The Presence of “Magical Thinking” Within the Case Studies of the Maori Cannibals & Cantonese Funerals

1638 WordsOct 5, 20127 Pages
The Presence of “Magical Thinking” within the case studies of The Maori Cannibals & Cantonese Funerals Since the day you were born, you have been taught lessons that will help you get through everyday life. There have been the lessons of sharing, to always help others, and of course, to always be kind to your fellow man. Now, why is it that if you were to see someone use a dirty dinner plate, or drink someone else’s half empty glass of water, you deem that person disgusting? Is it in fact due to the lessons you’ve been taught, or does it stem from something different, such as “magical thinking?” Magical thinking can be found in the case studies, “Funeral Specialists in Cantonese Society: Pollution, Performance, and Social…show more content…
Physical contact with a corpse is thought to affect a man’s yang directly and, after a man touches seven corpses, he can no longer be made clean again. This is why professional corpse handlers are treated with such disdain. Women on the other hand are more likely to attend funerals as representatives of the families without having to worry that their yin will be permanently corrupted. Villagers believe that death pollution is sent out from the decaying flesh of the corpse, not from bones. This is important to note because, in the local view, flesh is inherited from the mother and is thereby of the yin essence, bones on the other hand, are passed in the patriline and, when manipulated properly, are primarily yang. In the case study by Ross Bowden, women in the Maori society are believed to have the essence of noa, which means to be profane. In Maori belief, men were intrinsically tapu (sacred) and superior in status to women, who were intrinsically noa. In Maori society, women were seen as profane to such an extent that it was forbidden to literally step over a man while he was lying down, or step over his legs when he was sitting. In doing so, it was seen as belittling or insulting to the man. Women in the Maori society were not the only entities viewed as being profane. Within the Maori society cooked food was deemed as profane, and as a result women had the duty of preparing and

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