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Volume 16 (2022): Issue 1 (June 2022)

Volume 15 (2021): Issue 2 (December 2021)

Volume 15 (2021): Issue 1 (June 2021)

Volume 14 (2020): Issue 2 (December 2020)

Volume 14 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)

Volume 13 (2019): Issue 2 (December 2019)

Volume 13 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)

Volume 12 (2018): Issue 2 (December 2018)

Volume 12 (2018): Issue 1 (June 2018)

Volume 11 (2017): Issue 2 (December 2017)

Volume 11 (2017): Issue 1 (June 2017)

Volume 10 (2016): Issue 2 (December 2016)

Volume 10 (2016): Issue 1 (June 2016)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 11 (2017): Issue 1 (June 2017)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

10 Articles

Special Issue: Contemporary Ritual Landscapes

Open Access

‘Blood’ Kinship and Kinship in Christ’s Blood: Nomadic Evangelism in the Nenets Tundra

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 151 - 169

Abstract

Abstract

The article addresses a conflicting encounter of two ideologies of kinship, ‘natural’ and ‘religious’, among the newly established Evangelical communities of Nenets in the Polar Ural and Yamal tundra. An ideology of Christian kinship, as an outcome of ‘spiritual re-birth’, was introduced through Nenets religious conversion. The article argues that although the born-again experience often turned against ancestral traditions and Nenets traditional kinship ties, the Nenets kinship system became a platform upon which the conversion mechanism was furthered and determined in the Nenets tundra. The article examines missionary initiatives and Nenets religiosity as kin-based activities, the outcome of which was twofold. On one side, it was the realignment of Nenets traditional kinship networks. On other side, it was the indigenisation of the Christian concept of kinship according to native internal cultural logic. Evangelical communities in the tundra were plunged into the traditional practices of Nenets kinship networks, economic exchanges, and marriage alliances. Through negotiation of traditional Nenets kinship and Christian kinship, converted Nenets developed new imaginaries, new forms of exchanges, and even new forms of mobility.

Keywords

  • kinship
  • blood
  • Nenets indigenous people
  • Evangelical Christianity
  • missionary movement
  • Russian Arctic
Open Access

Notes and Reviews. The Concept of Work in Yupik Eskimo Society Before and After the Russian Influx: A Linguist’s Perspective

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 170 - 177

Abstract

Open Access

Preface to the Special Issue

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 3 - 3

Abstract

Open Access

Introduction: Enquiries Into Contemporary Ritual Landscapes

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 5 - 17

Abstract

Abstract

‘Landscape’ and ‘ritual’ have been largely discussed in the social and human sciences, although their inter-relatedness has gained little scholarly attention. Drawing on earlier studies of ritual and landscape, as well as the authors′ own ethnographic works, ‘ritual landscape’ is suggested here as a useful analytical tool with which to understand how landscapes are produced, and how they, in their turn, produce certain types of being. ‘Ritual landscape’ recognises different modalities of agency, power-relation, knowledge, emotion, and movement. The article shows how the subjectivity of other-than-human beings such as ancestors, earth formations, land, animals, plants and, in general, materiality of ritual contexts, shape landscapes. We argue that ways of perceiving landscape includes a number of material and immaterial aspects indicated by ways of moving through landscapes and interacting with different human and non-human subjects that come to inhabit the world, creating relations and producing agentive ensembles and complexes.

Keywords

  • ritual landscape
  • non-human agency
  • materiality
  • immateriality
  • belonging
  • relationality
Open Access

Landscape and Gods Among the Khanty

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 19 - 38

Abstract

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine Khanty spatial ritual behaviour in the context of the simultaneous application of different ideas about sacred landscape. I aim to demonstrate the functional pattern behind handling seemingly ambivalent characteristics of cosmological models in the tangible ritual performance of the Khanty, an indigenous people inhabiting the taiga and forest taiga zone of Western Siberia. I explore three cases in which the concept of sacred topography is applied among the Khanty by exploring two public ceremonies of reindeer sacrifice and one episode of a post-funeral rite. It appeared that the spatial conceptualisation is different in different rituals. During sacrificial ceremonies, the Khanty position the Upper World in the southern direction, while in the case of death rituals, the Upper World is projected towards upstream of a river, even if it remains in the north. Studying different spatial orientations during rituals provides a methodological key for approaching other concepts of vernacular belief among Siberian indigenous communities.

