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SIEF2011 10th Congress: Lisbon, Portugal.
17-21 April 2011

(P230)

Ritual places through the ritual year II

Location Block 1, Piso 0, Room 38
Date and Start Time 19 Apr, 2011 at 11:30

Convenors

Laurent Fournier (University of Aix-Marseille) email
Irina Sedakova (Institute of Slavic Studies, Moscow) email
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Short Abstract

This panel has been built up as an extension of panel P 204. The aim is to question the ways in which individual life-cycle or collective rituals and calendric festivals contribute to the emotional making of places.

Long Abstract

This panel has been built up as an extension of panel P 204. The aim is to question the ways in which individual life-cycle or collective rituals and calendric festivals contribute to the emotional making of places. The ten case-studies in this panel will be grouped in three sessions. One on the sessions will be devoted to life-cycle rituals, specially focusing on youth, initiation rituals and weddings. Another session will concentrate on the ways rituals express identity in a social, political or religious perspective. The last session will examine religious rituals, both past and present, in the European context and abroad. The contributors in this panel are invited to join first panel P 204 for a plenary introduction by the convenor. Thanks to the convenor of panel P 204, a joint conclusion will also take place at the end of the panel, enabling to share the conclusions of both panel P 230 and P 204.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

The sacralization of space

Author: Jack Santino (Sorbonne)  email
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Short Abstract

Permanent monuments are usually assigned to space that is not otherwise felt to be sacred. In this paper I will examine such memorials, particularly the Memorial to the Deported in Paris, and discuss strategies used to create a sense of the sacred.

Long Abstract

Permanent or official memorials are often the sites of popular devotional behavior. My work with spontaneous shrines and grassroots memorialization (Margry and Sanchez-Carretero, forthcoming) has led me to a consideration of official and less ephemeral memorialization.

Permanent memorials and statues often become the sites of popular activities simply by their presence. The many statues of Marianne in Paris serve as focal points for strike demonstrations. After Princess Diana died, sites in many countries associated with the British government or royalty served as focal points for memorializing the deceased former member of the royal family. In many cases, the official meanings of the memorials are inverted or subverted, as statues to former dictators often are.

Space often becomes valorized because of events, such as untimely deaths. The shooting of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords in Arizona resulted in vigils and spontaneous shrines at the scene of the attack, as well as at the hospital she was taken to. Likewise, the site of road fatalities is frequently marked by flowers and religious symbols. But how is space made sacred when there is no precipitating event that metonymically makes it special? Permanent monuments are usually assigned to public space that is not otherwise felt to be sacred. In this paper I will examine such memorials, particularly the Memorial to the Deported in Paris, and discuss some of the strategies used to communicate a sense of sacred space to visitors.

"Here I choose you to be my love(r)": young boys and girls in the circle of communication in front of the church

Author: Kinga Gaspar (Pázmány Péter Catholic University Faculty of Humanities)  email
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Short Abstract

During my fieldwork in Transylvania I have experienced for several times the custom of young people in the village to form a circle after religious feasts in front of the church. Their communication in this circle is strongly related to the initiation of dating ceremonies they practice.

Long Abstract

This circle of communication there is a very important system of codes: it is important how they look at each other, on what position they stand and who they talk to. I also use terms and methods of semiotics and social psychology in my analysis. The system of communication between young boys and girls tending to pick a partner differs according to the place they stand.

The paper would focus on the analysis of this communication and the very important territorial aspects of this communication.

Manufacturing young people's citizenship through political rituals

Authors: Isabelle Csupor (HETS&Sa - éésp -Vaud)  email
Laurence Ossipow Wuest (HETS)  email
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Short Abstract

We propose to analyse the civic and civil ceremonies of reaching adulthood and the meeting of local politicians and young adults. The analysis of these ceremonies, aimed at young people who have turned 18 during the year in Switzerland, offer the opportunity to question political rituals and to submit new models of analysis and interpretations.

Long Abstract

We propose to analyse the civic and civil ceremonies aimed at young people who have turned 18 during the year in Switzerland. First, we will examine this ritualized encounter by describing the different stages and spaces through which young people and local politicians communicate, either during formal events, or during more informal and recreational moments. We will ask different questions, for example how widespread is the referential territory (local, national, transnational) and what imaginary icons (heroic figures; symbols and objects) are mobilized around the concept of citizenship during the ceremonies? Then we will focus more specifically on the analysis of the speeches made by the local politicians to these citizens in the making. Second, from a more diachronic perspective, we will present the results of an analysis focused on articles of two local papers. This perspective will allow us to bring to light the evolution of the ceremony from 1924 towards 2010. Based on previous ethnographical researches on institutionalised rituals (Ossipow 1991, 1997, 2009), we will show how we build a frame of analysis taking advantage of the contributions of authors such as Durkheim, Van Gennep, Bateson, Turner, Goffman, Bell, Rivière, Bourdieu and, more recently, Albert Piette (see for exemple Hermes 2005, 43).

