Rituály ako nákladné signály: Experimentálna antropológia a jej využitie pri zbere dát na Mauríciu

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Title in English Rituals as costly signals: Experimental anthropology and its use in data collection in Mauritius

MAŇO Peter

Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Speculum
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web http://speculum.antropologia.sk/32014/
Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords religion; ritual; social network; costly signalling; life history; social position
Description In January team LEVYNA conducted a research visit to Mauritius. This month, spent with data collection, presented the first phase of a long-term project investigating the costs of participation in a Tamil religious ritual Cavadee in Quatre Bornes in the west of the island. Cavadee ritual consists of a procession lasting several hours, leading to the main temple resting on the foot of a hill above the city, whereby people pierced with ritual decorations (hooks, needles, skewers) walk barefoot on hot asphalt, carrying and some also dragging with their skin Cavadee (decorated construction on shoulders or a cart with hooks). The research task was to document the extent of participation for as many participants as possible and at the same time to demographically map the surrounding area. These data were collected for the purpose of building a database for subsequent testing of the theory of costly signalling, as developed in evolutionary biology. This theory understands ritual behaviour as the act of communication between signaller and receiver in which it is mainly the signaller’s quality that is being communicated. The main hypothesis predicted that individuals at the periphery of the local social network would spend more resources on Cavadee than those in the centre, in order to better their life situation via benefits acquired through ostentatious costly ritual participation. The following article expands this theoretical framework and illustrates the usage of experimental anthropology to approach it in Mauritius.
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