tradition

The Traditional Offering Ceremony of the Andes: How to Maintain Balance Between the Material and Spiritual Worlds

In traditional Andean cosmovision, the natural world and the divine are united, and offering ceremonies are seen as a part of the reciprocity system between the material and spiritual worlds. Haywarikuy (offering gifts in a sacred manner), ayni (reciprocity), ofrenda (offering), and despacho (message) all are words used for the sacred offering ceremonies of the Quechua, Quichua, Aymara and other indigenous peoples in the Andes region. Although several types of these ceremonies take place all over Latin America (and by other names around the...Read more

English Folklore: The Forgotten Death of Mischief Night

In the United Kingdom, nestling midway between the early autumn “Back to School” sales promotions and the consumer spending bonanza that is Christmas, we now have the retail opportunity of Halloween. Fancy dress costumes, pumpkins, plastic skeletons, scary witches’ masks and plenty of sweets to dish out to Trick-or-Treaters.

Each year, Halloween’s approach is also greeted with complaints in the popular press about the “Americanization” of English customs and how Halloween has displaced our traditional mid-autumn Fifth of November / Bonfire Night / Guy Fawkes Night celebrations....Read more

A Dark Time for the Samurai and the Trouble with the Feudal Japanese Caste System

In Japanese jidai-geki (period) films, especially those made under the military government, samurai warriors are presented as the ideal warriors who were motivated solely by honor and loyalty, preferring to fight to the death rather than admit defeat. The true samurai warriors were not only well-trained in the art of warfare, they were also highly learned in literature and poetry. The idea of the samurai became the embodiment of the philosophical ideal of Japan and attracted global admiration for their nobility.

However, the samurai experienced a dark period beginning in...Read more