Keywords

  • the Khanty,reindeer
  • sacrifice
  • ritual
  • landscape
  • sacred topography
  • worldview
Open Access

The Living Camera in the Ritual Landscape: The Teachers of the Tatuutsi Maxakwaxi School, the Wixárika Ancestors, and the Teiwari Negotiate Videography

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 39 - 64

Abstract

Abstract

In this article, we outline the meanings modern Wixárika institutions, such as the school and the museum, may receive as parts of ritual landscape and how the community-based videos shot in the context of these institutions may increase our understanding of ritual landscapes in general. We discuss how ritual landscape can be researched using community-based documentary video art in a way that takes the ontological conceptions of the human and non-human relations of the community seriously. In this case, we understand community-based video art as artistic research in which the work is produced with the community for the community. The making of art, discussed in this article, is a bodily activity as it includes walking with a camera in the Wixárika ritual landscape, interviewing people for the camera, and documenting the work and rituals of the pupils, teachers, and the mara’akate (shaman-priests) planning the community-based museum.

Keywords

  • Wixárika,deified ancestors
  • community museum
  • communitybased art
  • videography
Open Access

Initiations in the Burmese Ritual Landscape

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 65 - 82

Abstract

Abstract

In Buddhist Burma, a variety of ritual has been found pertaining to quite differentiated aspects of religion. This rich ritual landscape remains under-examined due partly to the Buddhist-studies bias of most of the scholars looking at religion in Burma. In this paper, I develop comparative analysis of a class of ritual, namely that of initiation, in three components of Burmese religion: Buddhist monasticism, Buddhist esotericism, and spirit worship. At least from the present analytic perspective, the three components considered could be taken as encompassing the entire Buddhist religious sphere in Burma. Looking at initiation rituals in these three ‘paths’ is a means of understanding how they frame contrasting kinds of differently valued religious practice, and of showing that, although not often discussed, rituals do matter in Burma because they help to distinguish categories of action according to their relative religiosity. By doing so, I aim to give a sense of the real diversity of the Burmese ritual landscape, which until recently was rarely taken into account, and to contribute to the on-going debate in the field of Buddhist studies on what could be encapsulated as the question of Buddhism and spirit cults in Southeast Asian Theravada.

Keywords

  • Buddhist esotericism,Buddhist monasticism
  • Burmese religion
  • initiation rituals
  • spirit worship
Open Access

The Israeli-Palestinian Separation Wall and the Assemblage Theory: The Case of the Weekly Rosary at the Icon of Our Lady of the Wall

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 83 - 110

Abstract

Abstract

In this work I analyse the ethnographic case study of the icon of Our Lady of the Wall as establishing a unique ritual landscape among the cement slabs of the Israeli-Palestinian Wall separating Jerusalem from Bethlehem. Although the Wall has been widely described as a technology of occupation on one side and as a device to ensure security on the other, through Latour’s concept of assemblages I unearth its agency in developing a Christian shrine. Through a decade of weekly recitations of the Rosary along the Wall near Checkpoint 300, the Elizabethan nuns of the Caritas Baby Hospital have been invoking Mary’s help to dismantle the Wall. This weekly ritual represents both political dissent against the bordering action enacted by the Wall, as well as giving visibility to the plea of the Palestinian Christian right to live in this territory in the face of their status as an ethnoreligious minority.

Keywords

  • Israel-Palestine
  • Our Lady of the Wall
  • assemblages
  • bordering
  • Elizabethan nuns of the Caritas Baby Hospital
  • shrine
  • ritual

Regular Articles

Open Access

“Je Suis Charlie” and the Digital Mediascape: The Politics of Death in the Charlie Hebdo Mourning Rituals

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 111 - 126

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines rituals of mourning in the digital mediascape in the case of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, 2015. The idea of the digital mediascape draws on Arjun Appadurai’s (1990) seminal work on mediascape and develops it further in the current framework of digital media. Rituals of mourning are approached as a response and a reaction to the anxiety and distress caused by the unexpected violent death of global media attention. The phenomenology of ritual practices in Charlie Hebdo is characterised as multi-layered, relational and coexisting. The article looks in particular at the ritual mourning in association with the message and the meme “Je suis Charlie”. The ‘imagined worlds’ created around the digital circulation of this ritual message are discussed in relation to the idea of the politics of death formed around such fundamental value-laden questions as whose life counts as life and is thus worthy of public recognition of mourning, as Judith Butler (2004) has asked.

Keywords

  • digital mediascape
  • politics of death
  • mourning rituals
  • Charlie Hebdo
Open Access

The Postpartum Tradition of Sawa Mahina in Rural Punjab, Pakistan

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 127 - 150

Abstract

Abstract

The Punjabi postpartum tradition is called sawa mahina (‘five weeks’). This study investigates infant health care belief practices in rural Punjab and looks at the social significance of infant care beliefs practiced during sawa mahina. During six months of fieldwork, using participant observation and unstructured interviews as primary research methods, the study explored the prevalent postpartum tradition from a childcare perspective. A Punjabi child holds a social value regarding familial, religious, and emotional values. The five-week traditional postpartum period provides an insight into mother-child attachment, related child care belief practices, and the social construction of infancy. A child’s agency is recognised in the embodied mother-child relationship, and a child is seen in a sympathetic connection with the mother. Establishing an early foundation of ascribed identities is another important part of postpartum belief practices.

