by V TURNER — Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structurej. Roy Wagner, Lethal Speech: Daribi Myth as Symbolic Obviation. *Also available in a Cornell
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TUC RITI IA I 111 LB. 11 1 1 %J i \ L» Pi””^ /^®% H & ^^^^ ^^^r ^^^y v^Š^g Structure and Anti-Structure VICTOR TURNER The Lew/s Hen/y Morgan Lectures | 7966 presented at The University of Rochester, Rochester, New York Cornell Paperbacks Cornell University Press ITHACA, NEW YORK lite.*..-

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SYMBOL, MYTH, AND RITUAL SERIES General Editor: Victor Turner Raymond Firth, Symbols: Public and Private* Eva Hunt, The Transformation of the Hummingbird: Cultural Roots of a Zinacanlecan Mythical Poem Bennetta Jules-Rosette, African Apostles: Ritual and Conversion in the Church of John Maranke* Sally Falk Moore and Barbara G. Myerhoff, eds., Symbol and Politics in Communal Ideology: Cases and Questions^ Barbara G. Myerhoff, Peyote Hunt: The Sacred Journey of the Huicho’l Indiansj Victor Turner, Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Socielyj Victor Turner, Revelation and Divination in Ndembu Ritual^ Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structurej Roy Wagner, Lethal Speech: Daribi Myth as Symbolic Obviation *Also available in a Cornell Paperbacks edition. tAvailable from Cornell University Press only in a Cornell Paperbacks edition.

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To the memory of Allan Holmberg this book is respectfully dedicated. Copyright © ig6g by Victor W. Turner Foreword to Cornell Paperbacks edition copyright © 1977 by Cornell University All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in a review, this book, or parts thereof, must not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher. For information address Cornell University Press, 124 Roberts Place, Ithaca, New York 14850. First published ig6g by Aldine Publishing Company. First published, Cornell Paperbacks, 1977. Seventh printing 1991. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data (For library cataloging purposes only) Turner, Victor Witter. The ritual process. (Symbol, myth, and ritual series) (Cornell paperbacks ; CP-163) Reprint of the ed. published by Aldine Pub. Co., Chicago, in series: The Lewis Henry Morgan lectures, ig66. Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Rites and ceremonies. I. Tide. II. Series: The Lewis Henry Morgan lectures ; 1966. [GN473.T82 1977] 301.2’1 76-56627 ISBN 0-8014-9163-0 Printed in the United States of America © The paper in this book meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information SciencesŠ Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.

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Foreword to the Cornell Paperbacks Edition Recently both the research and theoretical concerns of many anthropologists have once again been directed toward the role of symbolsŠreligious, mythic, aesthetic, political, and even economicŠin social and cultural processes. Whether this revival is a belated response to developments in other disciplines (psychology, ethology, philosophy, linguistics, to name only a few), or whether it reflects a return to a central concern after a period of neglect, is difficult to say. In recent field studies, anthropologists have been collecting myths and rituals in the context of social action, and improvements in anthropological field technique have produced data that are richer and more refined than heretofore; these new data have probably challenged theoreticians to provide more adequate explanatory frames. Whatever may have been the causes, there is no denying a renewed curiosity about the nature of the connections between culture, cognition, and perception, as these connections are revealed in symbolic forms. Although excellent individual monographs and articles in symbolic anthropology or comparative symbology have recently appeared, a common focus or forum that can be provided by a topically organized series of books has not been available. The v

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vi FOREWORD present series is intended to fill this lacuna. It is designed to include not only field monographs and theoretical and comparative studies by anthropologists, but also work by scholars in other disciplines, both scientific and humanistic. The appearance of studies in such a forum encourages emulation, and emulation can produce fruitful new theories. It is therefore our hope that the series will serve as a house of many mansions, providing hospitality for the practitioners of any discipline that has a serious and creative concern with comparative symbology. Too often, disciplines are sealed off, in sterile pedantry, from significant intellectual influences. Nevertheless, our primary aim is to bring to public attention works on ritual and myth written by anthropologists, and our readers will find a variety of strictly anthropological approaches ranging from formal analyses of systems of symbols to empathetic accounts of divin-atory and initiatory rituals. This book is based on the Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures at the University of Rochester which I delivered in 1966. It was in the course of these lectures that I crossed the threshold between the study of ritual in an African tribal context and the analysis of processual symbols in cross-cultural and transtem-poral terms. The Ritual Process and subsequent books of mine have produced their share of controversy over the years. More than once I have been accused of overgeneralizing and of misapplying concepts like “liminality” and “communitas.” These terms, it is argued, may adequately describe or account for social and cultural processes and phenomena found in prelit-erate societies, but have limited use in explaining sociocultural systems of much greater scale and complexity. To attempt to answer such criticisms is probably a futile exercise. I am unable, however, to resist quoting the adage “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” This book has been cited repeatedly by scholars in such diverse fields as history, the history of religions, English literature, political science, theology, and drama, as well as in anthropological and sociological books and articles concerned with ritual and semiotics, particularly in African contexts; its reception encouraged me to extend the

