Ghost Mothers: Kinship relationships in Thai spirit cults
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/12540
First published on GoeScholar 2015
DORISEA working paper; 21
This paper examines the process of building kinship relations between Thai spirit devotees and violent spirits. I examine three spirit shrines on the outskirts of Bangkok: a shrine to the ghost of a woman killed in childbirth, a shrine to a cobra spirit that causes accidents along a busy highway, and a household shrine to an aborted fetus. The devotees to which I spoke actively sought out such places known for death in order to “adopt” or “become adopted by” such spirits, and, I argue here, this action allows for a re-negotiation of their position vis-à-vis accident and trauma. I suggest that becoming a spirit’s “child” forms a mutually dependent relationship, and through this relationship allows for the domestication of forces from outside the social.
This article will be published in the forthcoming volume of Social Analysis 60 (2), therefore free access to the working paper version is not possible at the moment. If for auditability reasons you need access to the DORISEA working paper nr 21, please use our feedback form at goedoc.uni-goettingen.de/goescholar/feedback.