Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

ritual Related Abstracts

10 Beliefs and Rituals among the Urak Lawoi Sea Gypsies in the Bulon Archipelago, Satun Province

Authors: Srisuporn Piyaratanawong, Suchai Assawapantanakul

Abstract:

This study aims to reflect changes in beliefs and rituals among the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies on the Bulon archipelago of Satun Province that are related to changes of society according to each dimension of time. The historical study was conducted using an oral history approach. The study found that the traditional way of life as itinerants who moved seasonally resulted in their dependence on nature and beliefs in supernatural power, and mysterious powers and superstitions in the belief of ghosts, ancestors, guardian spirits, large banyan trees, life and living, treatment of diseases, king of nagas, and other beliefs. They displayed their respect to supernatural powers through rituals by worshiping, making offerings to spirits and performing Rongeng dance for spirits in return for fulfilling their vows. After World War II (1945), the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies on Bulon archipelago changed their itinerant way of life to permanent settlements. However, their beliefs in supernatural powers and ritual performances remained in existence. Until 1987, when tourism began to spread to the archipelago, some of them gradually turned to make a living with tourism. Moreover, during the last 20 years (from around 1994), Islam has spread among the people. With this social context, the traditional beliefs in supernatural powers have changed to beliefs according to the religion and the way of life that has changed. Thus, when the traditional beliefs and rituals can no longer fulfil the new way of life, they slowly disappear, such as the floating the boat ceremony that has been replaced with new beliefs and rituals according to Islam. Nevertheless, some beliefs and rituals still exist, such as beliefs about treatment of diseases and Rongeng dance for spirits in return for vow fulfilling. In conclusion, the traditional beliefs and rituals of the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies on the Bulon archipelago cannot fulfil the new way of life, and have, thus, brought about changes in beliefs and rituals that are congruent with the current society.

Keywords: belief, ritual, Urak Lawoi, sea gypsy, Bulon Archipelago

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9 Viewers’ Reactions to Excessive Ritual Themes in Nigerian Home Videos: A Portharcourt City Survey

Authors: Godwin Bassey Okon

Abstract:

The need to streamline viewers’ disposition towards the predominant portrayal of rituals, in most Nigerian home videos, as a way of life in the southern part of Nigeria necessitated this study. The focus however was on ascertaining if such portrayals dovetail within the framework of construction of social reality or misconstruction of social reality. In other words, do the people of the southern part of Nigeria engage in rituals as a means of acquiring wealth or do they merely have proclivity for diabolism, as frequently portrayed in home videos subsumed in their socio-cultural settings? The method of study was survey with the questionnaire as the predominant instrument. The questionnaire was used to elicit responses from Portharcourt city residents on their views and reactions in the light of ritual themes in Nigerian home videos. The choice of Portharcourt was informed by the fact that it is a foremost cosmopolitan city in the south. A Sample size of 400 was drawn from a population of 1,382,392 using Taro Yamane’s formula. Actual respondents were reached using a multi-stage cluster sampling technique. The reliability of the instrument as ascertained through Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation stood at 0.89. Findings however revealed that ritual themes, as used in Nigerian home videos, did not significantly reflect the cultural heritage of the people of southern Nigeria. Findings further showed that their excessive use in Nigerian home videos served only to create frills and thrills in plots. A synthesis of the foregoing, however, revealed that viewers are not favourably disposed towards the excessive use of ritual themes since they inadvertently portray the cultural heritage of the people of the south in the negative. To this end, it was recommended that producers of Nigerian home videos should focus more on themes that serve to construct social reality while projecting favorably the rich cultural heritage of the people. In terms of contribution to knowledge, the findings of this study tend to reinforce the notion of film as a conveyor belt in cognitive constructs.

