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BULLETIN OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY Vol. 24 No. 4 2000

Tanabe, Shigeharu
Memories Displaced by Ritual: Cognitive Processes in the Spirit Cults of Northern Thailand
707
Saito, Akira
The Execution of Virtuchi: A Murder Case and Its Memory in the Bolivian Amazon
727
Kuchikura, Yukio
Optimal Foraging Strategies: The Behavioral Ecology of Food Acquisition
767
Kumakura, Isao,
Cobbi , Jane
Kreiner, Josef

Notes on the Japanese Collection at the Musée de l'Homme, Paris

873


Memories Displaced by Ritual:
Cognitive Processes in the Spirit Cults of Northern Thailand
Shigeharu Tanabe*

This paper is an attempt to examine cogmitive processes invoIved in religious notions and ritual, which most anthropological studies have hitherto seen as culturally constructed phenomena. It draws on the recent theory of cognitive psychology to elucidate the relationship between a schema -an active perceptual organisation of an individual subject and culturally constructed ritual and discourses. The work is based on ethnographic observations of Khon Müang, spirit cults in northern Thailand. For the Khon Müang, the person-spirit schema, is an ab-stract perceptual framework that constitutes the unstable relationship between body, soul (khwan) and external forces, particularly spirit (bhi) . It is argued that the schema is evoked by particular events and situations in everyday life. This schematic experience of individual subjects is articulated with the culturally constructed actions and representations of ritual. The discontinuity between the schema and the ritual process is further revealed in spirit-possession and animal sacrifice, violent acts often inserted into ritual sequences. Examination of the spirit cults shows that ritual is a system of actions to construct an imaginary relationship between the self and the world, removingi ndividual subjects from the perceptual schemata and personal episodic memories that organise everyday experience.
* Department of Cultural Research, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Key Words:memory, schema, ritual, spirit cult, Khon Müang, northern Thailand


The Execution of Virtuchi:
A Murder Case and Its Memory in the Bolivian Amazon
Akira Saito

Until recently, the Trinitarios, an indigenous people of the Moxos region of the Bolivian Amazon, occasionally held séances where the medium invoked the spirits of the dead at the request of their living relatives. The dead who came to the séances were all but one indigenous people. The only exception was Virtuchi, a white man who is said to have been a murderer in the remote past. He would often come to the séances and tell the Trinitarios where they could find a missing person or object and, in exchange for this service, receive Christian prayers which were indispensable for his salvation. In this paper, I will try to answer the question why the spirit of a white murderer was invoked at the indigenous séances.
Historical sources indicate that Virtuchi was charged with a murder and publicly executed by a firing squad at the beginning of the 20th century. This was the first public execution in the Moxos region, an ostentatious manifestation of the power of the newly formed local judicial apparatus. It can therefore be assumed that the indigenous people, who theretofore had never witnessed such an event, would likely have been profoundly impacted by the experience and this would sub-sequently have given rise to their peculiar beliefs and traditions con-cernlng Virtuchi.
It is my intention to show that the execution of Virtuchi was, from the viewpoint of the indigenous people, an effectively performed ritual proclamation that the State would thereafter take hold of the administration of justice and thereby replace God as the dispenser of justice.This concept of State justice would inevitably have clashed with the indigenous concept of divine justice. This paper will interpret the beliefs and traditions concerning Virtuchi as a narrative of criticism and sub-version of State monoply of justice.
Key Words: Bolivian Amazon, Trinitarios, cult of the dead, colonial situation, State administration of justice


Optimal Foraging Strategies:
The Behavioral Ecology of Food Acquisition
Yukio Kuchikura

