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By Bruce Kapferer
The Sinhalese exorcism rituals are might be the main complicated and the main remarkable in functionality nonetheless extant. For this moment variation, the writer has written a brand new preface and creation during which he argues that the recommendations of therapeutic in Sri Lanka and the aesthetics of this therapeutic can't be diminished to Western psychoanalytic or psychotherapeutic phrases, and develops new and unique methods to ritual and the cultured ordinarily.
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Extra info for A celebration of demons: Exorcism and the aesthetics of healing in Sri Lanka
Sailing ships would stop there en route farther east or west to replenish food and water supplies or to load up with copra. However, the harbor was difficult to navigate, and with the changeover in world shipping from wooden-hulled to iron-hulled ships, it became hazardous. This change together with the greater accessibility of Colombo, particularly to the great tea estates in the highlands, led the major shipping line, the P & O, to abandon Galle in 1882 as a port of call and to transfer to Colombo.
The Buddha has presidential status in all rituals which address supernatural beings, as the organization of gesture and offerings in rituals shows. The Buddha is worshipped with hands on the head or forehead, deities are approached with hands clasped at the chest or further down, while the demons are shown no respectful obeisance at all. Offerings given to the Buddha are white or yellow flowers, rice, and sometimes fruit juices; the deities receive flowers of vivid hues and whole fruit; while demons receive torn flowers and a variety of impure cooked vegetables and meats.
It is these same people who will remark that demon ceremonies are a survival of the past, usually performed today by the poor and uneducated. The class differences in both the a t t i t u d e s towards and p r a c t i c e of exorcism, especially regarding t h e major rites, are a product of an historical process involving many other beliefs, ideas, and p r a c t i c e s of Sinhalese Buddhist c u l t u r e . This historical process was and is one in which t h a t culture became moulded within the developing structural relations of class.
A celebration of demons: Exorcism and the aesthetics of healing in Sri Lanka by Bruce Kapferer