Balancing the spiritual and physical worlds: Memory, responsibility and survival in the rituals of the Sama Dilaut (Bajau laut) in Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi, Southern Philippines and Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia

Hussin, H. (2010) Balancing the spiritual and physical worlds: Memory, responsibility and survival in the rituals of the Sama Dilaut (Bajau laut) in Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi, Southern Philippines and Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia. In: Conference Ocean of Sound: Sama Dilaut Performing Arts, 09 Sep 2010, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Submitted)

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Abstract

This paper looks at ritual processes as means of fulfilling responsibilities between the dwellers of the physical world and the spirit world among the Bajau Laut. Ritual is, among many other ways, seen as a transactional event that binds individuals of a given community and habitues of the spirit world in a web of memory, notions of responsibility and expression of the primary value of survival and well-being or continued existence via ideas or conceptualizations of "balance." The introductory section talks about the special class among the Sama dilaut as constituted by the igal djin and their position in the Sama cosmos. The first part reviews some key concepts relating ritual to community particularly that of Victor Turner's "social drama" and Maurice Bloch "rebounding violence." It also discusses how rituals, ritual phases and elements may be read as "texts," referring to symbols with meanings. The second part introduces the idea of symbolic elements and symbolic practices, particularly those found rituals as well as in music and dance, that are observable among Sama Dilaut communities in the Southern Philippines and Insular Malaysia, relating this to memory-making, socialization to the idea of responsibility, and operationalization of "survival." The third part proceeds with a brief description of three rituals, the Magpaii-bahau, Magpa-igal and the Pag- Kanduli, and then respectively followed by a discussion of practice or elements that bring in the idea of "balance." Finally, the fourth part, as a way of tying together the discussion presents implications to future research on ritual, music and dance.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Balancing the spiritual; Physical worlds; Sama Dilaut (Bajau laut); Sitangkai; Tawi-Tawi; Southern Philippines; Semporna; Sabah; Malaysia
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mr. Mohd Samsul Ismail
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2014 07:34
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2014 07:34
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/11446

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