The Tarob and the sacred oath. Liminal spirits and stories creating heterotopic spaces in Dusun culture

Potter, Martin (2017) The Tarob and the sacred oath. Liminal spirits and stories creating heterotopic spaces in Dusun culture. Etropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics, 16 (1). pp. 112-124.

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Abstract

This article explores two stories told during the production of the transmedia documentary project Big Stories, Small Towns: Bongkud-Namaus in the Dusun villages of Bongkud and Namaus in Sabah, Malaysia. Both stories relate to hungry and sacred entities – an atomised, monstrous moon-eating spirit called the Tarob, and a sacred oath bound in blood, which eats anyone who breaks it. The article will introduce the Big Stories, Small Towns project, the process that underpins this project and the site of production in Sabah of one iteration of the Big Stories, Small Towns, before analysing heterotopic conceptions associated with aspects of folklore in the Southeast Asian region. Providing a theoretical framework that reflects upona key text by Evans (1953) – an early translator of Dusun folklore for Western audiences – aspects of Dusun culture will be explored that illuminate details of the two case study stories. An historical and theoretical treatment of the stories will frame a fusion of transmedia and folklore in manifesting liminal beings to emergence. This fusion of transmedia and folklore facilitates representation and remediation of cultural identities, thus enabling a wider society – in this case Malaysian society – to develop a more nuanced cultural awareness of itself.

Item ID: 49071
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-2940
Keywords: heterotopia, interactive digital storytelling, liminality, transmedial storytelling, digital storytelling, liminal states: altered representation of Space, Henri Lefebvre, transmedia storytelling, transmedia, Sabah, Dusun culture
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Funders: Australia Malaysia Institute
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 02:21
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190205 Interactive Media @ 20%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture @ 40%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200202 Asian Cultural Studies @ 40%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950204 The Media @ 20%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 50%
89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8904 Media Services > 890403 Internet Broadcasting @ 30%
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