Understanding Witchcraft and Sorcery in Southeast Asia

Overview

Witchcraft holds a perennial fascination for scholars and the public at large. In Southeast Asia malign magic and sorcery are part of the routine experience of villagers and urban dwellers alike, and stories appearing in the press from time to time bear witness to a persisting public concern. The essays presented in this volume describe what people believe and what actions result from those beliefs. Not surprisingly, given the range and variety of cultures, considerable differences exist in the region. Among some...
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Hardcover. Brand new book, but without dust jacket. ISBN: 0824815157.

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Overview

Witchcraft holds a perennial fascination for scholars and the public at large. In Southeast Asia malign magic and sorcery are part of the routine experience of villagers and urban dwellers alike, and stories appearing in the press from time to time bear witness to a persisting public concern. The essays presented in this volume describe what people believe and what actions result from those beliefs. Not surprisingly, given the range and variety of cultures, considerable differences exist in the region. Among some cultures, in Thailand and Indonesia for example, sorcerers are said to possess spirits that empower them to cause illness and misfortune. Elsewhere, in Malaysia and Sumatra, the power of the dukun derives from the accumulation of arcane knowledge and mystical practice. Contributors describe the witches and sorcerers they have met and suggest both how their societies look upon them and how we in turn should regard them. Understanding Witchcraft and Sorcery in Southeast Asia will appeal to scholars and students of social anthropology and comparative religion. Its substantial contribution to theoretical and comparative issues in a Southeast Asian context provides a fresh perspective on a stimulating topic.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Ten papers from a September 1989 symposium, Manipulation of Mystical Agency and Explanations of Personal Misfortune, held in Kent, England, and an introduction to the collection. Anthropologists describe the witches and sorcerers they have met in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sumatra, and elsewhere in southeast Asia, and explore their place in their various societies and belief systems. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824815158
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The
  • Publication date: 12/1/1993
  • Pages: 248
  • Lexile: 1450L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction 1
2 The Relativity of Magical Malevolence in Urban Thailand 27
3 Witchcraft, Sorcery, Fortune, and Misfortune among Lisu Highlanders of Northern Thailand 47
4 Witches, Fortune, and Misfortune among the Shan in Northwestern Thailand 67
5 Anger, Anxiety, and Sorcery: An Analysis of Some Nuaulu Case Material from Seram, Eastern Indonesia 81
6 Social and Symbolic Aspects of the Witch among the Nage of Eastern Indonesia 99
7 Observations on the Practice of Sorcery in Java 123
8 Sorcery and the Law in Modern Indonesia 135
9 Knowledge, Power, and Personal Misfortune in a Malay Context 149
10 Return to Sender: A Muslim Discourse of Sorcery in a Relatively Egalitarian Society 179
11 Perceptions from Within: Malign Magic in Indonesian Literature 191
Author Index 213
Subject Index 217
Contributors 221
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