This paper investigates how hierarchical differences and prejudices shape communities of nat kana pwe, urban spirit possession ceremonies, in central Burma/Myanmar. Looking at the ideas surrounding Buddhist religious values, gender roles, artistic status, and financial success widespread in Burmese society, the paper argues that hierarchical thinking regulates the social interactions between professional spirit mediums (nat kadaw), musicians of the nat hsaing (drums and gongs ensemble), and spirit devotees. Drawing on the narratives of the participants themselves, the paper discusses how prejudice contributes to modelling the status and prestige of the ritual actors, and how they are able to reverse the normal relationships of power.

Status, Prejudice and Hierarchical Differences in the Communities of the Urban Burmese Spirit Cult

Lorenzo Chiarofonte
2022

Abstract

This paper investigates how hierarchical differences and prejudices shape communities of nat kana pwe, urban spirit possession ceremonies, in central Burma/Myanmar. Looking at the ideas surrounding Buddhist religious values, gender roles, artistic status, and financial success widespread in Burmese society, the paper argues that hierarchical thinking regulates the social interactions between professional spirit mediums (nat kadaw), musicians of the nat hsaing (drums and gongs ensemble), and spirit devotees. Drawing on the narratives of the participants themselves, the paper discusses how prejudice contributes to modelling the status and prestige of the ritual actors, and how they are able to reverse the normal relationships of power.
2022
Lorenzo Chiarofonte
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/865335
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