Taming the Wind of Desire: Psychology, Medicine, and Aesthetics in Malay Shamanistic Performance
Charged with restoring harmony and relieving pain, the Malay shaman places his patients in trance and encourages them to express their talents, drives, personality traits—the "Inner Winds" of Malay medical lore—in a kind of performance. These healing ceremonies, formerly viewed by Western anthropologists as exotic curiosities, actually reveal complex multicultural origins and a unique indigenous medical tradition whose psychological content is remarkably relevant to contemporary Western concerns.
Accepted as apprentice to a Malay shaman, Carol Laderman learned and recorded every aspect of the healing seance and found it comparable in many ways to the traditional dramas of Southeast Asia and of other cultures such as ancient Greece, Japan, and India. The Malay seance is a total performance, complete with audience, stage, props, plot, music, and dance. The players include the patient along with the shaman and his troupe. At the center of the drama are pivotal relationships—among people, between humans and spirits, and within the self. The best of the Malay shamans are superb poets, dramatists, and performers as well as effective healers of body and soul.
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achieve trance Allah audience Awake Bestirring Song betel quid body bomoh brother called chap coconut cold cool dalang dance descend Dewa Muda divination familiar spirits father feast flower friends gods gongs Grandsire guard hantu Hantu Raya Hanuman healer healing heat human humoral inang incantation Inner Winds invoke Islamic jinjang jungle Kecil Kelantan king Laderman LAGU Latip listen Long's magical Main Peteri Mak Yong mambang Mat Daud Mat Din means minduk mother Nenek Pak Dogol Pak Long Pak Long Awang palace verandah patient pelesit pengasuh penggawa performance person polong popped rice prayer Prince Princess puppets Raja rebab recite ritual Sang sea spirits seance semangat Semar seven shadow play shaman sick silat speak spoken sung Sweeney teacher Tok Daud Tok Mamat tok teri tonight trance Transition music Trengganu village warrior wayang kulit Yellow