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Lulik: Taboo, Animism or Transgressive Sacred? An Exploration of Identity, Morality and Power in Timor-Leste

Bovensiepen, Judith M. (2014) Lulik: Taboo, Animism or Transgressive Sacred? An Exploration of Identity, Morality and Power in Timor-Leste. Oceania, 84 (2). pp. 121-137. E-ISSN 1834-4461. (doi:10.1002/ocea.5049) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ocea.5049

Abstract

This article explores the continued significance of lulik for people living in the central highlands of Timor-Leste today, lulik being a term frequently translated as ‘sacred’. In contrast to the straightforward definition of lulik as the sacred property of religious places or objects set apart from everyday life, it shows that lulik is understood as a potency that animates the environment and that is concentrated in specific sites in the landscape, in ancestral objects and houses. As a vital energy that sustains life, yet that is connected to prohibitions, danger, and restrictions, lulik shares an affinity with similar phenomena found in Melanesia, Polynesia, and Southeast Asia (such as mana, tapu, or semangat). Engaging with recently reinvigorated approaches to animism and Durkheim's notion of the sacred, this article examines how lulik that emerges when distinctions between human and non-human entities are collapsed. The analysis of how Funar residents maintain a distance from this transgressive force leads to an exploration of how lulik is connected to the constitution of the self, and how lulik is mobilized as a source of power and morality.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/ocea.5049
Uncontrolled keywords: Insular Southeast Asia; animism; Durkheim; sacred/profane; phenomenology; differentiation/identification
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Judith Bovensiepen
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2014 18:12 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:10 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/43362 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bovensiepen, Judith M.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6092-7874
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