Advertisement

Lucidity, Sex, and Horror in Senoi Dreamwork

  • Robert K. Dentan

Abstract

This chapter is a description and analysis of aspects of the dream praxis of the Senoi, a Malaysian people whose way of interpreting and responding to dreams has had much influence on Europeans and Americans interested in the psychotherapeutic use of dreams. Recent publications have made it plain that much of the “Senoi” ethnography with which Western dreamworkers are familiar is of dubious reliability. This chapter indicates, by example, that the differences between the familiar version of Senoi life (by Stewart) and the accounts given by anthropologists are not merely matters of interpretation.

Keywords

Malay Peninsula Mental Hygiene Chinese College Student Spiritual Power Tree Spirit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Azizah, K. (1979). Research of the Orang Ash in the University of Malaya. Federation Museums Journal, 24, 219–232.Google Scholar
  2. Baharon A. bin Raffiei. (1966). Engku-spirit of thunders. Federated Malay Museums Journal, 11, 34–37.Google Scholar
  3. Baharon A. bin Raffiei. (1979). Research on the Orang Asli and its relevance to the Department of Orang Asli Affairs Malaysia. Federation Museums Journal, 24, 219–232.Google Scholar
  4. Baskaran, K. (1963, August 8). The cool, cool cats deep in the jungle. Straits Times, p. 7.Google Scholar
  5. Benedict, P. K. (1975). Austro-Thai language and culture with a glossary of roots. New Haven: Human Relations Area Files.Google Scholar
  6. Benjamin, G. (1966). Temiar social groupings. Federation Museums Journal, 11, 1–25.Google Scholar
  7. Benjamin, G. (1967). Temiar kinship. Federation Museums Journal, 12, 1–25.Google Scholar
  8. Benjamin, G. (1968a). Headmanship and leadership in Temiar society. Federation Museums Journal, 13, 1–43.Google Scholar
  9. Benjamin, G. (1968b). Temiar personal names. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde, 124, 99–134.Google Scholar
  10. Benjamin, G. (1976a). Austroasiastic subgroupings and pre-history in the Malay Peninsula. In Philip N. Jenner, Laurence C. Thompson, and Stanley Starosta (Eds.), Austroasiastic Studies, Part I (pp. 37–129 ). Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii.Google Scholar
  11. Benjamin, G. (1976b). An outline of Temiar grammar. In Philip N. Jenner, Laurence C. Thompson, and Stanley Starosta (Eds.), Austrosiastic Studies, Part 1 (pp. 129–188 ). Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii.Google Scholar
  12. Blacking, J. A. R. (1954/1955). Musical instruments of the Malayan aborigines. Federation Museums Journal,1/2, 35–52.Google Scholar
  13. Brown, C. H. (1982). Folk zoological life-forms and linguistic marking. Journal of Ethnobiology, 2 (1), 95–112.Google Scholar
  14. Brown, C. H., and Witkowski, S. R. (1980). Appendix B. Language universals. In D. Levinson and M. J. Malone (Eds.), Toward explaining human culture (pp. 359–384 ). New Haven, CT. Human Relations Area Files.Google Scholar
  15. Carey, I. Y. (1961). Tengleg kui serok. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.Google Scholar
  16. Carey, I. Y. (1976). Orang asti. The aboriginal tribes of peninsular Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Cerruti, G. B. (1908). My friends the savages (I. Stone Sapietro Trans., Como) (original work published in 1906 ).Google Scholar
  18. Collier, J., and Rosaldo, M. Z. (1981). Politics and gender in simple societies. In S. B. Ortner and H. Whitehead (Eds.), Sexual meanings: The cultural construction of gender and sexuality (pp. 275–329 ). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Couillard, M.-A. (1980). Tradition in tension: Carving in a Jah Hut community. Penang: Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia.Google Scholar
  20. Cowan, T. D. (1984). Dreamwatch. Dream Network Bulletin, 3(3), 19–20.Google Scholar
  21. Cuisinier, J. (1936). Danses magiques de Kelantan. Paris: Institut d’Ethnologie.Google Scholar
  22. Dahlan, H. M. (1976). Penyelidikan terhadap masyarakat Orang Asli masakini. Federation Museums Journal, 24, 211–216.Google Scholar
  23. Dentan, R. K. (1964). Senoi. In Frank M. Lebar, Gerald D. Hickey, and John K. Musgreave (Eds.), Ethnic groups of mainland Southeast Asia (pp. 176–181 ). New Haven: Human Relations Area Files.Google Scholar
