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Negotiation of Legitimacy of Witch-Finders in Lusaka

Abstract

The article aims at legal and illegal activities of Lusaka´s traditional healers within the system of traditional medicine which is primarily anchored in the constitution of traditional healers´ associations. It primarily focuses on witch-finders, whose social status, professional position and authority is constantly negotiated within the formal and informal sector of traditional medicine. Since the late 1990s, the quest for services of traditional healers specialised in witch-finding has gained popularity, particularly amongst the impoverished Lusaka compound-dwellers. Due to the increasing public violence against those denoted as witches, the activities of witch-finders were officially banned by the Witchcraft Act in 1995 and this profession is not officially recognised by the Constitution of Traditional Health Practitioners Association of Zambia (THAPAZ). In spite of the prohibition, there remain many witch-finders in Lusaka who practise witch-finding secretly, in order not to commit an offence they do not openly denounce the name of an alleged witch. Their authority and credibility is threatened by many “official” as well as “unofficial” competitors in the city and it must be constantly reaffirmed and negotiated by introducing innovations. The ability to keep clients and to gain a good reputation thus depends on the originality of their diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. At the same time witch-finders must counter diverse obstacles and uncertainties resulting from their illegal status within the sector of traditional medicine. The author analyses tactics that Lusaka´s witch-finders have developed and employed to negotiate their social status, credibility and authority visà-vis the competition from the “official” traditional healers.

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Cross-Cultural Filmmaking as a Process of Self-Reflection: Filming Native Americans within Central European Space’s Prevailing Imagery of the “Noble Savage”

: Transaction Publishers, pp. 313-332. FISHER, D. M. (2002): Lacrosse: A History of the Game. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. FLUEHR-LOBBAN, C. (ed.) (2003): Ethics and the Profession of Anthropology: Dialogue for Ethically Conscious Practice. Lanham: Altamira Press. GINSBURG, F. (1995): The Parallax Effect: The Impact of Aboriginal Media on Ethnographic Film. In. Visual Anthropology Review 11:2, pp. 64-76. GRIMSHAW, A. (2001): The Ethnographer´s Eye: Ways of Seeing in Modern

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Curators With and Without Collections : A Comparative Study of Changes in the Curator’s Work at National Museums in Finland and in the Baltic States

Abstract

Traditionally, the curator’s work has been in close connection with the main functions of the museum - preservation, research, and communication. The changes that have occurred at museums over the past few decades have also influenced the profession of curator. Specialisation has taken place inside the museum, and so the curator’s functions have also changed. This article focuses on the curator’s field of work at national museums in Finland and in the Baltic states. The analysis is mainly based on interviews conducted with curators and other museum professionals at the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian History Museum, the National History Museum of Latvia, the National Museum of Lithuania, and the National Museum of Finland. Emanating from the PRC model provided by the Reinwardt Academy as well as the global changes induced by the new museology, the focus is on the curator’s connection with museum collections. The analysis shows that the curator’s role is not similar in all the museums under discussion; there are regional differences in structure, curatorial duties, and priorities. While at some museums the curator is regarded as a collection keeper who can also do some research, at others they are rather researchers and have only infrequent contact with collections.

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