Ritual places: places of inclusion and exclusion?

Author: Jurij Fikfak (ZRC SAZU)  email
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Short Abstract

1. Every year in October the streets of Klagenfurt (Celovec) are used to commemorate the Carinthian Plebiscite of 1920. 2. At the site of J. Haider’s death a commemoration is held every year. Author raises questions about ritual: selfpresentation, inclusion, exclusion, production of conflict and reconciliation.

Long Abstract

Every year on the 10th of October a procession winds through the main streets of Klagenfurt (Celovec). The streets of the city are used to commemorate the Carinthian Plebiscite of 1920, during which inhabitants of Carinthia voted in favor of Austria, one of the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This year, on the 90th anniversary of the plebiscite, there were more than 17.000 active participants in this event of self-presentation and approximately 5-6.000 visitors. From October 10th to 11th of 2008, the then Carinthian governor Joerg Haider died on the street near Klagenfurt (Celovec). A monument to him was erected at the site of his death, and a commemoration held at the monument every year .

In both cases we can raise the question as to who and how is selfpresenting at this site? How far does ritual behavior include Germanness as the Carinthian Self, and to what extent does it exclude the Other either in the form of the region's autochtone minority, ie. Slovenians, or in the form of foreign migrants (Tschetschnia, ...). Is it possible to talk about different structuration of ritual discourse on "German" and "Slovenian" side? How are these sites a source for the ritual production of conflict, and do any new ritual practices in the direction of reconciliation emerge?

Duzijanca: the celebration of ending the harvest as cultural practice and expression of identity

Author: Milana Černelić (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb)  email
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Short Abstract

The paper deals with specific cultural manifestation of the Croat ethnic group Bunjevci in Serbia (county of Voivodina), the celebration of the ending of the harvest called duzijanca, through a holistic view of the variety of social, cultural, religious, political and environmental context within which the event is celebrated.

Long Abstract

The paper deals with specific cultural manifestation of the Croat ethnic group Bunjevci in Serbia (county of Voivodina), the celebration of the ending of the harvest called duzijanca. As part of their cultural heritage it celebrates the sucessful finishing of the harvest being shared by the family members and the reapers, embued with religious dimension, giving thanks to God for the collected crop. Blasko Rajic, the priest in the st. Roko Church in the town of Subotica, brought it into life again and fostered its celebration as the public event in 1911. Since then it continuously exists with occasional ups and downs. Since 1968. it became a public manifestation of the ethnic group Bunjevci and the town of Subotica in various forms and contents during the summer months. It was a separate church and civil celebration up to the 1993. when both aspects of the celebration have been united and enriched with new cultural contents. The paper shortly presents the duzijanca as an public manifestation through historical and contemporary perspective and outlines through a holistic view how the sense of place is embedded in the variety of social, cultural, religious, political and environmental context within which the event is celebrated. It also aims to give the answer in what way is this manifestation, both in past and present, the expression of the identity of the ethnic group Bunjevci in the multicultural environment of the county of Voivodina.

Transformations of ritual community: Romas and the Ilyosha village feast

Author: Ergo-Hart Västrik (University of Tartu)  email
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Short Abstract

This presentation discusses public celebration of the festival of St. Paraskeva Piatnitsa in Ilyosha village situated in the Leningrad oblast of the Russian Federation. What makes this festival special is the fact that the Russian Orthodox religious feast has been taken over by the Roma community.

Long Abstract

In this presentation I will discuss public celebration of the festival of St. Paraskeva Piatnitsa (St. Elijah's Friday) in Ilyosha village situated in the Kingissepp region of the Leningrad oblast, Russian Federation. The annual celebration includes activities in the village church (holy mass and procession) as well as the site of the former chapel (prayers and healing) that was destructed during the Soviet period. What makes this festival special is the fact that the Russian Orthodox religious feast, and the site as a destination of pilgrims from nearby areas, has been taken over by the members of Roma community, who usually do not regard themselves as Orthodox believers.

