Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

2006, Departement d'Anthropologie: Des Entites Invisibles Qui Font Vivre Les Humains : Une Approche Cosmocentrique De la Differenciation, De la Preseance et Leur Articulation L'egalitarisme Chez Les Iban De Sarawak (Malaysia)

Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

2006, Departement d'Anthropologie: Des Entites Invisibles Qui Font Vivre Les Humains : Une Approche Cosmocentrique De la Differenciation, De la Preseance et Leur Articulation L'egalitarisme Chez Les Iban De Sarawak (Malaysia)

Article excerpt

Beguet, Veronique, 2006, Des entites invisibles qui font vivre les humains : Une approche cosmocentrique de la differenciation, de la preseance et leur articulation l'egalitarisme chez les iban de Sarawak (Malaysia). Ph.D. these, Departement d'Anthropologie, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada.

This thesis proposes a resolution of what we perceive to be a paradox : a group, the Sarawak Iban (Malaysia), that is egalitarian on the social, political, economical and judicial levels, yet encourages differentiation and marks precedence on a ritual level. It is based on an ontological anthropology, especially Tim Ingold's approach of dwelling in the world, which promotes a revisting of animism through a cosmocentric approach. The thesis also insists on the need to take seriously animism, including the existence of invisible entities as a real phenomenon, questioning the agnostic foundations of anthropology.

The thesis explores Iban animism through three types of metamorphosis or transformation. The first allows a passage between co-natural living beings (human, animal, vegetal and mineral) and invisible beings (antu). It establishes their ontological distinction, but also, simultaneously, their consubstantiality. The second type, the metamorphosis of the dead into animals, renews notions of ancestrality. The benevolent entities (petara) appear as transformed ancestors who connect humans to the animal and aviary kingdoms. …

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