Keywords

  • postpartum tradition
  • social construction of infancy
  • sawa mahina
  • infant care belief practices
  • mother-child sympathetic connection
10 Articles

Special Issue: Contemporary Ritual Landscapes

Open Access

‘Blood’ Kinship and Kinship in Christ’s Blood: Nomadic Evangelism in the Nenets Tundra

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 151 - 169

Abstract

Abstract

The article addresses a conflicting encounter of two ideologies of kinship, ‘natural’ and ‘religious’, among the newly established Evangelical communities of Nenets in the Polar Ural and Yamal tundra. An ideology of Christian kinship, as an outcome of ‘spiritual re-birth’, was introduced through Nenets religious conversion. The article argues that although the born-again experience often turned against ancestral traditions and Nenets traditional kinship ties, the Nenets kinship system became a platform upon which the conversion mechanism was furthered and determined in the Nenets tundra. The article examines missionary initiatives and Nenets religiosity as kin-based activities, the outcome of which was twofold. On one side, it was the realignment of Nenets traditional kinship networks. On other side, it was the indigenisation of the Christian concept of kinship according to native internal cultural logic. Evangelical communities in the tundra were plunged into the traditional practices of Nenets kinship networks, economic exchanges, and marriage alliances. Through negotiation of traditional Nenets kinship and Christian kinship, converted Nenets developed new imaginaries, new forms of exchanges, and even new forms of mobility.

Keywords

  • kinship
  • blood
  • Nenets indigenous people
  • Evangelical Christianity
  • missionary movement
  • Russian Arctic
Open Access

Notes and Reviews. The Concept of Work in Yupik Eskimo Society Before and After the Russian Influx: A Linguist’s Perspective

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 170 - 177

Abstract

Open Access

Preface to the Special Issue

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 3 - 3

Abstract

Open Access

Introduction: Enquiries Into Contemporary Ritual Landscapes

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 5 - 17

Abstract

Abstract

‘Landscape’ and ‘ritual’ have been largely discussed in the social and human sciences, although their inter-relatedness has gained little scholarly attention. Drawing on earlier studies of ritual and landscape, as well as the authors′ own ethnographic works, ‘ritual landscape’ is suggested here as a useful analytical tool with which to understand how landscapes are produced, and how they, in their turn, produce certain types of being. ‘Ritual landscape’ recognises different modalities of agency, power-relation, knowledge, emotion, and movement. The article shows how the subjectivity of other-than-human beings such as ancestors, earth formations, land, animals, plants and, in general, materiality of ritual contexts, shape landscapes. We argue that ways of perceiving landscape includes a number of material and immaterial aspects indicated by ways of moving through landscapes and interacting with different human and non-human subjects that come to inhabit the world, creating relations and producing agentive ensembles and complexes.

Keywords

  • ritual landscape
  • non-human agency
  • materiality
  • immateriality
  • belonging
  • relationality
Open Access

Landscape and Gods Among the Khanty

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 19 - 38

Abstract

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine Khanty spatial ritual behaviour in the context of the simultaneous application of different ideas about sacred landscape. I aim to demonstrate the functional pattern behind handling seemingly ambivalent characteristics of cosmological models in the tangible ritual performance of the Khanty, an indigenous people inhabiting the taiga and forest taiga zone of Western Siberia. I explore three cases in which the concept of sacred topography is applied among the Khanty by exploring two public ceremonies of reindeer sacrifice and one episode of a post-funeral rite. It appeared that the spatial conceptualisation is different in different rituals. During sacrificial ceremonies, the Khanty position the Upper World in the southern direction, while in the case of death rituals, the Upper World is projected towards upstream of a river, even if it remains in the north. Studying different spatial orientations during rituals provides a methodological key for approaching other concepts of vernacular belief among Siberian indigenous communities.

Keywords

  • the Khanty,reindeer
  • sacrifice
  • ritual
  • landscape
  • sacred topography
  • worldview
Open Access

The Living Camera in the Ritual Landscape: The Teachers of the Tatuutsi Maxakwaxi School, the Wixárika Ancestors, and the Teiwari Negotiate Videography

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 39 - 64

Abstract

Abstract

In this article, we outline the meanings modern Wixárika institutions, such as the school and the museum, may receive as parts of ritual landscape and how the community-based videos shot in the context of these institutions may increase our understanding of ritual landscapes in general. We discuss how ritual landscape can be researched using community-based documentary video art in a way that takes the ontological conceptions of the human and non-human relations of the community seriously. In this case, we understand community-based video art as artistic research in which the work is produced with the community for the community. The making of art, discussed in this article, is a bodily activity as it includes walking with a camera in the Wixárika ritual landscape, interviewing people for the camera, and documenting the work and rituals of the pupils, teachers, and the mara’akate (shaman-priests) planning the community-based museum.

