The Areca Nut as a Gift and Object of Sacrifice Cover Image
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Палмовите орехи арека като обект на даро- и жертвоподнасяне
The Areca Nut as a Gift and Object of Sacrifice

Author(s): Nguyen Thi Phuong Tram
Subject(s): Anthropology, Cultural history, Customs / Folklore, Agriculture, Human Geography, Regional Geography, Applied Geography, Ethnohistory, Local History / Microhistory, Oral history, Social history, Recent History (1900 till today), Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Culture and social structure , Social development, Social differentiation, Family and social welfare, Human Ecology, Sociology of Culture, Inter-Ethnic Relations, Ethnic Minorities Studies, Socio-Economic Research, Politics and Identity, Identity of Collectives
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: The Areca nut is one of the products found in South Asia, Southeast Asia, andSouthern China. In China, being an exotic product that can be grown only in tropicalclimate, the Areca nut used to be highly appreciated and considered as a precious giftamongst the nobles in the past, especially during the Tang and Song dynasties. Whilein Vietnam, throughout its history, the Areca nut, because of its inherent spiritualvalue, has been an indispensable object of sacrifice in Vietnamese ancestral worshipas well as their lifetime rituals such as weddings, funerals and during childbirth. Apartfrom being an essential offering in rituals and ceremonies, the Areca nut traditionallywas also a means of mobilizing Vietnamese people’s social interactions (includingcourting between young boys and young girls).After doing a short description on how the Areca nut was used as a gift and as asacrificial object respectively in China in the past and in Southeast Asia, this article,from a historical point of view and with the author’s first hand materials from herfieldwork in Vietnam, attempts to show and explain both why and how the Arecanut has been functioning as a core indispensable object in sacrifices as well as ritualsand also as a means of social interaction in Vietnam. Thus, the article emphasizesthe important role that the Areca nut plays in Vietnamese people’s spiritual life andculture.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 443-457
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Bulgarian