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Palgrave Macmillan

Dream Travelers

Sleep Experiences and Culture in the Western Pacific

ISBN 9781403963307
Publication Date September 2003
Formats Paperback Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

In dreams, part of the self seems to wander off to undertake both mundane tasks and marvellous adventures. Anthropologists have found that many peoples take this experience of dreaming at face value, assuming that their spirits literally leave the body to travel, meet other spirits, and acquire valuable knowledge - with dramatic consequence for relationships, social organization, and religions. Dream Travellers is about Melanesian, Aboriginal Australian, and Indonesian peoples who hold this assumption. Several leading anthropologists contribute theoretically and ethnographically rich chapters, showing that attention to these peoples' dream lives deeply enhances our understanding of their cultures and waking lives as well.

ROGER IVAR LOHMANN teaches in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Canada.

List of Illustrations
About the Contributors
Dream Travels and Anthropology; R.I.Lohmann
Dreaming and the Defeat of Charisma; J.Robbins
Dreaming and Ghosts Among the Hagen and Duna of the Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea; P.J.Stewart & A.J.Strathern
Dreamscapes: Transcending the Local in Initiation Rites among the Ngaing of Papua New Guinea; W.Kempe & E.Hermann
Ambrymese Dreams and the Mardu Dreaming; R.Tonkinson
'This is good country. We are good dreamers': Dreams and Dreaming in the Australian Western Desert; S.Poirier
Dreams, Agency, and Traditional Authority in Northeast Arnhem Land; I.Keen
Tiwi Island Dreams; J.C.Goodale
The Cultural and Intersubjective Context of Dream Remembrance and Reporting: Dreams, Aging, and the Anthropological Encounter in Toraja, Indonesia; D.Hollan
Supernatural Encounters of the Asabano in Two Traditions and Three States of Consciousness; R.I.Lohmann
Beyond the Mythologies: A Shape of Dreaming; W.Kracke

JANE C. GOODALE Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, USA
ELFRIEDE HERMANN Research Fellow of the Institute of Ethnology, University of Göttingen, Germany
DOUGLAS HOLLAN Professor of Anthropology and Luckman Distinguished Teacher at University of California, Los Angeles, Senior Instructor at the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute, USA
IAN KEEN Reader in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University, Australia
WOLFGANG KEMPE Research Fellow of the Institute of Ethnology, University of Göttingen, Germany
WAUD KRACKE Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois-Chicago, USA
ROGER IVAR LOHMANN Instructor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Canada
SYLVIE POIRIER Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at Université Laval , Canada
JOEL ROBBINS Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, USA
PAMELA J. STEWART Research Associate in the Departments of Anthropology and Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, USA
ANDREW J. STRATHERN Mellon Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, USA
ROBERT TONKINSON Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Western Australia


"Dream Travelers is a fine contribution to the current renewed interest in the study of dreams. The volume presents the research of a diverse group of distinguished anthropologists, all with experience in the rapidly changing societies of the Western Pacific.They show how these transformations are strikingly reflected in the dream life as well as the waking life of individuals.There are new data and new ideas here. They will prove influential in the broader study of dreams and consciousness." - Erika Bourguignon, Professor Emerita, Ohio State University
"My lasting impression following reading this fine collection of anthropological essays is of the dream as an alternative mode of cognition - as an important means of apprehending the world and engaging with others. Based on original fieldwork, each essay contributes rich ethnographic data to reveal the interaction between the apparently private inner realm of dreams, and shared, cultural phantasy systems. Lived culture emerges from this dynamic interplay. For all those with a serious interest in dreams, this book a 'must'. Furthermore, if there still remain any social or cultural anthropologists who feel that dreaming is a topic better left to the psychoanalyst, or dismissed entirely, this important collection will surely convince them otherwise." - Michele Stephen, Associate Professor of History, La Trobe University, Australia
"Returning to one of the foundational problems in anthropology, the authors of Dream Travelers explore the cultural significance of dreaming in a fascinating journey through Melanesia, aboriginal Australia and Indonesia. Powerfully evocative, the chapters are a pleasure to read in their own right while the collection as a whole propels our understanding of dreams in important new directions. Dream Travelers makes significant contributions to comparative ethnography, the anthropology of religion and the psychology of dreaming." - John Barker, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of British Columbia"A fascinating work on dreams and religion in the Western Pacific." - Mary N. McDonald, Le Moyne College
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