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Title: Magico-religious beliefs and practices in primitive society : a sociological interpretation of their therapeutic aspects
Author: Stewart, Kilton Riggs
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 221X
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1947
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The Temiar Senoi live on the Perak-Kelantan divide which forms the main mountain system of the Malay Peninsula. They number about ten thousand, live in communal long houses, and practise shifting dry-land cultivation, each long house forming a lineage segment of a kindred group which owns an area of communal land called the enka. Authority in the long house and the saka is normally patrilineal, ownership of land and resources bilineal. Private enterprise gives private ownership over things made, grown, or gathered in the communal territory. They have a well-developed shamanistic cult or priesthood in which the men gain status as they acquire spirit guides in dreams who teach them songs, dances, and magical rites which they can teach their fellows and perform as ceremonial culminating in group "spirit" possession and individualistic healing rites. Encouraged by adult interest and interpretation, dreams become an important feature of the social life of the child and are used as instruments for his socialization, education, and therapy. In the life of the young adult, dreams become the focus of economic and ceremonial activity and the are used by th older leaders of the group as an instrument for shaping group policy and changing group ideology and behavior, These Senoi magico-religious beliefs and practises are compared with those of the Negritos of the Zambales Mountains of eastern Luzon, Philippine Islands, who live in small roving bands or in newly formed settlements established by government in the foothills, and with those of the Yami who inhabit the island of Botel- Tobago off the southeast tip of Formosa. The Yami - seven hundred in number - live in seven small villages. They have private ownership of terraced taro patches, communal ownership of the village plot, and corporate ownership of fishing facilities, a democratic political organization, and a highly abstract religion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available