Van Gennep — страница 2

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end, they received blessings. Through participating in the ordeal of the dance, the girls gain power. This change is expressed in the following chant: “Now you are entering the world. You become an adult with responsibilities” (p. 252). Symbolically, the passage to womanhood is represented by painting the girls’ faces white-the color of purity and Mother Earth. II. Where do Durkheim and Turner find communitas? What creates feelings of solidarity in each? Would they find it in this ritual? If so, where and why? Turner believes that communitas arises out of an ordeal shared by individuals. In the case of the Mescalero puberty ceremony, the primary ordeal is the overnight dancing session. Although not explicitly stated in the article, I can imagine strong feelings of

solidarity would arise among the girls participating in the ritual. Durkheim’s theory of communitas (or “collective consciousness”) begins with his analysis of Australian Aborigine culture (Durkheim, p. 34). A totem is used to represent the community, then rituals are performed which make the totem sacred. There is a circular motion inherent in such religious traditions: the totem, as a reflection of the group, indicates that the group is worshiping itself. The rituals performed elicit feelings of effervescence, integration and revitalization. It is this process that promotes group solidarity, providing a connection to a larger community and that community’s history. I believe that the Mescalero puberty ceremony is better suited to analysis through the Durkheim model.

First of all, the sacred space is a symbol of the Grandfathers. The fourth Grandfather represents humanity: “. . . (O)n the fourth day came man, the Apaches” (p. 243). The Grandfathers and the history of the tribe are integral elements of the ceremony. The ceremony functions to keep the tribe together, functioning as a cohesive unit. The girls discover what roles they must play in this society and what is expected of them as women. For example, it is made clear that they are expected to bear children and to allow themselves to be protected by men. III. Discuss elements which would be of greatest interest to Rosaldo/Atkinson, Ornter, and Gossen. Rosaldo/Atkinson The Rosaldo/Atkinson article places symbols into categories of binary opposition. The dominant binary opposition is

that of man the life-taker and woman the life-giver (Rosaldo and Atkinson, p. 130). Elaborating on this idea, I have divided symbols used in the Mescalero ceremony into the following categories: “Female” is associated with motherhood, fire, the color yellow, the protected, and the center. “Male” is associated with warriorship, poles (or structure, such as a frame), the color red, the protector, and the shield. The Mountain God dancers, for example, use weapons in their dance. It is hoped that the girls participating in the ceremony will give birth to warrior sons. If the girls give birth to girls, it is hoped that these offspring will become mothers of warrior sons. The song tally sticks that are placed outside the fire provide a framework. These sticks are described as a

“pathway replicating the form of the holy lodge and its runway” (p. 251). There is a balance inherent in these divisions. For instance, the colors red and yellow are the basic colors of the universe. However, asymmetry is also evident. A basket-which represents the center and therefore the female-is placed in the center of a circle formed by poles. The girls wait inside the sacred lodge, awaiting direction from the male Singers. Such incidents suggest the necessity of being restrained by and subservient to the males. Furthermore, there are many digressions from the binary categories. At one point in the ritual, the females dance around the males. Here, the men are the center and the women are the shield, or framework ( p. 248). We see that the basket represents the center and

the heart. The heart is also associated with the “left.” But at another point in the ceremony, the males are painted on the left side of their faces and the women on the right. Women have been described as mothers (creators) and men as warriors. Yet it is the men who build the sacred structure and the women who destroy it! Ortner Sherry Ortner uses the term “key symbol” to describe the symbols that are most important to a culture. In order to find key symbols, it is necessary to understand their underlying principles. There are five indicators used to locate key symbols: These symbols are culturally important; arouse positive or negative feelings; come up in different contexts, are elaborated by a culture; and have cultural restrictions placed upon them (Ortner, p.