Keywords

  • Wixárika,deified ancestors
  • community museum
  • communitybased art
  • videography
Open Access

Initiations in the Burmese Ritual Landscape

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 65 - 82

Abstract

Abstract

In Buddhist Burma, a variety of ritual has been found pertaining to quite differentiated aspects of religion. This rich ritual landscape remains under-examined due partly to the Buddhist-studies bias of most of the scholars looking at religion in Burma. In this paper, I develop comparative analysis of a class of ritual, namely that of initiation, in three components of Burmese religion: Buddhist monasticism, Buddhist esotericism, and spirit worship. At least from the present analytic perspective, the three components considered could be taken as encompassing the entire Buddhist religious sphere in Burma. Looking at initiation rituals in these three ‘paths’ is a means of understanding how they frame contrasting kinds of differently valued religious practice, and of showing that, although not often discussed, rituals do matter in Burma because they help to distinguish categories of action according to their relative religiosity. By doing so, I aim to give a sense of the real diversity of the Burmese ritual landscape, which until recently was rarely taken into account, and to contribute to the on-going debate in the field of Buddhist studies on what could be encapsulated as the question of Buddhism and spirit cults in Southeast Asian Theravada.

Keywords

  • Buddhist esotericism,Buddhist monasticism
  • Burmese religion
  • initiation rituals
  • spirit worship
Open Access

The Israeli-Palestinian Separation Wall and the Assemblage Theory: The Case of the Weekly Rosary at the Icon of Our Lady of the Wall

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 83 - 110

Abstract

Abstract

In this work I analyse the ethnographic case study of the icon of Our Lady of the Wall as establishing a unique ritual landscape among the cement slabs of the Israeli-Palestinian Wall separating Jerusalem from Bethlehem. Although the Wall has been widely described as a technology of occupation on one side and as a device to ensure security on the other, through Latour’s concept of assemblages I unearth its agency in developing a Christian shrine. Through a decade of weekly recitations of the Rosary along the Wall near Checkpoint 300, the Elizabethan nuns of the Caritas Baby Hospital have been invoking Mary’s help to dismantle the Wall. This weekly ritual represents both political dissent against the bordering action enacted by the Wall, as well as giving visibility to the plea of the Palestinian Christian right to live in this territory in the face of their status as an ethnoreligious minority.

Keywords

  • Israel-Palestine
  • Our Lady of the Wall
  • assemblages
  • bordering
  • Elizabethan nuns of the Caritas Baby Hospital
  • shrine
  • ritual

Regular Articles

Open Access

“Je Suis Charlie” and the Digital Mediascape: The Politics of Death in the Charlie Hebdo Mourning Rituals

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 111 - 126

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines rituals of mourning in the digital mediascape in the case of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, 2015. The idea of the digital mediascape draws on Arjun Appadurai’s (1990) seminal work on mediascape and develops it further in the current framework of digital media. Rituals of mourning are approached as a response and a reaction to the anxiety and distress caused by the unexpected violent death of global media attention. The phenomenology of ritual practices in Charlie Hebdo is characterised as multi-layered, relational and coexisting. The article looks in particular at the ritual mourning in association with the message and the meme “Je suis Charlie”. The ‘imagined worlds’ created around the digital circulation of this ritual message are discussed in relation to the idea of the politics of death formed around such fundamental value-laden questions as whose life counts as life and is thus worthy of public recognition of mourning, as Judith Butler (2004) has asked.

Keywords

  • digital mediascape
  • politics of death
  • mourning rituals
  • Charlie Hebdo
Open Access

The Postpartum Tradition of Sawa Mahina in Rural Punjab, Pakistan

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Page range: 127 - 150

Abstract

Abstract

The Punjabi postpartum tradition is called sawa mahina (‘five weeks’). This study investigates infant health care belief practices in rural Punjab and looks at the social significance of infant care beliefs practiced during sawa mahina. During six months of fieldwork, using participant observation and unstructured interviews as primary research methods, the study explored the prevalent postpartum tradition from a childcare perspective. A Punjabi child holds a social value regarding familial, religious, and emotional values. The five-week traditional postpartum period provides an insight into mother-child attachment, related child care belief practices, and the social construction of infancy. A child’s agency is recognised in the embodied mother-child relationship, and a child is seen in a sympathetic connection with the mother. Establishing an early foundation of ascribed identities is another important part of postpartum belief practices.

Keywords

  • postpartum tradition
  • social construction of infancy
  • sawa mahina
  • infant care belief practices
  • mother-child sympathetic connection

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