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FOREWORD Vll comparative enterprise. In Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors, another work in the Symbol, Myth, and Ritual series, several case studies are based on the assumption, first developed here, that society is a process rather than an abstract system, whether of social structural relations or of symbols and meanings. Society, moreover, is a process in which any living, relatively well-bonded human group alternates between fixed andŠto borrow a term from our Japanese friendsŠ”floating worlds.” JBy^erbaL—and_jip—nv£r^al_means of dassm^cadon^^e^impose xupjpn.purselyes innumerable constraints and boundaries to keep chaos at bay, but often at the cost of failing to makejiis-,_cpveries and inventions: that is -to say ..noLall instances. of sub-, version of the normative are deviant or criminous. Yet-in-order jto live, to breathe, andjp.generate.novelty, human beings have had to createŠby structural meansŠspaces and times in the calendar or, in the cultural cycles of their most cherished -groups which cannot be captured in the classificatory nets of .their quotidian, routinized spheres.oLaction.. These_Jmiinal time and spaceŠrituals, carnivals, dramas, and latterly filmsŠare open to the play of thought, feelings and_wjll;Jn them are generated new models, often fantastic, some of which may have sufficient power and plausibility to replace eventually the force-backed political and jural models that control the centers of a society’s ongoing life. The antistructural liminality provided in the cores of ritual and aesthedc forms represents the reflexivity of the social process, wherein society becomes at once subject and direct object; it represents also its subjunctive mood, where suppositions, desires, hypotheses, possibilities, and so forth, all become legitimate. We have been too prone to think, in static terms, that cultural superstructures are passive mirrors, mere reflections of substructural productive modes and relations or of the political processes that enforce the dominance of the productively privileged. If we were as dialectical as we claim to be, we would see that it is more a matter of an existential bending back upon ourselves: the same plural subject is the active superstructure that assesses the substructural and structural modalities that we also are. Our concreteness, our substantiality is with us in our

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Contents Planes of Classification in a Ritual of Life and Death Paradoxes of Twinship in Ndembu Ritual 44 Liminality and Communitas 94 Communitas: Model and Process 131 Humility and Hierarchy: The Liminality of Status Elevation and Reversal 166 Bibliography 204 Index 209

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1 Planes of Classification in a Ritual of Life and Death MORGAN AND RELIGION It must first be said that for me, as for many others, Lewis Henry Morgan was one of the lodestars of my student days. Everything he wrote bore the stamp of a fervent yet pellucid spirit. But, in undertaking to deliver the Morgan Lectures for 1966, I was immediately conscious of one profound, and it might seem crippling, disadvantage. Morgan, though he faithfully recorded many religious ceremonies, had a marked^ disinclination to give the study of religion, the same piercing attention he devoted to kinship and politics. Yet religious beliefs~and pracfices~weie themain subject matter of my talks. Two quotations especially emphasize Morgan’s attitude. The first is taken from his seminal classic Ancient Society (1877): “The growth of religious ideas is environed with such intrinsic difficulties that it may never receive a perfectly satisfactory exposition. Religion deals so largely with the imaginative and emotional nature, and consequently with such uncertain elements of knowledge, that all primitive religions are grotesque and to some extent unintelligible” (p. 5). The second consists of a passage from Merle H. Deardorff’s (1951) scholarly study of the religion of Handsome Lake. Morgan’s account of Handsome Lake’s syncretic gospel in his book League of the I

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2 The Ritual Process Ho-de-no-sau-nee or Iroquois was based on a set of notes made by young Ely S. Parker (a Seneca Indian, who was later to become General Ulysses S. Grant’s military secretary), consisting of the texts and translations of Handsome Lake’s grandson’s Good Message recitals at Tonawanda. According to Deardorff, “Morgan followed Ely’s notes faithfully in reporting what Jimmy Johnson, the prophet’s grandson, said, but he departed widely from Ely’s glosses on it and itsceremonialaccompaniment” (p. 98; see also WilliamFenton, 1941, PP- I5I-I57)-The correspondence between Morgan and Parker shows that if Morgan had listened more carefully to Ely, he might have avoided the general criticism of his “League” made by Seneca who read it: “There’s nothing actually wrong in what he says, but it isn’t right either. He doesn’t really understand what he is talking about.” Now, what did these Seneca “really” mean by these extraordinary remarks, which seem to be addressed to Morgan’s work on the religious, rather than the political, aspects of Iroquois culture. To my mind, the Seneca comments are related to Morgan^s_djsiciisLoLthe_llimag–. inative and.emotional.” his reluctance to concede that religion has an important rational aspect, and his belief that what appears “grotesque” to the highly “evolved” consciousness of a nineteenth-century savant must be, ipso facto, largely “unintelligible.” They also betray in him a related unwillingness, if not incapacity, to make that empathetic exploration of Iroquois religious life, that attempt to grasp and exhibit what Charles Hockett has called “the inside view” of an alien culture, which might well have made comprehensible many of its seemingly bizarre components and interrelations. Indeed, Morgan might have pondered with salutary effect Bachofen’s (1960) words to him in a letter: “German scholars propose to make antiquity intelligible by measuring it according to popular ideas of the present day. They only see themselves in the creation of the past. To penetrate to the structure of a mind different from our own, is hardy work” (p. 136). Upon this remark, Professor Evans-Pritchard (1965b) has recently commented that “it is indeed hardy work, especially when we are dealing with such difficult

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