"trance dancer, bali"

Published December 7, 1941

Description

Trance Dancer from HARLEM as seen by hirschfeld. Lithograph, 1941

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Notes: 

The concept of spiritual possession exists in many religions. Balinese religion is an integration of Hindu-Buddhist and shamanist beliefs, characterized by a regular cycle of temple festivals – featuring elaborate food offerings and other ceremonies as needed for rites of passage, healing, or crisis situations. Music and dance play a major role in Balinese religion, as does trance. Trance dance is practiced as a way of being in the world and serves as medium to satisfy the supernatural beings. Although the Balinese value dignity, decorum, and deliberateness, in a trance dance, dancers are possessed by a spirit in which they perform acts such a devouring live chicks and attacking themselves with daggers while speaking with the spirit’s voice, giving instructions for ceremonies, finding lost objects or helping the body to heal.

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