628.2 The enactment of anger in the sandal divination among the Turkana, pastoralist of northwestern Kenya

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 9:20 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Shinsuke SAKUMICHI , information and behavior, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki, Japan
This paper aims to discuss the socio-cultural functions of emotion both as an index of memories and as a resource of ethics, presenting a case study of the sandal divination among the Turkana, pastoralist in northwestern Kenya.

 The Turkana regard the anger (angoit) for a dangerous emotion causing misfortunes or calamities. They would visit a sandal diviner, sensing  the anger of adversaries behind their unusual experiences.   A diviner throws a set of sandals on the hide, asking questions and reads the configuration of sandals as the answers.  Sandals lead a client to evoke the memories of conflicts with familiar persons: friends, family members, kin or affine. A client finally specifies whom he offended. Then, he begins to narrate and enact the episodes accusing of the adversary’s offense; "it was I that got angry".   This paper focused on the enactment of the conflicts with the adversary in the familiar relationship.  We found the enactment of episodes in twenty-four divinations out of fifty-eight by the video analysis.  A client finally came to recognize both himself and adversaries were mutually in anger.  The results of a divination were transmitted to the adversary family, for a diviner advised a ritual of reconciliation done by both sides. The cognition of the mutual anger made it possible to inhibit acting out of aggression and live together with anger.

 The anger in the divination enables the Turkana to scan familiar relationships, to evoke the conflictual memories with specific others and to take an action for maintenance. It is the embodiment of social relationship.  The linkage between emotion and ethics has developed according to the Turkana nomadic life of high mobility in the wide semi-desert area.  We proceed to a comparative study among societies of different life forms.