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Taming the Wind of Desire: Psychology, Medicine, and Aesthetics in Malay Shamanistic Performance (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care)

 
 
 
 
Taming the Wind of Desire: Psychology, Medicine, and Aesthetics in Malay Shamanistic Performance (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care)
Author: Carol Laderman
ISBN 13: 9780520082588
ISBN 10: 520082583
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 1993-03-10
Format: Paperback
Pages: 386
List Price: $33.95
 
 

Charged with restoring harmony and relieving pain, the Malay shaman places his patients in trance and encourages them to express their talents, drives, personality traits—the "
Inner Winds" of Malay medical lore—in a kind of performance. These healing ceremonies, formerly viewed by Western anthropologists as exotic curiosities, actually reveal complex multicultural origins and a unique indigenous medical tradition whose psychological content is remarkably relevant to contemporary Western concerns.
Accepted as apprentice to a Malay shaman, Carol Laderman learned and recorded every aspect of the healing seance and found it comparable in many ways to the traditional dramas of Southeast Asia and of other cultures such as ancient Greece, Japan, and
India. The Malay seance is a total performance, complete with audience, stage, props, plot, music, and dance. The players include the patient along with the shaman and his troupe. At the center of the drama are pivotal relationships—among people, between humans and spirits, and within the self. The best of the Malay shamans are superb poets, dramatists, and performers as well as effective healers of body and soul.