The rocking of canoe and custom: shifts in Ambonwari's perception of invisible realm, secrecy and village hierarchy

Vavrova, Daniela (2018) The rocking of canoe and custom: shifts in Ambonwari's perception of invisible realm, secrecy and village hierarchy. Journal de la Societe des Oceanistes, 146. pp. 55-62.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: https://journals.openedition.org/jso/876...
 
2


Abstract

This article explores the ways of communicating with the spirits in the Ambonwari village of East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea. Due to the Roman Catholic Church and Catholic charismatic movement, many customary practices have been abandoned over the last twenty years while some are still occasionally performed. One of the latter is kay wurukrarin (rocking canoe). This practice used to be a traditional way of asking the spirit of the land or/and the creek if one was going to catch fish or kill a pig. The current influence of information and communications technology, mobile phones in particular, has had a significant impact on a variety of practices including communication with the spirits. Besides the practice of rocking canoe, I present a case study of a sacrifice and show how certain traditional ways of doing things can be brought back to practice when one suffers. By modifying their perception of the invisible realm, the Ambonwari are also re-arranging village hierarchy.

Item ID: 55368
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1760-7256
Keywords: sensory ethnography; communication, spirits, mobile phones, customary sacrifice, Papua New Guinea, East Sepik province
Copyright Information: © Tous droits réservés
Additional Information:

Abstract (French): Cet article examine les modes de communication avec les esprits au sein du village d’Ambonwari dans la province de l’East Sepik en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Ces vingt dernières années, la présence de l’église catholique et d’un mouvement charismatique a entraîné l’abandon de nombreuses pratiques coutumières. Quelques-unes subsistent encore, dont le kay wurukrarin (le « rocking canoe »), le balancement de la pirogue, qui, suivant la tradition, permettait de demander aux esprits – qui résidaient sur la terre et/ou dans les trous d’eau –, si on allait attraper des poissons outuer un cochon. Les techniques modernes d’information et de communication – en particulier les téléphones portables –, ont bouleversé nombre de pratiques, dont la communication avec les esprits. Outre ce « balancement des pirogues », j’étudie un cas de sacriice et montre comment les pratiques traditionnelles peuvent être réinvesties lorsque qu’une personne est soufrante. En modiiant leur perception du monde de l’au-delà, les gens d’Ambonwari réorganisent aussi la hiérarchie villageoise.

Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2018 23:04
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950205 Visual Communication @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page