General Anthropology Division
Group Flash Presentation Session
Goosebumps. A dream of a departed loved one or a long-lost friend. A sudden urge for beer. A glimpse of a figure. The pulsing beat of a drum bringing one to dance. People in Northern Thailand report and circulate a wide range of signals from the otherwise unseen. Amidst any fears or repulsions these encounters may provoke, a sense of obligation can be found. With a spontaneous chant or a trip to a temple to make merit, people often move on behalf of those who do not have the body to do so. What might come of considering relations with spirits in terms of care? Care – providing for others – depends on what counts, for whom, in a particular context. This flash presentation will probe what particularly attuned perceptions and trained responses in the face of spirits, ghosts, and ancestors can reveal about care, communication, and the force of felt obligation.