This chapter focuses on the transmission of religious knowledge and practice among the inhabitants of the Toraja uplands and on the shifts in the ideologies of ritual speech apprenticeship occurred during the last one hundred years. While the core of the local aesthetic notions concerning ritual speech has remained largely unchanged throughout the process of religious transformation, the way of representing the transmission of linguistic competence from older to younger generations of ritual spokesmen seems to be undergoing an interesting metamorphosis: competence in ritual speech is increasingly described not as a naturally acquired gift, but as the outcome of an intentional and self-conscious learning process. As I will argue, these new ways of portraying the process through which speechmakers acquire their verbal expertise are deeply related to the process of monetization of the local ritual economy, which started at the beginning of the twentieth century with the introduction in both mortuary and fertility rituals of fund-raising auctions and microcredit associations connected to traditional animal slaughtering and meat distribution. The economic and symbolic changes produced by these new monetary institutions and grass-root capitalist organizations laid the groundwork for the introduction of monetary compensations for ritual speechmakers, which led to a gradual process of professionalization of the traditional ritual specialists. The following pages are devoted to analyzing the relevance of these processes for the development a new form of reflexivity within the Toraja discourse on ritual speech apprenticeship.

Copyright and authorship: Ritual speech and the new market of words in Toraja

Donzelli A.
Primo
2007

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the transmission of religious knowledge and practice among the inhabitants of the Toraja uplands and on the shifts in the ideologies of ritual speech apprenticeship occurred during the last one hundred years. While the core of the local aesthetic notions concerning ritual speech has remained largely unchanged throughout the process of religious transformation, the way of representing the transmission of linguistic competence from older to younger generations of ritual spokesmen seems to be undergoing an interesting metamorphosis: competence in ritual speech is increasingly described not as a naturally acquired gift, but as the outcome of an intentional and self-conscious learning process. As I will argue, these new ways of portraying the process through which speechmakers acquire their verbal expertise are deeply related to the process of monetization of the local ritual economy, which started at the beginning of the twentieth century with the introduction in both mortuary and fertility rituals of fund-raising auctions and microcredit associations connected to traditional animal slaughtering and meat distribution. The economic and symbolic changes produced by these new monetary institutions and grass-root capitalist organizations laid the groundwork for the introduction of monetary compensations for ritual speechmakers, which led to a gradual process of professionalization of the traditional ritual specialists. The following pages are devoted to analyzing the relevance of these processes for the development a new form of reflexivity within the Toraja discourse on ritual speech apprenticeship.
2007
Learning Religion: Anthropological Approaches
141
159
Donzelli A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/787526
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