Massage And Bushman Shamanism

Evening talk

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Chris Low

Massage And Bushman Shamanism

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 18:45

The Bushmen of southern Africa are widely recognised as 'shamans'. Whilst this is a valuable way of describing their cosmology and healing, the terms 'shaman' and 'shamanism' are far from precise descriptions of what Bushmen actually think and do. In this talk I wish to discuss massage practices among Bushmen to provide both a more thorough introduction to Bushmen and Bushman healing, but also to highlight the contingent ways that scholars frame and write up their fieldwork experiences and interpretations. The talk will include brief film clips of a massage performance among Bushmen.

Evening talk information

Our evening talks include discussion, are free and open to all.

Next evening class

Chris Knight

A Plains Indian Myth: When Women Lost Their Power
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 18:45
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square. map

'The Wives of the Sun and Moon' is one of the key myths of Claude Levi-Strauss' monumental study, Mythologiques. This evening will begin with a story-telling followed by a workshop and class discussion to decode the message of the myth. Originally, according to the Arapaho Indians of North American Plains, marriage was not a fixed state but a periodic alternation between one kind of relationship and another, a once-a-month honeymoon followed each month by divorce and re-union with kin. Everything started going badly wrong when hunting and gathering gave way to gardening, the lunar calendar gave way to a seasonal/solar rhythm - and womankind became subject to wedlock as a permanent state.