  24. Dentan, R. K. (1967). The mammalian taxonomy of the Sen’oi Semai. Malayan Nature Journal 20, 100–106.Google Scholar
  25. Dentan, R. K. (1968a). Notes on Semai ethnoentomology. Malayan Nature Journal, 21, 17–28.Google Scholar
  26. Dentan, R. K. (1968b). The Semai response to mental aberration. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde, 124, 135–158.Google Scholar
  27. Dentan, R. K. (1970). Labels and rituals in Semai classification. Ethnology, 9, 16–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Dentan, R. K. (1978). Notes on childhood in a nonviolent context. In A. Montagu (Ed.), Learning non-aggression. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Dentan, R. K. (1979). The Semai (Rev. ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  30. Dentan, R. K. (1981). Review of Kirk M. Endicott, Batek Negrito religion. Journal of Asian Studies, 40, 421–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Dentan, R. K. (1983a). Senoi dream praxis. Dream Network Bulletin, 2(5), 1–3, 12.Google Scholar
  32. Dentan, R. K. (1983b). Hit and run ethnograph [sic]: Reply to Alexander Randall. Dream Network Bulletin, 2 (8), 11–12.Google Scholar
  33. Dentan, R. K. (1983c). A dream of Senoi. Council on International Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo, ( Special Study 150 ).Google Scholar
  34. Dentan, R. K. (1984). Techniques and antecedents: A response to Gieseler. Lucidity Letter, 4 (2–3), 5–7.Google Scholar
  35. Dentan, R. K. (1986). Ethnographic considerations in the cross-cultural study of dreaming. In J. Gackenbach (Ed.), Sleep and dreams: A sourcebook (pp. 317–358 ). New York: Garland.Google Scholar
  36. Dentan, R. K. (1987). You can never find a cop when you need one: A response to Faraday. Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter, 4(2), 14–16.Google Scholar
  37. Dentan, R. K. (1988). Rejoinder to McGlashan. Parabola 13 (1).Google Scholar
  38. Dentan, R. K. (in press). Ambiguity, polymorphism and transmutation in Semai medical praxis. Social Science and Medicine.Google Scholar
  39. Domhoff, G. W. (1985). The mystique of dreams. A search for utopia through Senoi dream theory. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  40. Dyer, T. G. (1980). Theodore Roosevelt and the idea of race. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Embun, Ahmad bin. (1959). Hantu dengan kerja-nya. 2 vv. Penang: Sinaran Bros.Google Scholar
  42. Endicott, K. L. (1979). Batek Negrito sex roles. Unpublished master’s thesis, Australian National University, Australia.Google Scholar
  43. Endicott, K. M. (1970). An analysis of Malay magic. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  44. Endicott, K. M. (1979). Batek Negrito religion. The world-view and rituals of a hunting and gathering people of peninsular Malaysia. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  45. Evans, I. H. N. (1923). Studies in religion, folk-lore [sic] custom in British North Borneo and the Malay peninsula. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Evans, I. H. N. (1937). The Negritos of Malaya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Faraday, A. (1986). Review of G. W. Domhoff, The mystique of dreams. Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter, 3 (4), 12–13.Google Scholar
  48. Faraday, A., and Wren-Lewis, J. (1983). Reply to Randall. Dream Network Bulletin, 2(8), 10–11.Google Scholar
  49. Faraday, A., and Wren-Lewis, J. (1984). The selling of the Senoi. Lucidity Letter, 3 (1), 1–3.Google Scholar
  50. Fix, A. G. (1982). Genetic structure of the Semai. In M. H. Crawford and J. H. Mielke (Eds.), Current developments in anthropological genetics. Ecology and population structure. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  51. Fix, A. G., and Lie-Injo, L. E. (1975). Genetic microdifferentiation in the Semai Senoi of Malaysia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 43, 7–55.Google Scholar
  52. Friedl, E. (1975). Women and men: An anthropological view. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  53. Gimlette, J. D. (1971). Malay poisons and charm cures. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. ( Original work published 1915 )Google Scholar
