Batak

Batak – Indigenous people from the remaining forests of Palawan, the Philippines. Their shamans share many of the functions of shamans elsewhere, but a principal role is as mediators between human communities and masters of rice, bees, otters, and other other-than-human persons on whose abundance the Batak rely. In regular seasonal rituals, especially the lambay, shamans take samples of the first honey collected in the forest and seek knowledge about the state of honey resources in the area. If it is indicated that they are too low, the shamans dance while in a trance and seek to distribute additional honey. In doing so, they participate in the distributive work not only of bees but also of the Master of Bees, who is ultimately responsible for the dispersal of such resources. Similar engagements with rice and the Master of Rice are equally important and should not be seen as a symbolic function but as a political mediation significant in resource management.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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