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Notions of Grief and Catharsis among the Toraja

Jane C. Wellenkamp
American Ethnologist
Vol. 15, No. 3 (Aug., 1988), pp. 486-500
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/645753
Page Count: 15
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Notions of Grief and Catharsis among the Toraja
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Abstract

This article concerns indigenous notions regarding grief and mourning among the Toraja of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It argues that Toraja beliefs about the expression of grief are part of an implicit "cathartic" theory of emotion that is closely related to ideas concerning "heat" and "coolness." The article concludes by suggesting that indigenous notions about the expression of grief correspond closely to the experiences of many grieving individuals. [death and grief, emotion, ethnopsychology, catharsis, "heat" and "coolness," Indonesia]

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