  54. Guenther, M. G. (1975/1976). The San trance dance: Ritual and revitalization among the farm Bushmen of the Ghanzi District, Republic of Botswana. Journal of the South West African Scientific Society, 30, 45–53.Google Scholar
  55. Guenther, M. G. (1979). Bushman religion and the (non) sense of anthropological theory of religion. Sociologus, 29, 102–132.Google Scholar
  56. Guenther, M. G. (1986). From foragers to miners and bands to bandits: On the flexibility and adaptability of Bushman band societies. Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika, 7, 133–159.Google Scholar
  57. Hamer, M. J. (1973). The Jivaro. People of the sacred waterfalls. New York: Anchor.Google Scholar
  58. Harper, M. J. (1982). The way of the shaman: A guide to power and healing. New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
  59. Herdt, G. H. (1977). The shaman’s “calling” among the Sambia of New Guinea. In B. Juillerat (Ed.), Madness, possession and shamanism in New Guinea, Journal de la Societe des Oceanistes (Special ed.), 33, 153–167.Google Scholar
  60. Herdt, G. H. (1981). Guardians of the flutes. Idioms of masculinity. A study of ritualized homosexual behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  61. Hogbin, I. (1970). The island of menstruating women. Scranton, PA: Chandler Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  62. Hood, H. M. S. (1976). Morality and restraint among the Semelai of Malaysia. In H. M. Dahlan (Ed.), The nascent Malaysian society: Developments, trends and problems (pp. 53–69). Ski Monograf Jabatan Antropologi dan Sosiologi Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.Google Scholar
  63. Hood, H. M. S. (1979). The cultural context of Semelai trance. Federation Museums Journal, 24, 107–124.Google Scholar
  64. Howell, S. (1983). Kilton Stewart failed to understand what he saw. Dream Network Bulletin, 2(11), 8.Google Scholar
  65. Iskandar, T. (1970). Kamus Dewan. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.Google Scholar
  66. Jimin I. B. (1968). Distribution of Orang Ash in West Malaysia. Federation Museums Journal, 13, 44–48.Google Scholar
  67. Johnson, J. (1978). Elements of Senoi dreaming applied to a Western culture. Sundance Community Dream Journal, 2 (1), 50–61.Google Scholar
  68. Karim, W. J. begum. (1981). Ma’ Betisek concepts of living things. London School of Economics Monograph on Social Anthropology 54.Google Scholar
  69. Kennedy, E. L. (1979). Discussant’s comments for the second half of this volume: A perspective of feminist studies. In Ann McElroy and Carolyn Matthiasson (Eds.), Sex-roles in changing cultures. SUNY/Buffalo Occasional Papers in Anthropology, 1, 189–193.Google Scholar
  70. Krohn, A., and Gutmann, D. (1971). Changes in mastery style with age. Psychiatry, 34, 289–300.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Leacock, E. (1978). Society and gender. In Ethel Tobach and B. Rosoff (Eds.), Genes and gender (pp. 75–85 ). New York: Gordian Press.Google Scholar
  72. Lebar, F. M. (1964). Semang. In Ethnic groups of mainland Southeast Asia (pp. 181–186 ). New Haven: Human Relations Area Files.Google Scholar
  73. Librarian.“ (1979). Checklist on materials on the Orang Ash available in the University of Malaya library. Federation Museums Journal, 24,245–265.Google Scholar
  74. Lowie, R. H. (1948). Primitive religion. New York: Liverwright.Google Scholar
  75. Manssor, Ahmad Ezanee, Modh. Razha Razha, Syed Jamal Jaafar, Tan Chi Beng, and Shuichi Nagata. (1973). Peringkat-peringkat umur di kalangan Orang-orang Kensiu di Kedah dan Orang-orang Kintak dan Temiar di Ulu Perak-satu lapuran pendahuluan. Manusia dan Masyarakat, 2, 117–125.Google Scholar
  76. McGlashan, Alan (1987). The dream people. Parabola 12 (3), 11–15.Google Scholar
  77. McHugh, J. N. (1959). Hantu hantu: An account of ghost belief in modern Malaya. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press.Google Scholar
  78. Means, N., and Means, P. B. (1986). Sengoi-English and English-Sengoi dictionary. Gordon Means, ed. Toronto: Joint Center on Modern East Asia, University of Toronto and York University.Google Scholar
