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BULLETIN OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY Vol. 26 No. 4 2002

Tanabe, Shigeharu
The Concept of Practice in Reflexive Anthropology:
On Bourdieu’s Habitus and Beyond
533
Kawanami, Hiroko
Property Holdings and Vicissitudes of Burmese Nunnery Schools
575
Mio, Minoru
Formation and Its Avoidance of Identity Politics in the Mausoleums:
Ethnographical Considerations on the Mausoleums Related with
the Sufism in the Mewar Region of Rajasthan, India
603
Yoshioka, Masanori
The Kava Bar as “pidgin Culture”: A Study on Urban Culture in Vanuatu
663
Røkkum, Arne
Meat and Marriage: An Ethnography of Aboriginal Taiwan
707


The Concept of Practice in Reflexive Anthropology:
On Bourdieu’s Habitus and Beyond
Shigeharu Tanabe

In this paper I attempt to examine ways in which everyday practice can be understood in anthropology and located adequately within its theoretical frameworks, with special reference to Bourdieu’s theory of practice. It is of great significance that Bourdieu conceptualizes habitus, the durable and transposable matrix of practice by putting anthropological subjects and those who are observed and described on the same ground. This radical attempt to articulate the anthropologist’s theoretical practice and the people’s practice is achieved through criticizing both Levi-Straussian structural anthropology and phenomenological sociology, opening up a new terrain of research called ‘reflexive anthropology’, In this reflexive position we are led to understand that anthropological knowledge is only another set of pre-established and privileged schemata for examining the habitus that produces practices with freedom and ‘strategy’ within structural constraints. This paper thus intends to show how Bourdieu’s concept of habitus is constructed and to point out its difficulties, suggesting perspectives that fit in better with the current theoretical issues in reflexive anthropology.
Key Words: habitus, Practice, pratical knowledge, schema, reflexive anthropology, Bourdieu


Property Holdings and Vicissitudes of Burmese Nunnery Schools
Hiroko Kawanami

This thesis examines the religious standing of Buddhist nuns in Burma by focusing on the features of property holdings in Buddhist nunnery schools, which manifest a synthesis of private and communal, implying an ambivalent position for Buddhist nuns. It also attempts to reveal the secret of high educational standards achieved by Burmese Buddhist nuns by looking at ingenious ways in which they manage their everyday life; the ‘aoe’ as a fundamental economic unit, and the patterns of partnership formed between the nuns. These strategies have been essential in order to maximize time and energy to concentrate on their Buddhist studies. It also examines the practice of succession in Buddhist nunneries that has allowed blood and kinship to replace merit and loyalty of the disciples. As a result, nunneries tend to lose their function as educational institutions usually after one generation, initiating their own downfal1.
Key Words: incomplete renunciation, patterns of property holdings, ‘aoe’, partner-ship, kinship and succession


Formation and Its Avoidance of Identity Politics in the Mausoleums:
Ethnographical Considerations on the Mausoleums Related with the Sufism in the Mewar Region of Rajasthan, India
Minoru Mio

Based on field research on the beliefs related to two mausoleums of Hindu disciples of a Sufi saint in the Mewar region of western India, this article aims to describe the dynamism of daily religious practices in this region.
In south Asia, communalism is becoming the dominant political discourse, and is beginning to have a strong efftct on the religious practices of everyday life. Religious places and activities are connected to a specific religious ideology, and their natures require clarification under the influence of the communal discourse.
The two saints interred at the mausoleums served the Sufi saint as disciples, although they were high caste Hindus, and they lived through the liminality between the communal boundaries of Hinduism and Islam. The mausoleums were constructed from the end of the1980s through the 1990s, when communalism was resurgent in India. Their structure and the religious practices observed at them, however, cleverly fuse both Sufi and Hindu elements.
This article tries to show how the saint and his disciples struggled to create and sustain their own religious practices and negotiate with communal discourse, by analyzing the symbolism of the mausoleums and interviews with the disciples. It makes clear that the followers of these mausoleum beliefs are firmly preserving their liminal religious practices between Islam and Hinduism, and avoiding the influences of the communal doctrines.
Key Words: India, Sufism, nationalism, hybridity, agency


The Kava Bar as “Pidgin Culture”:
A Study on Urban Culture in Vanuatu
Masanori Yoshioka

A remarkable feature of Vanuatu town is the existence of a kava bar in which kava can be bought. Although kava-drinking goes on in the rural area and is regarded as kastom.(tradition or custom), the kava bar in the town is not considered as kastom. People think that the kava bar is a part of urban culture, unique to the life style of the town and opposed to the kastom of island. It is said that in the town there exist many kastoms from many islands, not mixed but juxtaposed, so that the town does not have its own kastom. In this paper, I will discuss several aspects of the kava bar on the basis of my field data in Luganville, a town in Espiritu Santo Island, and consider what Melanesian urban culture consists of, using the concept of Pidgin culture as a keyword.

Key Words: Vanuatu, kava bar, kastom, Pidgin, urban culture


Meat and Marriage:
An Ethnography of Aboriginal Taiwan
Arne Røkkum*

This paper addresses an issue raised in recent debates on kinship: If kinship has been stripped of its authenticity as “what is in our blood,” what else can we look for while still finding the gloss useful? “Substance sharing” has been introduced as a trope for what generates an experience of kinship. The paper advises, however, against imputing another generic guideline as to “what kinship is” for our investigations. With ethnographic material drawn from the Takibakha of the Bunun aboriginal population in Taiwan, the study voices skepticism of the idea that kinship simply diffuses itself in multiple experiences of sharing. The paper argues in favor of studying discriminative illocutionary acts, finding, in the specific instance of the Bunun, that the issue is not just that of sharing, but equally, that of not sharing. People’s attention to such differences calls for a rethinking of the issue of the role of kinship in the study of cultural representations.

*Ethnographic Museum, University of Oslo
  Visiting Scholar, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Key Words: Bunun (Taiwanese aborigines), kinship, sign, society