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Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMFSouth Korean Popular Religion in Motion$
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Laurel Kendall

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833435

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833435.001.0001

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Of Hungry Ghosts and Other Matters of Consumption

Of Hungry Ghosts and Other Matters of Consumption

Chapter:
(p.154) 6 Of Hungry Ghosts and Other Matters of Consumption
Source:
Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF
Author(s):

Laurel Kendall

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833435.003.0006

This chapter explores as contradictory impulses the desire for and the moral disdain of new wealth and what it can buy. Shamans, gods, and ancestors enact this contemporary paradox through the medium of material goods. Through the aperture of offerings, and offerings turned into props, new marketplace commodities (e.g. exotic fruit, foreign whisky, chocolates) enter ritual space. As static offerings, such goods index changing tastes and the ability to finance them. When taken up as props, these same objects provoke mime and commentary about and around the things themselves, no less than does the more traditional kut fare of pigs' heads and tubs of rice cake. More generally, a focus on props enriches interpretations of shamanic and mediumistic rituals as emergent, situation-contingent performances, a theme that runs through this entire study.

Keywords:   shamans, shamanic practice, shamanism, kut, material goods, physical props

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