Author:Stephan Dudeck (Arctic Centre, University of Lapland)
Paper short abstract:
The paper describes practices of hiding and avoiding called jimilta among the Khanty of Western Siberia that regulate the relationship between different patrilineages linked by marriage and how they form nested spheres of intimacy.
Paper long abstract:
Recent research revealed that jimilta practices among the Khanty are not based on the concept of female impurity but regulate the relationship between different beings belonging to different status groups within the Khanty society. Similar forms of communication and interaction based on veiling, silencing, and physical distance can be observed in the interaction with the deceased, with animals, supernatural beings and representatives of powerful political and economic actors like the state or the oil industry. These practices deal with social borders that surround the individual and groups in a concentric but intersecting way. They are based on specific ideas of personhood and the communicative functions of the human body. The paper employs the notion of language ideology introduced by Suzan Gal and her idea of nested spheres of privacy to come to an understanding of the interplay of personal intimacy, religious practices and political developments associated with the development of extractive industries in the region.
Religious intimacy: collaboration, collusion and collision in ritual communication