—which is perceived as a bad death—into a good
Animal Representations and Urban (Dis)orders during the ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’ in Istanbul and Khartoum
Alice Franck, Jean Gardin, and Olivier Givre
Sacrifice as a ‘Human–Animal Relationship’ Among the diverse ways of killing animals for human purposes, 1 sacrifice occupies a singular place due to its generally strongly ritualised character, but also to its widespread presence in most diverse
The hegemony of the 'secular' is challenged through an exposition of the hero rites for the fallen among the Tamil Tigers. Overemphasis on the secular strands in LTTE ideology betrays a textual formalism and disregards the cosmological background of the cultural producers-cum-audience. Such a perspective neglects the embodied practices of Tamil followers. Tamil Saivite worship is permeated by sacrificial symbolism. In Sri Lanka, belief in śakti, divine energy, is displayed in diverse ways that can attract Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists. The rites of Hero Week reveal practices that echo Saivite forms. The LTTE's investment in this event involves massive co-ordination. The climactic moment is a simultaneous act of widespread commemorative grieving. The rite is also an undertaking that mobilizes, remembers, respects, legitimizes, transcends, inspires, and renews.
The Place of Destruction in the Organization of Social Life, Which Means Hierarchy
Frederick H. Damon
something often understood as accumulation. Although it is given different meanings, the place of sacrifice in human organization cannot be contested. From the Moche in coastal Peru to the Cahokia proximate to contemporary St. Louis, pre-Columbian American
Sacrifice, Anti-sacrifice, and the Rearticulations of Conflict in Sri Lanka
sacrifices in combat, there are standing religious mandates to sacrifice and contravening moral injunctions against sacrifice that animate a number of religious entanglements in contemporary Sri Lanka. In this fraught milieu—wherein nationalistic Sinhala
An Alternative Genealogy of <i>The Elementary Forms of Religious Life</i>
Sondra L. Hausner
This article argues that, although we think of Australian tribal ritual as Durkheim’s source material for his masterwork The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, we must also consider the extensive Indological scholarship on which he draws – and with which he debates – as critical inspirations for the text. His extensive engagement with his nephew, Marcel Mauss, whose earlier work, Sacrifice, with Henri Hubert, was premised on an analysis of Vedic ritual, would have been one source for his study of religion writ large; Elementary Forms also takes up in detail the work of Max Müller, among other Indologists, whose work was well known and widely engaged with in the French and broader European intellectual context of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This article argues that the Indological comparative lens was key to Durkheim’s own approach as he worked to articulate the relationship between religion and society; in contrast to the philologists, he argued for the primacy of practice over language in ritual action.