Ritual Practices

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The implications of ritual practices and ritual plant uses on nature conservation: a case study among the Naxi in Yunnan Province, Southwest China

The implications of ritual practices and ritual plant uses on nature conservation: a case study among the Naxi in Yunnan Province, Southwest China

There is rich knowledge of local festivals and ritual plants use in Baidi. Ritual plants play a major role in Naxi people ’ s festivals and daily life. Our study show the live ritual activities and the beliefs of the residents are keeping the plant diversity and the entire forest in Baishuitai preserved as sacred mountains. Now religious beliefs represent a descending trend among the younger generation. We think strengthening knowledge of and respect for traditional beliefs and publicity of sacred natural sites can increase tourism. The increase in eco- nomic activity with more tourist flow and demand of mediator may motivate youngster to learn their indigen- ous culture. Continuation of the ritual practices has significant potential for natural resources conservation. Therefore, it is reasonable to keep alive the traditional beliefs and practices that can significantly contribute to the rural development and nature conservation. We seek to emphasize traditional belief and an alternative view of conservation that is not led mainly by governmental policies, as local practices and ritual plants uses play as constant reminders to the Naxi on nature conservation.
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Symbolism and ritual practices related to hunting in Maya communities from central Quintana Roo, Mexico

Symbolism and ritual practices related to hunting in Maya communities from central Quintana Roo, Mexico

The Loojil Ts’oon ritual is structurally complex in its richness of material objects, prayers, and symbolisms. It contains and links elements of both Mayan cosmovision and catholic tradition and it involves diverse members of the community that might participate actively or not. Most of its acts occur around the sacred space. This space constitutes the so-called “ceremonial or ritual de- posit” (depósito ritual o ceremonial in Spanish), which in the recorded Ritual consists of a table and the space that surrounds it (Fig. 2). According Danièle Dehouve (Pers. Comm., 2011), this concept implies that ritual practices of Mesoamerican indigenous peoples, from pre-Hispanic times and living on to this day, are composed of much more than simple or random acts. The expressions and manipulation of objects on the floor or on the furniture is not done by chance nor are these artifacts deemed simple gifts. These objects go well beyond the role of acting as offerings (from the Latin offerenda: things to be given). Additionally, this implies that sacrifice is not necessarily the central aspect of the Ritual, but rather another act within it [61]. Groups like the Chontal, the Mixe, the Nahua, the Totonac, and the Tlapanec, among
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Images and Objects in Ritual Practices in Medieval and Early Modern Northern and Central Europe. Editors Krista Kodres, Anu Mänd. Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2013.

Images and Objects in Ritual Practices in Medieval and Early Modern Northern and Central Europe. Editors Krista Kodres, Anu Mänd. Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2013.

a little more than a year ago, in october 2013, Images and Objects in Ritual Practices in Medieval and early Modern northern and central europe, a col- lection of articles edited by krista kodres and anu Mänd, was published by Cambridge scholars Press. the collection is comprised of the mate- rial presented at the fourth conference dedicated to art historian sten karling that took place in tallinn in autumn 2012.

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Islam, traditional beliefs and ritual practices among the Zaghawa of Sudan

Islam, traditional beliefs and ritual practices among the Zaghawa of Sudan

My research,though it intendsto explain the religious changesamong the Zaghawasociety from' an anthropological perspective, which usually focuses on the particularistic aspects of 'a gro[r]

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Ritual uses of palms in traditional medicine in sub-Saharan Africa: a review

Ritual uses of palms in traditional medicine in sub-Saharan Africa: a review

Palms (Arecaceae) are prominent elements in African traditional medicines. It is, however, a challenge to find detailed information on the ritual use of palms, which are an inextricable part of African medicinal and spiritual systems. This work reviews ritual uses of palms within African ethnomedicine. We studied over 200 publications on uses of African palms and found information about ritual uses in 26 of them. At least 12 palm species in sub-Saharan Africa are involved in various ritual practices: Borassus aethiopum, Cocos nucifera, Dypsis canaliculata, D. fibrosa, D. pinnatifrons, Elaeis guineensis, Hyphaene coriacea, H. petersiana, Phoenix reclinata, Raphia farinifera, R. hookeri, and R. vinifera. In some rituals, palms play a central role as sacred objects, for example the seeds accompany oracles and palm leaves are used in offerings. In other cases, palms are added as a support to other powerful ingredients, for example palm oil used as a medium to blend and make coherent the healing mixture. A better understanding of the cultural context of medicinal use of palms is needed in order to obtain a more accurate and complete insight into palm-based traditional medicines.
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Beyond the commonality and expression of Oromo civilization: the mediating role of Gada system for commons management of natural resources