Keywords: ritual, themes, disposition, home videos, social reality

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8 Rituals in Rock Art: Case Study of Bronze Age Rock Art of Gobustan

Authors: Rahman Abdullayev

Abstract:

Rituals took place during the rock art production or in the rock art sites can be found reflection in contemporary culture. But the form of rituals was conducted in association with rock art production still uncertain. The main purpose of this research is to define the form of ritual activities that took place in the rock art sites, by the example of Bronze Age rock art of Gobustan. For ritual activity location of the rocks which were selected for making petroglyphs has important significance. Thus, not all the rocks which were suitable for rock art were used for this purpose. If in Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic periods Gobustan inhabitants executed petroglyphs on the wall of rock shelters, but in Bronze Age they made it on rocks which are in front of the large, open spaces. A recent study of the location of Bronze Age rock art of Gobustan and involving ethnographic information to the interpretation of drawings allows defining the form of rituals which took place in Gobustan at Bronze Age.

Keywords: ritual, Bronze Age, Gobustan, rock art

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7 Archaic Ontologies Nowadays: Music of Rituals

Authors: Luminiţa Duţică, Gheorghe Duţică

Abstract:

Many of the interrogations or dilemmas of the contemporary world found the answer in what was generically called the appeal to matrix. This genuine spiritual exercise of re-connection of the present to origins, to the primary source, revealed the ontological condition of timelessness, ahistorical, immutable (epi)phenomena, of those pure essences concentrated in the archetypal-referential layer of the human existence. The musical creation was no exception to this trend, the impasse generated by the deterministic excesses of the whole serialism or, conversely, by some questionable results of the extreme indeterminism proper to the avant-garde movements, stimulating the orientation of many composers to rediscover a universal grammar, as an emanation of a new ‘collective’ order (reverse of the utopian individualism). In this context, the music of oral tradition and therefore the world of the ancient modes represented a true revelation for the composers of the twentieth century, who were suddenly in front of some unsuspected (re)sources, with a major impact on all levels of edification of the musical work: morphology, syntax, timbrality, semantics etc. For the contemporary Romanian creators, the music of rituals, existing in the local archaic culture, opened unsuspected perspectives for which it meant to be a synthetic, inclusive and recoverer vision, where the primary (archetypal) genuine elements merge with the latest achievements of language of the European composers. Thus, anchored in a strong and genuine modal source, the compositions analysed in this paper evoke, in a manner as modern as possible, the atmosphere of some ancestral rituals such as: the invocation of rain during the drought (Paparudele, Scaloianul), funeral ceremony (Bocetul), traditions specific to the winter holidays and new year (Colinda, Cântecul de stea, Sorcova, Folklore traditional dances) etc. The reactivity of those rituals in the sound context of the twentieth century meant potentiating or resizing the archaic spirit of the primordial symbolic entities, in terms of some complexity levels generated by the technique of harmonies of chordal layers, of complex aggregates (gravitational or non-gravitational, geometric), of the mixture polyphonies and with global effect (group, mass), by the technique of heterophony, of texture and cluster, leading to the implementation of some processes of collective improvisation and instrumental theatre.

Keywords: Improvisation, ritual, archetype, polyphony, instrumental theatre

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6 Mapping the Sonic Spectrum of Traditional Music and Instruments Used in Malaysian Kavadi Rituals

Authors: Ainolnaim Azizol, Valerie Ross

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Music is as old as mankind and rituals using music such as Kavadi have been associated with social, cultural, and spiritual practices in many traditional and modern societies. Recent literature has provided scientific evidence that music affects psychological and physical changes through stimulation of brainwave. Despite such advances, the scientific study of the sonic qualities peculiar to traditional instruments and how it impacts on ritualistic activities is still lacking. This study addresses one such phenomenon. Devotees in Kavadi rituals are known to be in a state of trance state and do not experience pain nor suffer injury despite the hundreds of needles pierced through their skins. Although scientists have sought to understand how this is possible, lesser is known about the music that is used to prepare devotees to enter into the trance state. This study fills this gap of knowledge by providing scientific evidence through the identification and mapping of the sonic spectrum or sound fingerprint of the instruments and the repertoire used in these ritualistic forms in their ethnographic environment and in audio-controlled situations. The objectives are to identify and categorize the different types of traditional music used in Kavadi rituals; to record, transcribe and digitally score the musical repertoire used in the oral tradition of Kavadi rituals; to map the sonic spectrum of ritual music using spectromography and advanced music analytical software a mixed methodology will be used. This comprises ethnographic field studies using interviews, participant observation, audio-video recordings and audio-methodology using spectromography and advanced audio-technology for sonic mapping and the transcription of audio recordings into digital scores.

