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Eloquent Bodies: Rituals in the Contexts of Alleviating Suffering

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It seems that the revitalization of traditional rituals has been an effective way of developing a new embodiment and identity. The ability of the Canadian Mi'kmaq Indians to rework the cultural body, historically imposed on them by the dominant society, opens the way to weeding out destructive patterns unconsciously or consciously embedded historically in their bodies. The ritual opens up opportunities to explore new habitus and to employ the body in a domain shared with like-minded peers so as to facilitate new ways of approaching the world. The rituals thus provide redemptive opportunities for bodies that have been disempowered by hegemonic contexts, and simultaneously offer social affirmation of the new way of being in the world.


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