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Dancing for the Gods. Vol. 2 Dancing for the Gods. Vol. 2 Dancing for the Gods. Vol. 2 Dancing for the Gods. Vol. 2
ISBN :   9789748434544
WL Order Code :    E22729
Price :    Euro21.25
Print :   Bnagkok, 2019
Size :   424 pp. 33 pp. illus. 150 x 205 mm. pbk. Weight  0.585 kg
  Guelden, Marlane

Dancing for the Gods. Vol. 2
:The Endangered Spirit Lineage of Nora Dance in Southern Thailand
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ฺBook Code E22729 - Dancing for the Gods. Vol. 2
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Dancing for The Gods, Volume 2: The Endangered Spirit Lineage of Nora Dance in Southern Thailand tells the back story of a centuries-old Nora (Manora) lineage, famous in the South for its spirit possession and loud, colorful dance-drama. It is considered the basis of ancient Thai classical dance. Using never before translated Thai sources, Dr. Marlane Gurlden does a deep dive into history, rituals, Buddhism, spirit mediums, and gender to investigate the staying power of this tenacious religious community and answer the question: “Why has it survived?”

Book votes :   30   like

Customer Reviews
Date : 2021-05-08 09:20:45  |   test
Reviewer :   Test
Date : 2019-05-11 08:56:04  |   Rituals and spirit beliefs of a relatively unknown ethnic group in Southern Thailand
Reviewer :   Ken C.
As someone who has a deep interest, both professionally and as a tourist, in SE Asia, in particular Thailand, I found the subject of this book to be a notable contribution to my limited knowledge of the culture and history of Southern Thailand. There are no comprehensive studies in English of the Nora ethnic group and its traditions of Southern Thailand. Dr. Guelden is quite detailed in her study. A look at the table of contents shows the extent and depth of her research: The Meaning of Nora, Costumes and Beliefs, Origins and History, What Religion is Nora? Most interesting were the details of the linkages of Nora ceremonies and beliefs to India and Sri Lanka, the role Nora played in the restoration of the Kingdom of Siam after Ayuthaya was burned, its standing as the oldest form and basis of Thai traditional dance, and the gratitude and honor shown to Nora by the Thai King. For readers attracted to this book interested in knowing more about the cultures which continue to believe in spirits and ancestors influencing and judging peoples lives, the personal observations and interviews by Dr. Guelden vividly describe a cultural domain that continues, in spite of changes to the group’s demographics, the impact of tourism, and the pressures of modernity, to hold on to the traditions and beliefs that contrast with Western Rationality. Dr. Guelden brings a photographer’s eye to noticing the details of Nora rituals. Given her journalism background, her descriptions are a solid and enlightening read. Her anthropological perspective makes the book a solid academic work, useful for extending the understanding of groups on the margins using collective beliefs and rituals for keeping their identity. I intend to use this book as a supplement to assigned reading in my courses in Cultural Anthropology: Culture Change.
Date : 2019-05-11 08:52:59  |   Brings Thai tradition alive!
Reviewer :   Ann Gressani
A great book for anyone interested in multi-cultural spiritual practices or the history and culture of Southern Thailand. The author brings the Nora Tradition alive with her personal experience following the ritual season. Dr. Guelden’s training as an anthropologist provides an insightful cultural analysis of the Nora ritual practices, including leading individuals and legends that actively advanced the tradition. The book also provides in-depth analysis of the interesting historical and surprisingly political evolution of the Nora Tradition. The author takes on contemporary social issues such as gender that confront the cultural tradition in modern times. Best of all, however, the photography absolutely knocked my socks off! It is beautiful and compelling. For those of us who are unlikely to be able to see this unique practice in person, the photos put the reader in the front row.

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