Ethnology: An International Journal of Cultural and Social Anthropology, Vol 51, No 2 (2012)

SOUTHERN PAIUTE PILGRIMAGE AND RELATIONSHIP FORMATION

Kathleen Van Vlack

Abstract


Southern Paiute religious specialists make pilgrimages to powerful places and landscapes. These religious events create new relationships and community that are not bounded by normal social constraints. While Turner’s communitas focuses on people, this research argues that for Southern Paiute people, communitas actually is created between people, places, and objects with bonds of expectations and commitments. Southern Paiutes believe that the world is alive and all elements have agency and must be respected.

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