Beyond the commonality and expression of Oromo civilization: the mediating role of Gada system for commons management of natural resources

Moreover, Gada and other Oromo rituals are performed under odaa (Sycamore tree); the site is protected in a fully natural state (Hinew, 2012; Kalbessa, 2001; Hann et al., 2008; Legesse, 1973; Jalata, 2010). Besides the ritual activities, the sycamore tree (odaa) is a place where political, religious and social gatherings undertaken and serving as the symbol of Oromo identity. The myth claims Odaa had been a tree under which Waaqaa (God) re-established his relation and revealed the laws; domicile of natural sprit and scarification were mainly for rain, fertility and success in socio-economic, political and religious matters of Oromo (Hinew, 2012). Both Gada system and nature are interdependent in spite of independent movement of Gada system and natural resource management. Despite ritual practices, socio-economic, political and military role of Gada governance for nature conservation, Gada leaders sometimes dependent of the natural resource management institutions for the proper functioning of the system and to have a direct access to the community at grass root level (Legesse, 1973) because the daily operation of range land management and well administration have very significant contribution in the life of Borana Oromo. Decentralization of Commons Management of Natural Resource Management in Gada System: A Gada Model Natural resource management among Borana Oromo is based on democratic system of Gada system (developed in strict association with the natural resources for pastoral livelihoods): democratic selection of leadership; training through ritual activity; formation of law; participatory and transparent decision making in different assemblies. Having defined
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The Role of the Repeat in the Bear Feast in Traditional Khanty Culture

The Role of the Repeat in the Bear Feast in Traditional Khanty Culture

We follow a broad understanding of the repeat principle underlying traditional culture as a way of preserving the culture and entire world order. Indeed, numerous repeti- tions of ritual songs fix in the mind a certain image of reality, which acts as a model. All activities should be undertaken in accordance with these models. Different kinds of art reflect the reality and secure important patterns in culture. The image of reality, stable and unchanging, is imprinted in the consciousness of a person, who carries out all his activities according to this model.

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Does ritual exist? Defining and classifying ritual based on belief theory

Does ritual exist? Defining and classifying ritual based on belief theory

The two propositions echo that time of one-line evolutionary theory and Weber’s rationalization theory. Gluckman hopes to answer the generating question through the degree of differentiation in social roles. According to this hypothesis, it is easy to ar- range the Nuer, Na, Yiche, and Han into a sequence of degree of social differentiation degree from low to high. This order also represents their degree of social development and rationalization. Unfortunately the degree of social role differentiation is not accur- ate enough to make an evaluation of the whole society. Even if we can say the Nuer is in a lower degree of social differentiation, it is hard to prove that Na, Yiche, and Han villagers have obvious differences in degree. When we focus on a particular ethnic group such as the Yiche, it is easy to find their social life filled with ritual activities. The Yiche not only have a large number of religious ritual experts, but ordinary people also bear the task of some certain rituals such as sacrificial rituals within the family house. So can we include the Yiche in a highly ritualized society? Why is it difficult to observe the existence of adult rituals in a society with highly complex funeral rituals? Why is there such a large gap between the same society’s treatment of different roles? From Gluckman ’ s proposition we can easily deduce that with modernization and rationalization processes the society will abandon rituals, but this claim has already been falsified. Religion and ritual have not been ended due to the secular (Stark and Bainbridge 1985). To this day it is highly ritualized that English people still talk about the weather (Fox 2004). Gluckman's theory inherits the genetic defect of functionalism theory: it cannot provide an effective explanation for the diversity and ritual changes in various ethnic groups. Noting the limitation of functionalism, Turner returns to the psychological way that Gluckman criticized, risking excessive interpretation and exten- sive use of psychoanalysis, and finally made a hodgepodge of functionalism, psychology, and structuralism (Turner 1967).
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Ritual and Performance in the Study of Nations and Nationalism

Ritual and Performance in the Study of Nations and Nationalism

In the fourth chapter, Jonathan Hearn argues that, rather than simply examining their content, greater emphasis should be placed on exploring the form of rituals. Hearn’s contribution also provides an excellent discussion on the definition of ritual. Unlike Smith and Fox, Hearn is not concerned with questions about the design and reception of rituals, rather, by drawing on the ritual of competition in liberal national states to illustrate his case, Hearn emphasises the significance of underlying ritual processes. For Hearn, formalised competition is the defining ritual for core liberal political and economic institutions (e.g. elections and markets), as well as a cultural trope that permeates society as a whole, in education, sports, entertainment and the arts. Hearn’s underlying argument, therefore, is that we need to look beyond the more overt civic rituals that affirm national identity and social solidarity (e.g. national days, funerals of public figures, pilgrimages to historic sites, etc.), and look for those rituals that, in their very form, affirm and dramatize the constitution of society.
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Ritual and religion: bioarchaeological perspectives

