Non-Western Women Roles

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In the overall study of religious activity within world cultures, the Euro-American structure of religion and society often mirror that same androcentric values and hierarchy in findings around the world. Non-Western societies however, show a much more female-oriented religious practice. These non-Western cultures predominantly value women’s roles in keeping the balance within their community (Brettell and Sargent 319). Most focused research on women in religion sheds light on the many ways in which longstanding traditions differ greatly from ethnocentric patriarchal ideals. The purpose of this paper is to explore women’s roles in religious rituals among two indigenous non-western cultures, and offer a comprehensive explanation of those religious practices in both anthropological and psychological respects.
The first article by Janice Boddy begins with a personal
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Kendall prefaces the article by explaining that shamans (healers) in Korea are predominantly women and there are also a small percentage of men that go into shamanism who wear women’s clothing. Everyone who receives a calling experiences the same thing, though. The person will experience visions, scary dreams, general misfortune and bad luck, manic behavior, etc. Moreover, the experiences will not stop until the person accepts shaman initiation (Kendall 46). The initiate goes on to learn how to perform an array of simple to complex rituals in order to help people in different ways. Of these rituals, the most complex is called the kut. During the kut ritual, the shaman wears special clothing, sings, dances, and calls upon the gods or ancestors to inhabit her body. When successful in this, the spirit(s) will scold and talk to the clients so find the best advice for their specific problems. After the spirit(s) are happy with the family again, their lives will become much more pleasant and “blessed” (Kendall

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