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Lamet Pitek, Emily 2020-02-18

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Poll: Religious Group (v6) Published on: 18 February 2020Date Range: 1915 CE - 1945 CERegion: Northwestern LaosRegion tags: Asia, Southeast Asia, Lao People'sDemocratic RepublicNorthwestern Laos, ca. 1940LametData source: eHRAFSecondary sourceEntered by Emily Pitek, Human Relations Area Files* Data Source entry, prepared based on data sourced from an external project.* Secondary Source entry, prepared from a literature review by a Ph.D. RAEntry tags: Religious Group, Southeast Asian ReligionsThe Lamet are native to the northwestern part of what is now known as Laos. This entry focuses on theLamet living in this region around the time of 1940, and draws primarily from the work of principalethnographic authority Karl Gustav Izikowitz. At the time Izikowitz was conducting field work among theLamet (1936-1938), the region was governed by France, and was known as French Indochina. Despitebeing under French political rule, the Lamet culture was not greatly influenced by European culture. EachLamet village is an independent unit, and no formal political office exists beyond the level of the village.However, the Lamet have seven totemic, patrilineal, exogamous clans that cut across villages and regulatemarriage ties. The most important social unit is the house group, which is comprised of an extended familyled by a housefather. Each village includes several house groups. There is somewhat of a hierarchy amongthe housefathers, with those who are lem (wealthiest) having greater influence within the village. Theindividual most closely resembling a chief is the xǝmiā (priest of sacrifice), whose authority varies in eachvillage depending on personality and status. The xǝmiā’s responsibilities include performing all sacrifices tothe various spirits of the village, ensuring order is kept and the spirits are not disturbed, and supervisingthe community house. The position is hereditary in the male line. Religious ceremonies focus aroundhunting, agriculture and the seasonal cycle, death/burial rites, and maintaining the good will of spirits toensure the wellbeing of the village. Lamet supernatural beings include village spirits, ancestor spirits (alsoknown as house spirits), and forest spirits. Additionally, rice possess a spirit in the same way that a humanpossesses a soul. Medicine men are also present, and use divination to determine which spirit is causingillness and what needs to be done to appease the spirit. For the Lamet, religion does not exist in a distinctsphere of life, but is bound up with the functioning of society as a whole. Consequently, this entry considersthe religious group to be coterminous with the society.Status of Participants:✓ Elite ✓ Religious Specialists ✓ Non-elite (common people, general populace)SourcesPrint sources for understanding this subject:Source 1: Izikowitz, K.G. 1951. Lamet. Etnologiska Studier 17:1-375. Göteborg.—Source 2: Izikowitz, K.G. 1985. Compass for Fields Afar: Essays in Social Anthropology. Göteborg.—Source 3: Divale, W. 2004. Codebook of Variables for the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. World Cultures:—DOI: URL: https://religiondatabase.org/browse/748This work is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution 4.0 International license.Please see our Terms of Use here:https://religiondatabase.org/about/creditsPage 1 of 18© 2020 Database of Religious History.The University of British Columbia.For any questions contactproject.manager@religiondatabase.orgGeneral VariablesMembership/Group InteractionsAre other religious groups in cultural contact with target religion:Notes: "...it is apparent that the Lamet have been strongly influenced by the Yuan [a neighboring tribe],which can be seen in a great many borrowed words, in religious formulas where they have takencertain phrases from the Yuan incantations, and likewise in the practice of their medicine men"(Izikowitz, 1951:23). Note: See Izikowitz, 1951 pages 19-33 for a full description of the neighbors of theLamet. "...the European culture has influenced that of the Lamet to a very small extent...Nomissionaries have ever made their appearance" (Izikowitz, 1951:344).Does the religious group actively proselytize and recruit new members:Notes: No ethnographic evidence indicating that the Lamet actively recruit new members.Does the religion have official political supportNotes: For the Lamet, religion does not exist in a distinct sphere of life, but is bound up with thefunctioning of society as a whole. Consequently, this entry considers the religious group to becoterminous with the society. In this way, the religion is considered to have political support.The Journal of Cross-Cultural and Comparative Research.Source 1: Tuden, A. & Marshall, C. (Oct., 1972). Political organization: Cross-cultural codes 4. Ethnology,11(4), 436-464.—Source 2: Murdock, G.P. (1967). Ethnographic Atlas. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.—Yes—Is there violent conflict (within sample region):Notes: SCCS Variable 1649, Frequency of Internal Warfare (Resolved Rating), indicates that noresolved rating was made (Ember and Ember, 1992; Retrieved from Divale, 2004).Field doesn't know—Is there violent conflict (with groups outside the sample region):Notes: SCCS Variable 1650, Frequency of External Warfare (Resolved Rating), indicates that noresolved rating was made (Ember and Ember, 1992; Retrieved from Divale, 2004).I don't know—No—Yes—Is religious infrastructure paid for by the polity:Notes: It does not appear that religious infrastructure is present.No—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 2 of 18Size and StructureNumber of adherents of religious group within sample region (estimated population,numerical):Notes: "Lamet is a small tribe - about 6,000 persons - living in the northwest corner of FrenchIndochina (the state of Laos), between the Nam Ngao and Nam Tha, two branches of the Upper RiverMekong" (Izikowitz, 1985:212).Are there recognized leaders in the religious group:Notes: "In reality, each village forms a unit for itself. The chiefs of today are appointed by the French,and this institution existed at least partly under the Siamese period. But even this is not original for theLamet, for they have no real chief as a matter of fact. What most resembles a chief in the Lametvillages, is the priest of sacrifice, xǝmiā. There is only one xǝmiā in each village, and his office ishereditary in the male line...The duty of the priest of sacrifice is to perform all the sacrifices made to thedifferent spirits of the village, and also to see that order is kept in the village, so that the village spiritsare not disturbed. He has also supervision of the