Ritual and religion: bioarchaeological perspectives

understood and enmeshed in different contexts. It is not only food, however, but also drinks and other intoxicants and hallucinogenic drugs that are often part of ritualised and religious activities, contributing to a range of sensory experiences. Substances that alter the mood or consciousness can engender intense experiences that can be interpreted within cosmological schemes and as gateways to the supernatural (Sherratt 1991, 51-2) as well as impact social structures and relations. A range of psychoactive plants have been identified in a variety of periods and areas as part of rituals or shamanistic practices, including hemp (Cannabis sp.), opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.), blue water lily (Nymphaea nouchali Burm. f. var. caerulea (Sav.) Verdc.) and mandrake (Mandragora officinarum L.), by combining archaeobotanical with various other lines of evidence (see Merlin 2003 for a comprehensive review). Few studies, however, have explored their sensory contribution within specific ritualised contexts. Hamilakis (1998) was the first to discuss this from an archaeological perspective, suggesting that food and alcohol consumption were significant components of mortuary feasting in Bronze Age Crete, acting as embodied mnemonic devices. He argued that the combination of the acute emotions resulting from a charged context, such as that of burial and death, and those from food and drink would enhance the experience and support the processes of remembering and forgetting in relation to death that would in turn actively contribute to the
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Ritual as a method of social memory content transfer

Ritual as a method of social memory content transfer

One of the first scientists studying collective memory was M. Halbwachs. In his work “Social memory framework” he presents theoretical underpinning of both individual and collective memory existence. According to M. Halbwachs, despite their close interrelation, collective memory is capable of turning round individual memory, however, it does not intermingle with them following its own laws. M. Halbwachs devotes the whole chapter of the given book to mechanisms of memory formation and reconstruction of the past. He made the statement that our memory is not reproduction of the past experience but its reconstruction [12]. On the basis of the given statement it is possible to assume that rituals of memory allow the society or a social group to implement such reconstruction. According to M. Halbwachs, it is necessary to understand the viewpoint of the group transferred from the individual self, as well as to see how a certain fact becomes memorable while entering the range of national interests. We memorize the event form our childhood when we realize others feel excited about it [12]. Thus the position of M. Halbwachs allows considering a ritual as a mechanism to create a specific emotional atmosphere for memorizing the event and reconstruction of the past in memory of an individual. On the basis of the research conducted by M. Halbwachs, we can draw two conclusions: 1) The role of a ritual in social memory is not only in recording, but also in transmission of essential social information. 2) A ritual is capable of creating specific atmosphere for memorizing, and participation in a ritual act allows reconstructing the past.
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Between Ritual and Elegance: The Perception of Chinese Ritual Bronzes in Korea

Between Ritual and Elegance: The Perception of Chinese Ritual Bronzes in Korea

Koryŏ 高麗 (918–1392) is known for its highly sophisticated production of celadon. Among them, Koryŏ celadon in the shape of Chinese bronzes presents a significant trend in appreciating Chinese material culture on the Korean peninsular. What inspired the Koryŏartisans to produce celadon in the shape of Chinese ritual bronzes? Why did the Koryŏ court commission its artisans to produce celadon in the shape of Chinese ritual bronzes? What impact did the circulation and appropriation of images of ancient objects have on artistic developments? By answering these questions, this study aims to show the complex dynamics of political, social, and cultural aspiration during the Koryŏ dynasty and to reconstruct the cultural significance of the collecting of Chinese bronzes in Korea. Focusing on the historical circumstances in which Chinese ritual bronzes were imported, consumed, and venerated, it examines how royalty and the scholar- official class initiated the production and use of Koryŏ celadon. By then investigating the variations in shapes and decorative patterns of ritual vessels produced during the Koryŏ dynasty, this study demonstrates that the ruling elite involved in the production process appropriated Chinese ancient bronze forms in response to the social and cultural demands.
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Medea in Etruscan Art

Medea in Etruscan Art

The rejuvenation of Jason by Medea is pictured on the Etruscan olpe, with an Etruscan ritual of 676. rejuvenation and rebirth being read beyond it (this ritual is known [r]

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The Immoral Sati Ritual

The Immoral Sati Ritual

figure, though stylized, capture the essence of pain‖ (―Saving the Victim‖ 51). No one wants to feel the pain of burning to death. It is so torturous, it is a crime that the woman was allowed to end her life in such a manner. As expressed by Anne Hardgrove, the ritual is ―barbaric‖ and ―culturally backward‖ (―Sati Worship‖ 728). It is rejected by Hindu society today, because Hindus value life over a violent tradition that is a misinterpretation of a myth.