Keywords: Music, traditional, ritual, sonic, Kavadi

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5 Issues of Time's Urgency and Ritual in Children's Picture Books: A Closer Look at the Contributions of Grandparents

Authors: Karen Armstrong

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Although invisible and fleeting, time is an essential variable in perception. Ritual is proposed as an antithesis to the passage of time, a way of linking our narratives with the past, present and future. This qualitative exploration examines a variety of award winning twentieth-century children’s picture books, specifically regarding the issues of time’s urgency and ritual with respect to children and grandparents. The paper will begin with a consideration of issues of time from the area of psychology, with regard to age, specifically contrasting later age and childhood. Next the value of ritual as represented by the presence of grandparents in children’s books. Specific instances of the contributions of grandparents or older adults with regard to this balancing function between time’s urgency and ritual will be discussed. Recommendations for future research include a consideration of grandparents’ or older characters’ depictions in books for older children.

Keywords: Time, ritual, grandparents, children's picture books

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4 Muhammad`s Vision of Interaction with Supernatural Beings According to the Hadith in Comparison to Parallels of Other Cultures

Authors: Vladimir A. Rozov

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Comparative studies of religion and ritual could contribute better understanding of human culture universalities. Belief in supernatural beings seems to be a common feature of the religion. A significant part of the Islamic concepts that concern supernatural beings is based on a tradition based on the Hadiths. They reflect, among other things, his ideas about a proper way to interact with supernatural beings. These ideas to a large extent follow from the pre-Islamic religious experience of the Arabs and had been reflected in a number of ritual actions. Some of those beliefs concern a particular function of clothing. For example, it is known that Muhammad was wrapped in clothes during the revelation of the Quran. The same thing was performed by pre-Islamic soothsayers (kāhin) and by rival opponents of Muhammad during their trances. Muhammad also turned the clothes inside out during religious rituals (prayer for rain). Besides these specific ways of clothing which prove the external similarity of Muhammad with the soothsayers and other people who claimed the connection with supernatural forces, the pre-Islamic soothsayers had another characteristic feature which is physical flaws. In this regard, it is worth to note Muhammad's so-called "Seal the Prophecy" (h̠ ātam an- nubūwwa) -protrusion or outgrowth on his back. Another interesting feature of Muhammad's behavior was his attitude to eating onion and garlic. In particular, the Prophet didn`t eat them and forbade people who had tasted these vegetables to enter mosques, until the smell ceases to be felt. The reason for this ban on eating onion and garlic is caused by a belief that the smell of these products prevents communication with otherworldly forces. The materials of the Hadith also suggest that Muhammad shared faith in the apotropical properties of water. Both of these ideas have parallels in other cultures of the world. Muhammad's actions supposed to provide an interaction with the supernatural beings are not accidental. They have parallels in the culture of pre-Islamic Arabia as well as in many past and present world cultures. The latter fact can be explained by the similarity of the universal human beliefs in supernatural beings and how they should be interacted with. Later a number of similar ideas shared by the Prophet Muhammad was legitimized by the Islamic tradition and formed the basis of popular Islamic rituals. Thus, these parallels emphasize the commonality of human notions of supernatural beings and also demonstrate the significance of the pre-Islamic cultural context in analyzing the genesis of Islamic religious beliefs.

