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The Realm of the Sacred: Verbal Symbolism and Ritual Structures

by Mahapatra, Sitakanta E

  • ISBN: 9780195626100
  • ISBN10: 0195626109

The Realm of the Sacred: Verbal Symbolism and Ritual Structures

by Mahapatra, Sitakanta E

  • List Price: $32.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish date: 09/01/1992
  • ISBN: 9780195626100
  • ISBN10: 0195626109
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Description: In every age of man's recorded history, in each socio-cultural milieu, man has tried to categorize the world in which he lives into the natural, the seen, and the supernatural, the unseen. The latter, the Realm of the Unknown is often looked upon as a sacred realm. This volume is an interesting collection of papers on religious thoughts, incantations, invocations and rituals written by well-known anthropologists. The papers seek to assess and analyse man's concern and involvement with the unseen Realm of the Sacred. Piers Vitebsky's article on the Sora people, a primitive tribe of southern Orissa, seeks to explore the meaning of the spirit of the Sun and gives an interpretation of the role of spirits in general in Sora thought. The paper on the Bakhens, the invocation songs of the Santals of eastern India, analyses all the invocation songs, their ritual structure and verbal symbolism. Marine Carrin-Bouez studies the same culture-area and the same tribe, but goes into a more detailed examination of the semantic structure of the invocations. The Russian social anthropologist V. K. Sokolova's paper is an attempt to analyse the social functions of incantations and invocations. I. K. Surguladze, on the other hand, explores the cosmogonic concepts in the Caucasian people's history with the help of art objects of the early Bronze Age and a wide variety of archaeological data. The cult of fertility and invocations for fertility are a worldwide phenomenon. Frederique Apffel Marglin's paper focuses on a particular Sanskrit verse which is recited as an invocation to make the womb fertile during the performance of a secret worship of the goddess Kali. While discussing the nature of religionsRuth-Inge Heinze observes that the touchstone for testing relationships between elite and folk religions is how individuals of these two major socio-economic groups act in crisis situations. Hermann Kulke draws attention to the manner in which primitive tribal dieties are adopted and merged into an elite or classical system. James J. Preston tries to build a very interesting network with its linkages between varieties of sacred centres in India and seeks to look upon them as a symbolic network. Taking the Vedic god Rudra, classical god Siva and the folk-tribal gods Murukan and Khandoba, Gunther Sontheimer discerns a remarkable continuity between tribal religion, folk religion and high (scriptural) religions.
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