Appell, George N.. To converse with the Gods: the Rungus BOBOLIZAN -- spirit medium and priestess

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Title: To converse with the Gods: the Rungus BOBOLIZAN -- spirit medium and priestess

Published in: The seen and the unseen : shamanism, mediumship and possession in Borneo, edited by Robert L. Winzeler

Published By: The seen and the unseen : shamanism, mediumship and possession in Borneo, edited by Robert L. Winzeler Williamsburg, Va.: Borneo Research Council, 1993. 3-53 p.: ill.

By line: George N. Appell and LAura W. R. Appell

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2002. Computer File

Culture: Rungus Dusun (OC13)

Subjects: Theory of disease (753); Religious beliefs (770); Revelation and divination (787); Magicians and diviners (791);

Abstract: This article is on female spirit mediums, the BOBOLIZAN. The Appells argue that the bobolizan are distinct from shamans and other religious types, because their trances are not soul journeys, or forms of spirit possession. Rather they are disassociative states akin to dreaming. A trance consists of a conversation between the bobolizan and her spirit familiar, or LUMA'AG. There are two major groups of supernatural beings: celestial gods (OSUNDUW) and spirits, which include the ROGON and rice spirits (ODU-ODU). The ROGON are spirits of the physical and social environment. They are generally feared because they cause of sickness. RUSOD are a more benevolent type of rogon and are household guardians. Rice spirits are responsible for agricultural yields. The body has multiple souls that correspond to the different gods and spirits. The HATOD is the counterpart of the RUSOD and the DIVATO, or LUGU', are counterparts to celestial gods. With the help of her spirit familiar, the bobolizan intercedes in cases of disease, misfortune, infertility, and crop failure. Seven photos are included.

Document Number: 12

Document ID: oc13-012

Document Type: Essay

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 49-53)

Field Date: 1959-1963, 1986-1992

Evaluation: Ethnologist-4,5

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ; 2000

Coverage Date: 1959-1992

Coverage Place: Kudat District, Sabah, Malaysia

LCSH: Dusun (Bornean people)

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