AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

The power of transcendence : an analysis of the literature on Iban shamanism

by Penelope Graham

Institution: Australian National University
Year: 2013
Record ID: 1032453
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/10422


This thesis explores the cultural logic of Iban shamanism. To introduce the study, I discuss the concept of shamanism, summarize some basic ethnographic data on the Iban and comment on the nature of the source materials and my use of them. I then examine, in Chapter 1, the definitions and interpretive accounts of shamanism offered, to date, in the literature on the Iban. In Chapter 2, I discuss the ritual language chants, which form part of shamanic rites. In Chapter 3, I analyse the actions of the Iban shaman (manang) in a range of ceremonies, including those for the initiation of a shaman (bebangun). This is followed, in Chapter 4, by an enquiry into the symbolic significance of the transvestism of the transformed shaman (manang bali). In the final chapter, I discuss the social and cultural context of Iban shamanism and endeavour to explicate the relationship between shamanism and, what I see as, certain features, characteristic of Iban culture…