Aarhus Universitetsforlag

Invoking the Spirits

Fieldwork on the material and spiritual life of the hunter-gathers Mlabri in Northern Thailand

A part of the series Jysk Arkæologisk Selskabs Skrifter (60) , and the subject area

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332 pages ill.
ISBN 978 87 8841 547 6


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About the book

During a field study in 1970 among the hill tribes of Northern Thailand, Jesper Trier and his wife heard rumours of a secluded and very shy group of jungle dwellers whom the Thai called the Spirits of the yellow leaves, but who called themselves Mlabri. It was only after four months of arduous searching that the Triers found the Mlabri in the mountain jungles. From 1977 to 1994 they stayed with two Mlabri tribes and carried out intensive field studies. The results of these studies are presented in this book under four main headings: Material and social culture; The supernatural world; The Mlabri language; The prayers. 
Until now only a few descriptions of the Mlabri have been published, and their spiritual world has never before been studied and described in such detail as in this work by Jesper Trier. Today only c. 300 Mlabri remain in the hills of Northern Thailand and Laos. Their culture has changed, however, because of contact with the outside world. Invoking the Spirits describes the culture of a people whose numbers are rapidly declining.

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