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Craig_Heldreth comments on The Value (and Danger) of Ritual - Less Wrong

29 Post author: Raemon 30 December 2011 06:52AM

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Comment author: Craig_Heldreth 31 December 2011 12:48:56AM 4 points [-]

I am reminded of an essay by the Anthropologist Edmund Leach, 'Once a Knight is Quite Enough' (p. 194ff in The Essential Edmund Leach Volume I 2000 Yale U. Press) where he details the parallels between his initiation into British knighthood by Q. Elizabeth II and a Borneo headhunter ceremony which he saw at the end of WWII. Headhunting was illegal at that time in Sarawak, but they got special permission as the two victims were Japanese soldiers. Anyway the idea was if you watched a silent movie of the two ceremonies and ignored the costumes, the two rituals were nearly indistinguishable. He also mentioned that the Sarawak ceremonial grounds were laid out like a typical English village church.

Here is a link to the headhunters ritual map from google books