Combat, Ritual, And Performance

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This is the first book to describe martial arts and martial behaviors as serious topics deserving of serious study. Although there have been a number of readers dealing with warfare, this is the only one that, among other things, focuses on the warrior, both ancient and modern.

Presents a collection of readings which introduce the study of martial behaviors in a cross-cultural context. The subject matter ranges from a consideration of the warclub as weapon and status symbol among the chiefdoms of the American Southwest at the time of European contact to contemporary ritual warfare in the highlands of Bolivia.

All over the world, warriors have left their mark on culture. Their codes of behavior become the basis of diplomacy, models of service, and courage in the protection of social institutions. Chivalry in the West arose from the codes of the noble knights and ^IBushido^R, (The Way of the Warrior), the Bible of the Samurai, still serves as the basis of etiquette in modern Japan. In practically every society myths and tales of culture heroes who are warriors are important in the enculturation and socialization of children. Martial arts, which are stylized behaviors displaying techniques related to those practiced on the battlefield, are considered here to be more about culture, art, and history than about fighting.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897897792
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/2002
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID E. JONES is Professor of Anthropology, University of Central Florida.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Toward a Definition of the Martial Arts
1 Toward a Theory of Martial Arts as Performance Art 1
2 The Ayyars: Warriors of Seistan (Afghanistan) 11
3 Competitive Performance and Cultural Identity in Southwest Tanzania 21
4 The Women's Army of the Dahomey 53
5 Wave People: The Martial Arts and the American Imagination 65
6 Pehlwani: Indian Wrestling and Somatic Nationalism 81
7 Ritual and the Ideal of Society in Karate 99
8 Dangerous Encounters: Ritual Battles in Andean Bolivia 119
9 Theater of Combat: A Critical Look at the Chinese Martial Arts 153
10 Bwang: A Martial Art of the Caroline Islands 175
11 War Clubs and Falcon Warriors: War Club Use in Southeastern Native American Chiefdoms 209
12 Herding the Ox, Wielding the Sword 223
Index 235
About the Contributors 239
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