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Description

For most of the Lauje' of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, birth spirits are of primary importance. The spirits inhabit a mother's birth fluids and placenta, nurturing fetuses in the womb and children after birth---or bringing sickness and death if rituals are neglected.

Jennifer Nourse describes how Lauje' from both modernized coastal and isolated highland villages attribute to birth spirits competing meanings that hinge on an individual's gender, social class, and religion. At the beginning of her fieldwork, Nourse collaborated with two Lauje' men whose concepts of birth spirits as divided into good and bad, male and female, or local and foreign categories seemed to prevail in their respective villages. But after both men died, Nourse came to understand that some individuals, most often commoners or female spirit mediums, disagreed with these dualistic views of birth spirits, preferring to focus on the mystery and potency of the spirit world as a whole.

ISBN

9781560988502

Publication Date

1999

Publisher

Smithsonian Institution Press

City

Washington, DC

Keywords

Indonesia birth customs, Lauje rites and ceremonies, Indonesian religion

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Disciplines

Anthropology | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Women's Studies

Comments

Read the introduction to the book by linking to the Read More button above.

Conceiving Spirits: Birth Rituals and Contested Identities among Lauje of Indonesia

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