This article reviews the basic principles of optimal foraging theory and their application to human foraging. The optimization approach used in behavioral ecology assumes that individual foragers behave so as to maximize some currency (usually net rate of energy return per unit of foraging time ) which is assumed to correlate with fitness, and employs models consisting of currencies to be maximized, decisions or foraglng problems to andlyzed, and constraints specifying options available to the foragers and theire effcts.
The classical diet breadth model predicts a set of food resources that maximizes energy return rate under a set of assumptions: a&ldquo finegrained &rdquo environment ( homogeneous resource distribution) , random encounters, mutually exclusive search and handling costs, a rank of all food resource types on the basis of net return rate on encounter,and complete information. While the model can predict qualitative subsistence patterns, such as a fluctuation of diet breadth in accordance with changes in search or handling costs derived from technological changes, many of the quantitative tests have revealed discrepancies between the model‘s predictions and observed patterns. This is mainly due to the fact that the human foraging patterns in question sometimes violate the assumptions of the model. It is common that male foragers often ignore plant foods that would increase overall energy return rates of foraging if collected. Tests made within a set of animal foods or one of plant foods show close fits between predictions and observations.
For a &ldquo patchy &rdquo environment, where resources are distributed in a heterogeneous fashion, optimal patch use models are used to predict an array of habitats ( patches ) to be exploited and how long a forager stays in a patch before leaving for another. The optimal patch choice model has the same structure and procedure as those of the optimal diet breadth model, while replacing resource types with patch types. The optimal patch residence time is soIved by using the marginal value theorem, which assumes diminishing returns and determines the point at which a forager should leave a depleting patch to search for another one to maximize energy return rate. We can so far find no anthropological studies of patch residence time that meet the assumptions of the marginal value theorem except for one case. Most of the studies incorrectly attempt to predict the proportion of time foragers spend exploiting different patches on the assumption that optimal foragers preferentially allocate foraging time to patches with higher return rates.
Relaxing and changing assumptions can modify the classic diet breadth and patch use models. The central-place-foraging model in which foraging is modeled as a trip with a given point ( a camp or village ) of departure and return is more suited to human foraging than the classic models. Foraging models focused on acquisition and sharing of information about resource conditions among foraging groups and reduction of risk ( variancein food consumption ) by food sharing, which are unique to human foragers, allow interesting predictions to be made about choice behavior and social interaction.
Humans are omnivorous animals and exploit simultaneously various food resources greatly different in nutritional composition. The classic foraging models reduce nutritional values of food only to energy. Most of the critiques of the optimal foraging models have been directed toward this point. The problem of multiple nutrient requirements has been treated with a linear programming model that aims to predict the least costly solution to an economic problem in which resources ( labor, energy, raw material, and money ) must be allocated among competing activities. Another approach to evaluating food resources along more than one scale is indifference analysis, borrowed from microeconomics. This analysis predicts a utility-maximizing mix of different but complementary and substitutable food resources. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses.
Key Words: optimal foraging theory, behavioral ecology, human foragers, diet breadth, patch use, central-place foraglng, risk, food sharing, linear programming, indifference curve analysis


Notes on the Japanese Collection at
the Musée de l'Homme, Paris ****
Isao Kumakura* , Jane Cobbi** , Josef Kreiner***

At the Museum of Mankind ( Musée de l’Homme ) in Paris there are almost 5,000 examples of Japanese materials. The collecting activities of this museum date back to the late19th c. The collection is not peculiar because of its size, but because of its noteworthy materials. It started as a collection of 73 puppets gathered in1889, to which pieces from the Guimet Museum were later added and further objects collected by ethnologists and others were also summoned. This report deals with the Japanese collections kept at the Museum of Mankind in Paris as well as with the concepts of their collectors. Finally it contains a list of the objects in the collection according to their time of acquisition by the museum.

*National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
**Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris
***University of Bonn
****This is part of a study on collections of Japanese folk-culture, everyday life and ethnography in European collections. A study of the collections described was undertaken by the authors in May,18-25, 1998. We want to thank for their help Mr.Bernard Dupaigne, at the time of research Director of he Musée de l’Homme, and Mrs.Christine Hemmet from the Asiatic Department of the Musée de l’Homme for permission to see the collections ; Mrs.Bernadette Robbe, who kindly made organization of our work easier ; Mrs.Anne Pison-Neveu, Who helped to excavate objects ; Mr.Jean-Pierre Oddos, who gave information on the actual situation of the collections, and Mr.Johannes H. Wilhelm of Bonn University, who arranged the table.
Key Words:Paris, collection, Museum of Ethnology, Japanese materials, utensils