  79. Needham, R. (1965). Blood, thunder and mockery of animals. Sociologus, 14, 136–149.Google Scholar
  80. Noone, H. D. (1936). Report on the settlements and welfare of the Ple-Temiar Senoi of the Perak-Kelantan watershed. Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums, 19, 1–85.Google Scholar
  81. Nowak, B. S. (1979). Women’s roles and status in a changing Iroquois society. In Ann McElroy and Carolyn Matthiasson (Eds.), Sex-roles in changing cultures. SUNY/Buffalo Occasional Papers in Anthropology, 1, 95–110.Google Scholar
  82. Nowak, B. S. (1983). Cooperation and partnership: A look at gender relations among Hma’ Btsisi’ of West Malaysia. Paper presented at the 82nd annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  83. Nowak, B. S. (1984a). /deal versus real: Practicality in the sexual division of labor among Hma’ Btsisi’. Paper presented at 11th annual congress of the Canadian Ethnology Society, Montreal, Quebec.Google Scholar
  84. Nowak, B. S. (1984b). Can the partnership last? Marital partners and development. Cultural Survival Quarterly, 8(2), 9–11.Google Scholar
  85. Rainwater, J. (1979). You’re in charge A guide to becoming your own therapist. Culver City, CA: Peace Press.Google Scholar
  86. Read, K. E. (1965). The high valley. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  87. Robarchek, C. (1977). Semai nonviolence: A systems approach to understanding. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California at Riverside.Google Scholar
  88. Robarchek, C. (1983). Senoi anthropologist speaks up. Dream Network Bulletin, 2 (8), 8.Google Scholar
  89. Robarchek, C., and Dentan, R. K. (1987). “Blood drunkenness” and the bloodthirsty Semai: Unmaking another anthropological myth. American Anthropologist, 89,356–365.Google Scholar
  90. Roseman, M. (1984). The social structuring of sound: An example from Temiar of peninsular Malaysia. Ethnomusicology, 28, 411–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Rovics, H. (1983). American Senoi dreamwork. Dream Network Bulletin, 2(11), 1–2, 6–7, 13–14.Google Scholar
  92. Sacks, K. (1975). Engels revisited: The organization of production and private property. In RaynaGoogle Scholar
  93. Reiter (Ed.), Toward an anthropology of women. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  94. Sacks, K. (1975). Engels revisited: The organization of production and private property. In Rayna Reiter (Ed.), Towarf an anrhropology of women. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  95. Sanday, P. R. (1981). Female power and male dominance. On the origins of sexual inequality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  96. Schebesta, P. (1926). Religiose Anschauungen der Semang uber die Orang Hidop (die Unsterblichen). Archiv fur Religionswissenschaft, 24, 209–233.Google Scholar
  97. Schebesta, P. (1927). Religiose Anschauungen der Semang uber die Orang Hidop (die Unsterblichen). Archiv fur Religionswissenschaft, 25, 5–35.Google Scholar
  98. Schebesta, P. (1973). Among the forest dwarfs of Malaya. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford. (Original work published in 1928 )Google Scholar
  99. Schieffelin, E. L. (1977). The unseen influence: Tranced mediums as historical innovators. In B. Juillerat (Ed.), Madness, possession and shamanism in New Guinea, Journal de la Societe des Oceanistes (special ed.), 33, 169–178.Google Scholar
  100. Schlegel, A. (1977). Toward a theory of sexual stratification. In A. Schlegel (Ed.), Sexual stratifica-tion: A cross-cultural view (pp. 1–40 ). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  101. Shaw, W. (1973). Aspects of spirit-mediumship in peninsular Malaysia. Federation Museums Jour-nal, 18, 71–176.Google Scholar
  102. Singam, S. D. R. (1961). Malayan tit bits ( 4th ed. ). Singapore: Liang Khoo Printing Company. (Original work published in 1939 )Google Scholar
  103. Skeat, W. W. (1900). Malay magic: Being an introduction to the folklore and popular religion of the Malay peninsular. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  104. Skeat, W. W., and Blagden, C. 0. (1906). Pagan races of the Malay peninsula. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  105. Slot, J. A. (1935). Koro in Zuid-Celebes. Geneeskundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch-Indie, 75, 811–820.Google Scholar
