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Ref ID: 28611
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Aijmer, Goran
Title: Rice, death, and chiefly power in central Borneo
Date: 2010
Source: Anthropos
Abstract: The article concerns a description found in an early account of Central Borneo of a “rice dance” among the Kayan people, based on observations made in 1896. This ritual will be analyzed mainly as imagery enacted according to an iconic code. It explores a symbolism of evocative displays of meanings largely beyond language, making manifest other possible worlds. The celebration was connected with the sowing of rice in swiddens. At this time the Kayan chieftaincy displayed, in a series of tableaux vivant, an imaginary narration of rice and divinely inspired authority as related to political power. A chief of divine descent initiated the sowing, and it was in his power to bring together the forces of Heaven, Earth and Underworld into unity to bless the sowing and ensure the growing of rice. Finally, the article offers some brief comparative remarks in the wider Southeast Asian context and points to similarities found in the construction of imagery of political ritual.
Date Created: 10/6/2011
Volume: 105
Number: 2
Page Start: 393
Page End: 410