Keywords: Hadith, ritual, Prophet Muhammad, supernatural beings

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3 From Service to Ritual: Preliminary Development on Conceptual Framework for Designing Ritual

Authors: Yi-Jing Lee

Abstract:

Prior to the development of ritual design tool and framework, this paper establishes a systematic review on the studies related to ritual and ritual design across anthropology, consumer culture, marketing, and design. It is found that following symbolic anthropologists, the ethnographic approach was adapted by consumer culture researchers to study modern rituals and marketers to enhance consumption. In the domain of design, although there are already designers aware of the importance of ritualistic dimension of human interaction, there are little frameworks for conceptualizing and developing rituals. The conceptualized framework and developing tools is proposed and suggestions of applying it is made in the end of the paper.

Keywords: Service Design, ritual, symbolic interaction, ritual design

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2 The Connection between Heroism and Violence in War Narratives from the Aspect of Rituals

Authors: Rita Fofai

Abstract:

The aim of the study is to help peacebuilding by analyzing the symbolical level of fights in the war. Despite the sufferings, war heroism still represents such a noble value in war narratives (especially in literature and films, whether it is high- or popular culture) which can make warfare attractive for every age-group. The questions of the study will revolve around the events when heroism is not a necessary and unselfish act for a greater good, but when the primary aim is to express strength in order to build self-mythology. Since war is a scene where the mythological level can meet reality, and even modern narratives use the elements of rituals and sacral references in even secular contexts, understanding the connection between rites and modern battles will ground this study, and the analysis will follow the logic of the violent rites. From this aspect, war is not merely the fight for different countries and ideas, but the fight of mankind with superhuman and natural or supernatural phenomena, as well. In this context, enemy symbolizes the threat of the world which is unpredictable for mankind, and the fight becomes a ritual combat; therefore the winner’s symbolic reward is to redefine himself or herself not only in the human environment but in the context of the whole world. The analysis of the study reveals that this kind of violence does not represents real heroism and rarely results in recruitment, on the contrary, conserves fear and the feeling of weakness, which is the root cause of this kind of act. The result of this study is a way to reshape the attitude toward so-called heroic war violence which is often a part of war narratives even nowadays. Since stepping out of the war tradition is mainly a cultural question, redefining the connection between society and narratives which has an effect on mentality and emotions, giving a clear guide to making difference between heroism and useless violence is very important in peacebuilding.

Keywords: Culture, War, Violence, Narratives, ritual, heroism

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1 From Ritual to Entertainment: Echoes of Realism and Creativity in Costumes of Masquerades in New Nigerian Festivals

Authors: Bernard Eze Orji

Abstract:

The masquerade, which is the most popular indigenous art form in Africa, is obviously identified by its elaborate, weird, and opulent costumes. The costume is the major essential accouterments in the art of the masquerade. From time past, masquerades have performed and enjoyed the freedom associated with its inscrutability and mystification solely because of its costumes. Noninitiates and women watched masquerades from a distance due to the reverence attached to its costumes and performances. In fact, whether in performance or as an item of art, the masquerade costume was seen as an embodiment of a tradition of liveliness, showiness, secrecy, and sacredness. This liveliness and showiness transformed masked characters who are believed to be possessed by spirits of ancestors and animals that inhabited the costumes. However, with the translocation of masquerade in new festivals such as carnival and state-sponsored cultural days, its costumes have been reduced to a mere item of entertainment and aesthetic values. The sacredness and reverence which hitherto elevated masquerade art to the point of wonderment have given way to an aesthetic appreciation of ingenious and individual creativity deployed in these festivals. This is as a result of the realistic and artistic creations that pervade masquerade costumes and masks in these festivals. It is a common sight to see such masquerades of animal and human genera like a lion, elephant, hippopotamus, and antelope; Agbogho Mmuo, Adamma, and Nchiekwa, respectively. This creative flair has emerged to expunge the ritual narratives associated with masquerades in the past. The study utilized performance analysis and aesthetic theory to establish that the creative ingenuity deployed by fine artists and mask designers who combine traditional artifacts to achieve modern masterpieces for the masquerades of the new festivals have reduced the ritual trappings and hype ascribed to masquerades in indigenous societies.

Keywords: Entertainment, ritual, costume and mask designs, masquerade

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