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anthropology english

Ritual

Yongho Kim
Anth248: Anthropology of Religion
October 1, 2003

Boyer distinguishes ritual from other human action in that rituals follow a specific rule, and a performed in a specific manner and place, and with a specific instrumentation. (231) Failure to comply with scripts is believed to lead to a vague danger, and so practitioners follow ritual steps with particular zeal. (Boyer 236).

Although Boyer has not specified it, I believe that rituals create a sense of “urgency” precisely because the dangers of otherwise not following them are not specified. Because the danger is not described, and human imagination tends to fill in the details, the hyperreactive propensity of the mind (145) will most likely believe that a nonspecific danger is a risky danger.

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anthropology english

Multivocality

Yongho Kim
October 8, 2003
Anthropology (248) of Religion

Our author Hicks tells us that blood is a multivocal symbol, and this makes it particularly useful in ritual contexts. What IS a “multivocal symbol”? How have cultures used blood to transmit powerful religious concepts? (Use specific ethnographic examples to illustrate your discussion.) Can you think of another entity or substance that, like blood, is a multivocal symbol used in ritual context? (Illustrate your points with specific examples.)

A multivocal symbol is that which is referred to from different conceptual schemes. (Hicks 203) In Hicks and his choice of ethnographies, blood may be invoked to bring about the images of fertility, productivity, purification and forgiveness of sins, sexuality, initiation, and salvation.

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anthropology english

Film Review of Lumumba

Film Review of Lumumba
Anthropology 258: African Societies
Yongho Kim

I have seen Lumumba as a traditional film containing the ten years before and immediately following the independence of DRC. In other words, the fact that the theme was based in Africa did not tweak the way in which the narrative itself was presented, as it happens often with other movies focusing in the “underdeveloped” nations. I especially liked the way in which the urban and rural Congo was depicted, because it didn’t fix with the notion of a barren land.

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anthropology english

Gender – China

Intro. To talk about current issues of gender inequality in China is to talk about the consequences of a quickly developing socialist society with a patriarchal, agriculturally intensive and confucianist tradition.