My research questions concern the historical reasons why Romas have 'occupied' the festival of St. Paraskeva Piatntsa and why do they consider her to be their patron saint? What kind of bodily expressions of Orthodox faith Romas have taken over and how do they carry on local vernacular healing practices related to the site of the former village chapel? How do they explain the holiness of the site and in which respect their versions of the Christian legend deviate from the vernacular versions of other Orthodox believers?

The paper is based on field recordings made in Ilyosha village in 2000 when the research team of the Estonian Literature Museum documented the celebrations of the festival on the videotape. Field recordings included interviews with villagers and pilgrims. Synchronic documentation has been supplemented with some historical investigations.

Rituals in Greek caves through history: from modern case studies to ancient sources

Author: Evy Johanne Håland  email
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Short Abstract

By comparing the modern religious rituals in the Acropolis Cave with the ancient cult of the spring in the actual cave, and exploiting the cult of springs in other Greek and non-Greek caves, the paper will illustrate how people makes places by using old ritual spaces in new ideological contexts.

Long Abstract

In Greece, springs in caves have traditionally shaped, and further featured prominently in religious beliefs and practices. In ancient times springs represented Water-Nymphs. Today springs are dedicated to the Panagia (the Virgin Mary), under her attribute of the Life-giving Spring. Both ancient and modern believers have expressed their beliefs in rituals connected to purity and water by fetching Holy water from the caves dedicated to these female divinities. The water found in these caves is thought to be particularly healing and purifying during the festivals dedicated to the goddesses, this is reflected today in the modern festival dedicated to the "Life-giving Spring", which is celebrated on the first Friday after the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. On this festival Athenians come to Panagia's chapel inside a circular Spring House hewn in the rock on the Southern slope of the Acropolis to fetch Life-giving water. The Sacred Spring is situated inside a cave over which is constructed a church. The cult dedicated to the personified sacred and healing spring-water found in caves, have also been important for political purposes both in ancient and modern Greece, illustrating how people makes places by using old ritual spaces in new ideological contexts.

The paper will compare the importance of the spring in the modern religious rituals in the Acropolis Cave with the ancient cult of the spring in the actual cave. The comparison will also exploit the cult of springs in other Greek caves and similar cult found in parallel non-Greek contexts.

St. Cyril and St. Methodius day: two places of one feast

Author: Ekaterina Anastasova (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, BAS)  email
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Short Abstract

The feast of St. Cyril and St. Methodius has an important place in the national paradigms of the post-socialist space. Its role increases in the context of democratic changes and in the process of European integration, when it develops new (spiritual and secular) "European" dimensions.

Long Abstract

Entire Slavic world celebrates the holiday of St. Cyril and St. Methodius. At the same time they were proclaimed patrons of EU by Pope Paul Joan II (1980).

The festival displays both religious and secular aspects. Each of them is projected in a particular time (May 11/24) and space (the church/civic topoi). Each of these aspects sends a specific message.

The feast has an important place in the national paradigms of the post-socialist churches and states. Its role increases in the context of democratic changes and in the process of European integration, when the feast develops new (spiritual and secular) "European" dimensions.

The paper analyzes the place of the festival of the two saints in the ideological and spiritual space of Europe.

The Lady of the times: how promises make places

Author: Denise Pimenta (USP )  email
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Short Abstract

This abstract intends to present the relation between time/space and the act of paying promises.This research is based in anthropology's methods and theories, so, it makes the ethnography of the biggest Marian Sanctuary of the world which is located in Aparecida do Norte, a city of São Paulo,Brazil.

Long Abstract

"Our Lady of Brazil" - Nossa Senhora Aparecida, patron saint of this country - is an important personage in the life of millions of Brazilians. This saint is protagonist in the life of the people who pay promises. It is known that the words have agency, and verbs make actions. Therefore, when a devotee says: "I promise"; this sentence has power and force to make transformations, this sentence has the force to change the whole world, at least, the world of those who make promises. A promise changes the cycle of quotidian and the cycle of rituals. The time of calendar and the time of ritual go in parallel, until the moment when these two different times come together. This is the moment to pay the promise to Mary, the moment of Her party. But, it is important to say that Mary conduces both times. That is, who makes promise live life waiting the moment to pay it, so, Nossa Senhora is present in the ordinaries days. And, She is also present in the moment of ritual, the moment of party, the moment of processions. There is Her Sanctuary in a small city, which is the place to pay promises. Place that is lived and felt in different ways by each one. These is a performative movement: the verb (to promise) that make times (ordinary/extraordinary times) that make a place, sacred place, place to pay promises. Time to make promises, time to pay promises: times and place of "Our Lady"

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This panel is closed to new paper proposals.