  106. Stacey, T. (1953). The hostile sun. A Malayan journey. London: Gerald Duckworth.Google Scholar
  107. Stewart, K. R. (1948). Magico-religious beliefs and practices [sic] in primitive society-A so-ciological interpretation of their therapeutic aspects. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, LondonSchool of Economics.Google Scholar
  108. Stewart, K. (1953/1954). Culture and personality in two primitive groups. Complex, 9, 3–23.Google Scholar
  109. Stewart, K. (1954a). Pygmies and dream giants. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  110. Stewart, K. (1954b). Mental hygiene and world peace. Mental Hygiene, 38, 387–403.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  111. Stewart, K. (1962). The dream comes of age. Mental Hygiene, 46, 230–237.Google Scholar
  112. Stewart, K. (1972a). Dream theory in Malaya. In C. T. Tart (Ed.), Altered states of consciousness (pp. 161–170.). Garden City, NY: Anchor.Google Scholar
  113. Stewart, K. (1972b). Dream exploration among the Senoi. In Theodore Roszak (Ed.), Sources. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  114. Stewart, O. C. (1944). Washo-Northern Paiute peyotism. University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, 40, 63–142.Google Scholar
  115. Stewart, O. C. (1964). The need to popularize basic concepts. Current Anthropology, 5, 431–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  116. Stimson, W. R. (1983). Anthropology of the dream people. Dream Network Bulletin, 2 (8), 1, 1415.Google Scholar
  117. Swettenham, F. H. (1895). Malay sketches. London: John Lane.Google Scholar
  118. Tocqueville, A. de. (1951). Democracy in America (The Henry Reeve text as revised by Francis Bowen. Phillips Bradley, Ed., Vol. 1.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. (Original work published in 1835 )Google Scholar
  119. Underhill, R. M. (1939). The social organization of the Papago Indians. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  120. Walker, A. R. (1979). Orang Ash studies at Universiti Sains Malaysia, 1971–1979. Federation Museums Journal, 24, 235–243.Google Scholar
  121. Walters, M. and Dentan, R. K. (1985a). Are lucid dreams universal? Two unequivocal cases of lucid dreaming among Chinese university students in Beijing, 1985. Lucidity Letter, 4 (1), 12–14.Google Scholar
  122. Walters, M., and Dentan, R. K. (1985b). “Dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows”: Awareness of `unreality’ while dreaming among Chinese college students. Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter, 2(3), 10–12, 16.Google Scholar
  123. Werner, R. (1975). Jah-het of Malaysia, art and culture. Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit University Malaya.Google Scholar
  124. Whitehead, H. (1981). The bow and the burden strap: A new look at institutionalized homosexuality in native North America. In Sherry B. Ortner and Harriet Whitehead, (Eds.), Sexual meanings: The cultural construction of gender and sexuality (pp. 80–115 ). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  125. Wilkinson, R. J. (1915). A vocabulary of central Sakai (dialect of the aboriginal communities in the Gopeng Valley). Papers on Malay Subjects (2nd series #3).Google Scholar
  126. Wilkinson, R. J. (1926). Supplement: The aboriginal tribes. Papers on Malay Subjects (2nd series #5).Google Scholar
  127. Williams, S. K. (1980) Jungian-Senoi dreamwork manual (Rev. ed.). Berkely, CA: Journey Press.Google Scholar
  128. Williams-Hunt, P. D. R. (1952). An introduction to the Malayan aborigines. Kuala Lumpur: Government Press.Google Scholar
  129. Zainal, K. (1976). Magical Practices in a rural Malay community in Sarawak. In H. M. Dahlan (Ed.), The nascent Malaysian society: Developments, trends and problems. Siri Monograf Jabatan Antropologi dan Sosiologi. Universiti Kebangsaam. Malaysia 3, 71–97.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert K. Dentan
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of American Studies and AnthropologyState University of New YorkAmherstUSA

Personalised recommendations