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The U - ANTH 3126 - Class Notes - Week 2

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The U - ANTH 3126 - Class Notes - Week 2

School: University of Utah
Department: Sociology
Course: Mediterranean Cultures
Professor: Bojka Milicic
Term: Fall 2017
Tags: Anthropology, Mediterranean, Culture, Politics, ritual, carnival, Venice, Italy, and ideology
Name: ANTH 3126 - Week 2: Politics of Ritual
Description: These notes cover all of the course content, including both class lectures and assigned readings, for the second week of the course.
Uploaded: 09/02/2017
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background image ANTH 3126 – Week 2: Politics of Ritual Definitions Key Concepts Locations ­ Burke, "The Carnival of Venice" ­ Note: before 1600, Carnival was no more characteristic of Venice than of Florence, Rome of 
Naples, or indeed of cities elsewhere in the Mediterranean region: Montpellier, for example, 
Barcelona, or Seville.
There was the massive eating and drinking, the license to wear a mask, insult one's  neighbor with impunity, pelt him (or her) with eggs, oranges or lemons, and sing with  double meanings, sexual or political. Of course each city had its local variations on the universal themes of gluttony,  sex, and violence, and its characteristic central events.   Venice  Central events took place in the natural open­air theatre of the Piazzetta; not on Shrove  Tuesday (as was generally the case elsewhere), but on Thursday before Lent, "Fat  Thursday" 13th century Basic structure of the central ritual (Carnival) consisted of three main elements 1. Mock­hunt (pigs and dogs ­ pigs replaced with bulls in 1594) 2. Mock­execution 3. Distribution of food 16th century More references to the hunt, execution, and distribution 1. Minor details changed, but the central ritual of execution survived for  hundreds of years Late 17th century Execution remained Etiological myth Near Venice there was a country called Friuli, which was ruled by a patriarch,  who had attacked Venice. He had been defeated and captured. The executed animals, 
which were sent to Venice every year as tribute, represented him and his twelve 
canons. Note: by the 16th century, if not before, a number of less formal events  had come to cluster around Carnival. This "semi­periphery," as it might be called, included 
chasing bulls through the streets, the production of pageants on different themes, etc.
Note: Carnival was when "the world turned upside down." Porters dressed up as knights, gentleman as bakers, countesses as peasants, etc. Sumptuary laws were suspended (ex. gambling in public, normally forbidden, was permissible) Carnival did not please everyone The devout, the prudish, and those responsible for public order (including the  famous Council of Ten)
background image Many attempts were made to limit "excess" on particular occasions, or over long  term; many of these attempts were associated with the Counter­Reformation 1. Many changes concerned with formality, due to the acts of the noble, took  place in the early modern period Commercialization In the early modern period, more and more tourists came to Venice to see the  Carnival and the festival By the 17th century, there were professional guides who took foreigners round the picture collections of the city On the main road to Venice, in 1502, there were 5 innkeepers; in 1616, there were 27   ­­ Burke, "Rituals of Healing in Early Modern Italy" ­­ Note: there is no general study of the ritual element in healing or the healing element in ritual. Concern (in article) is with ritual as a sequence of actions designed to communicate (at  one level with supernatural forces, at another with the sufferer), and that means  concentrating on unofficial medical specialists, outside the guild of physicians.   
Note: in Italy, as elsewhere in Europe, some therapeutic saints were believed to specialize in 
particular ailments.
The appeal to a saint  Involved not only the recital of a special prayer ­ some of them were printed in the form of broadsheets from the 16th century on ­ but the making and fulfillment of a 
vow.
It was not uncommon to offer an image of the afflicted part of the body at the  saint's shrine, a long­standing tradition in Italy (still alive today) Alternatively, one could leave a picture of the sufferer and the saint  A vow to a healing saint should not be reduced to the gift of an object (central as  it was). A pilgrimage was an important part of the process of appeal to a saint  Form of ritual, often involved mortifying the flesh, by going barefoot, or  climbing the steps to the sanctuary on one's knees, or lick the floor  The procession Ex. beg for an end to a visitation of plague  
Shaman: a healer who has entered his or her profession in a particular way, and is able to make 
journeys in the spirit into the other world. 
 
Santa Margherita If a woman was having a difficult childbirth, a standard procedure was to recite the  legend of Santa Margherita, or to lay the book on the patient's stomach In her legend, she was swallowed by a dragon but emerged safely, just as the baby is  supposed to do
background image Identification with this saint perhaps helped concentrate the attention of the  woman in labor on her own body The active participation of the patient in this symbolic narrative apparently bring  relief  
Exorcists
Any sufferer might appeal to the Virgin and the saints, but the exorcist was called in only  if the malady had supernatural causes Ex. Bewitched, possessed by spirits, possessed by devils, etc.  Epilepsy was frequently perceived as demonic possession Most common official cure Ritual of casting the devils out, performed by a priest (the laity, including "devout women" could bless, but only the clergy could exorcise) Exorcist performed a ritual, in which the patients did not participate Note: it was hard to draw the line between official and unofficial, ecclesiastical and lay,  or between "legitimate" and "superstitious" remedies (in the eyes of the "church," which in  this case means the upper clergy) Unofficial Herbs, music, unconsecrated hosts, tests (whether they were perceived as  "prayers" or "spells")  
Music
Rituals of healing from Haiti, to Central Africa, to Sri Lanka, are generally accompanied  by music, notably drumming and singing Music encourages dissociation from everyday reality, and helps put sufferers (or healers)  into trance, which is often considered necessary for a cure Music also figured in the performances of the best­known Italian healers of the period,  the so­called "charlatans" Charlatans: (essentially) people without medical degrees who sold medicines (and sometimes commodities), in public, accompanying the same with some kind of  performance, in order to attract the attention of the spectators. This performance was largely verbal  ­­> one illustration of the continuing  importance of oral culture in early modern Italy An engraving of 1609 confirms the use by charlatans on Piazza San  Marco  of the masks worn during Carnival   Conflicts Conflict over remedies for plague The traditional clerical remedy, religions processions, evoked increasing  opposition from physicians who were concerned to minimize the occasions for  contagion Conflict involving the two official groups, clergy and physicians, on one side, and the  unofficial healers on the other

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School: University of Utah
Department: Sociology
Course: Mediterranean Cultures
Professor: Bojka Milicic
Term: Fall 2017
Tags: Anthropology, Mediterranean, Culture, Politics, ritual, carnival, Venice, Italy, and ideology
Name: ANTH 3126 - Week 2: Politics of Ritual
Description: These notes cover all of the course content, including both class lectures and assigned readings, for the second week of the course.
Uploaded: 09/02/2017
11 Pages 49 Views 39 Unlocks
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  • 24/7 Homework help
  • Notes, Study Guides, Flashcards + More!
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