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Materialising ritual : a visual investigation of the evocative power of ritual objects, through the medium of cloth and thread

Materialising ritual : a visual investigation of the evocative power of ritual objects, through the medium of cloth and thread

The Praying Hand Protectors, for example invent new imaginary ritual objects, and focus on the symbolic power of ritual objects rather than physical power; in the Piscina and My Heart is[r]

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Disco Apocalypse : Liminal Fictoscapes and Hatricks: Where did the White Rabbit Go?

Disco Apocalypse : Liminal Fictoscapes and Hatricks: Where did the White Rabbit Go?

My intention in this chapter was to propose that the PhD novel and exegesis, Disco Apocalypse form a coordinated ritual event; a magical practice of ritual that ignites a journey into th[r]

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Ritual space as borderland: building and breaching ritual borders in eastern central Gujarat

Ritual space as borderland: building and breaching ritual borders in eastern central Gujarat

Earlier versions of this essay were presented at the annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religion in Södertörn, Sweden in August 2012 and the annual meeting of the Dharma Association of North America (DANAM) in Chicago in November 2012. I am grateful for the comments received there. Thanks are due, as always, to the people in Chhotaudepur taluka without whose assistance and toleration this essay would not have been possible. I must especially acknowledge here Bahubhai Harijan (Moti Sadhli), Subhash Ishai (Chhotaudepur), Arjun Rathva (Moti Sadhli), Ashvinbhai Rathva (Kanalva), Dashrath Rathva (Kocvad), Desing Rathva (Rangpur), Haribhai Rathva (Malaja), Kocar Rathva (Gabadiya), Madhu Rathva (Vanar), Mansing Rathva (Malaja), and Paresh Rathva (Kavant), who, in introducing me to Rathva ritual borders, helped me to cross cultural ones. I must also express my thanks to Dr. Alice Tilche, then a doctoral student at SOAS, with whom I visited many sites and from whose insights I have benefited. Thanks are due, too, to the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Vadodara, and the Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh, for repeated hospitality, and once again to Subhash Ishai, with whom I have discussed all of these topics and many more in detail; he has kindly read through the manuscript with a fine-toothed comb and corrected at least some of my mistakes. Fieldwork in India has been generously supported by the U.S. Fulbright Program (2009), the Faculty Development Committee of McDaniel College, Westminster, MD, and the research program Indigenous Religion(s): Local Grounds, Global Networks, at the University of Tromsø, supported by funds from the Norwegian Research Council.
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Ontology of African Ritual

Ontology of African Ritual

Being the conveyor of the value of the society, ritual ought to endure. Thus for any ritual to endure (that is, stand the test of time), it must have a rigid character such that it does not give way or change indiscriminately. It must persist amidst novelty. This is why V. W. Turner (1962) calls it “quintessential custom”. Freud sees ritual as “obsessive action, comparable to that of neurotics” (cited in Bo- cock, 1974). Though, as observed by Bocock, there are apparent resemblance between neurotic ceremonials and the sacred acts of religious rituals but the dif- ferences are equally obvious as to make the comparison sacrilegious. For in- stance, Bocock (1974) observes among other reasons, the fact that, it is collective and is distinct in this respect from the obsessive acts of neurotics. Again, the minutiae of religious ceremonial are full of significance and have symbolic meaning, while those of neurotics seem foolish and senseless. In this respect “an obsessional neurosis presents a travesty, half comic and half tragic, of a private religion” For Max Gluckman (1962), the term ritual is reserved for ceremony with a specific reference to mystical motions, which Bocock (1974) explicitly re- fer to as “religious rituals”.
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Ritual Process

Ritual Process

My art is a means for investigating the passage of time, the decay of physical things, and the truth of mortality. I explore these concepts through process-oriented sculptures that emphasize ritual and material. The process is communicated with the creation of relics, often existing as drawings or the remains of degenerated sculptures. These relics bear witness to the process. I focus on themes of temporal change and death because they remain central to our metaphysical and physical existence. I see a diminished reverence for the power of death in our culture, and through my work I aim to pay homage to death while offering viewers an experience of “being present,” a deeper awareness of our existence in time. The mindfulness I speak of is an
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'Ibadan   a model of historical facts': militarism and civic culture in a Yoruba city

'Ibadan a model of historical facts': militarism and civic culture in a Yoruba city

Usually, this ®gure was mythically associated with a past migration from Ile-Ife.33 This ancient town maintains a long-standing role in ritual and ceremonial religious practices; some pe[r]

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