By Tova Gamliel
The time period "wailing culture" comprises an array of women’s behaviors and ideology following the demise of a member in their ethnic staff and is average of Jewish existence in Yemeni tradition. critical to the perform is wailing itself—a designated inventive style that mixes speech with sobbing into relocating lyrical poetry that explores the that means of demise and loss. In Aesthetics of Sorrow: The Wailing tradition of Yemenite Jewish ladies, Tova Gamliel decodes the cultural and mental meanings of this custom in an ethnography in response to her anthropological study between Yemenite Jewish groups in Israel in 2001–2003.
Based on participant-observervation in houses of the bereaved and on twenty-four in-depth interviews with wailing men and women, Gamliel illuminates wailing tradition point by way of point: by way of the circles during which the job occurs; the specified components of pastime that belong to ladies; and the large social, ancient, and spiritual context that surrounds those internal circles. She discusses the most topics that outline the wailing tradition (including the ancient origins of women’s wailing ordinarily and of Yemenite Jewish wailing in particular), the qualities of wailing as an inventive style, and the wailer as a symbolic kind. She additionally explores the position of wailing in demise rituals, as a healing services endowed with distinctive affective mechanisms, as an erotic functionality, as a livelihood, and as a hallmark of the Jewish exile. finally, she considers wailing on the intersection of culture and modernity and examines the research of wailing as a real methodological challenge.
Gamliel brings a delicate eye to the vanishing perform of wailing, which has been principally unexamined through students and should be unusual to many outdoor of the center East. Her interdisciplinary standpoint and her specialize in a uniquely girl immigrant cultural perform will make this research interesting examining for students of anthropology, gender, folklore, psychology, functionality, philosophy, and sociology.
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Extra resources for Aesthetics of Sorrow: The Wailing Culture of Yemenite Jewish Women
Wailing in its positive sense is an art that creates a desired distance from sorrow and, in turn, induces a ﬂow of tears. As stated, however, i n t r od uc t ion / 31 wailing also has a negative connotation: the younger generation considers it a performance that molds a subjective emotion in order to ﬁt it into a cultural agenda. Wailing applies the coercive power of art at a time of crisis. For some, wailing and wailers are oﬀ-putting from the value standpoint, and they wonder: how can there be a stylized articulation of sadness, and how can performance intersect with spontaneity and sincerity?
The dialogic point of view from which I performed my observations inspired these practitioners of intellectual tourism to ask about themselves as well and to wonder, not without sadness, about the disappearance of wailing before Israel could get familiar with it. What remains for me is to hope that you will gain this welcome form of inspiration from here on as you read this book. i n t r od uc t ion / 37 In chapter 1, “Wailing: A Topic That Defies Research,” the Yemenite Jewish wailing culture is explored as a challenge for research.
In another example of the cultural similarity, both groups of women deﬁne a beautiful song as one that induces weeping and can change listeners’ thinking. Finally, both performance communities strongly appreciate the interplay of verbal forms and the quality of the woman’s voice. Abu-Lukhod is an exception in her extensive reference to Muslim women’s poetry. 6 The singing of the muzayyinaˉt, Arab women in Yemen who are expert crooners for weddings, is merely hinted at in Dorsky (1986), as is a well developed domain of women’s poetry.
Aesthetics of Sorrow: The Wailing Culture of Yemenite Jewish Women by Tova Gamliel