community house...and all that goes on there. In thisway his power is limited to the village itself, or rather to the section where people live, for he has nojurisdiction over the lands, the clearings, or the woods belonging to the village" (Izikowitz, 1951:112-113)."Besides this priest, there is also a medicine man (mǝt) in the village. His function is only to heal thesick, or more correctly, to try to find out which spirits are the cause of sickness, and where lost soulswho have left the body have gone; moreover, he performs the sacrifices for the demons of sickness.The medicine men have no power in the village, and no particular position of rank. They are not paidfor their work, and have no special privileges" (Izikowitz, 1951:116).Are political officials equivalent to religious officials:Notes: "In reality, each village forms a unit for itself. The chiefs of today are appointed by theFrench, and this institution existed at least partly under the Siamese period. But even this isnot original for the Lamet, for they have no real chief as a matter of fact. What most resemblesa chief in the Lamet villages, is the priest of sacrifice, xǝmiā. There is only one xǝmiā in eachvillage, and his office is hereditary in the male line...The duty of the priest of sacrifice is toperform all the sacrifices made to the different spirits of the village, and also to see that order iskept in the village, so that the village spirits are not disturbed. He has also supervision of thecommunity house...and all that goes on there. In this way his power is limited to the villageitself, or rather to the section where people live, for he has no jurisdiction over the lands, theclearings, or the woods belonging to the village" (Izikowitz, 1951:112-113).Yes—Estimated population, numeric: 6000—Yes—Are close followers or disciples of a religious leader required to obediently andunquestionably accept the leader's pronouncements on all matters:Notes: "His [the xǝmiā] authority in the village can therefore be considerable, but it varies inthe different villages, possibly depending upon his personality. But his wealth also plays a partNo—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 3 of 18ScriptureDoes the religious group have scriptures:Scripture is a generic term used to designate revered texts that are considered particularly authoritativeand sacred relative to other texts. Strictly speaking, it refers to written texts, but there are also “oralscriptures” (e.g. the Vedas of India).Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of scripture among the Lamet.Architecture, GeographyIs monumental religious architecture present:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of monumental religious architecture.BeliefsBurial and AfterlifeIs a spirit-body distinction present:Answer “no” only if personhood (or consciousness) is extinguished with death of the physical body.Answering yes does not necessarily imply the existence of Cartesian mind/body dualism, merely thatsome element of personhood (or consciousness) survives the death of the body.Notes: "The kplu is neither a mbrong [supernatural being] nor a spirit having any kind of form. It issomething that gives life to the human body and to the rice, and seems, to some extent, to be relatedto the soul substance believed in by the Malays, or to the body or functional soul (Körperseele inWundt's terminology). But is has not quite the same qualities as these conceptions, and has nothing atall to do with the priérr yom, or spectre of the dead, which leaves the body after death. It is more of asort of fluid, like electricity, which can leave the body if it is not treated in the proper way" (Izikowitz,1985:221).in the case" (Izikowitz, 1951:113).No—No—Yes—Spirit-mind is conceived of as having qualitatively different powers or properties thanother body parts:Notes: "The only thing besides rice that possesses a klpu [soul], is man, and here we have two ofthem, one situated in the head and the other in the knees, each ruling the upper and lowerparts of the body, respectively, and finding a boundary line in the region of the navel"(Izikowitz, 1985:217-218).Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 4 of 18Belief in afterlife:Notes: "Before the body was carried away on a bier by the male relatives, the housefather cast a longspell, that, according to what I was told, guided the spirit of the dead girl along the way to the village ofdead people on the other side of the Mekong" (Izikowitz, 1985:228).Reincarnation in this world:Notes: No ethnographic evidence indicating the presence of a belief in reincarnation.Are there special treatments for adherents' corpses:Notes: "When a Lamet dies, his body is placed in a coffin, which is the hollowed log of a tree. For richmen the coffin is made of especially hard wood, while for the poor anything is good enough. The deadbody is dressed in the owner's best clothes, and then the coffin is buried. At the cemetery, one long,narrow stone is erected over the place where the head lies, and another where the knees are situated"(Izikowitz, 1985:225).Yes—Is the spatial location of the afterlife specified or described by the religious group:Yes—Afterlife in vaguely defined horizontal space:Notes: "Before the body was carried away on a bier by the male relatives, thehousefather cast a long spell, that, according to what I was told, guided the spirit of thedead girl along the way to the village of dead people on the other side of the Mekong"(Izikowitz, 1985:228).Yes—No—Yes—Interment:Notes: (Izikowitz, 1985:225)Yes—Corpse is flexed (legs are bent or body is crouched):Notes: (Izikowitz, 1985:225)No—Corpse is extended (lying flat on front or back):Notes: (Izikowitz, 1985:225)Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 5 of 18Are co-sacrifices present in tomb/burial:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of co-sacrifices.Are grave goods present:Notes: "...the dead man is given wooden knives when he is laid in the coffin. The grave of a man isdecorated with his crossbow and wallet, and tools, and that of a woman with an apparatus for distillingrice wine, and a few broken vessels, and moreover, baskets and a 'rain-coat' are hung on the middlepole of the grave" (Izikowitz, 1951:108).Are formal burials present:Notes: "When a Lamet dies, his body is placed in a coffin, which is the hollowed log of a tree. For richmen the coffin is made of especially hard wood, while for the poor anything is good enough. The deadbody is dressed in the owner's best clothes, and then the coffin is buried. At the cemetery, one long,narrow stone is erected over the place where the head lies, and another where the knees are situated"(Izikowitz, 1985:225).Corpse is upright (where body is interred in standing position):Notes: (Izikowitz, 1985:225)No—Cannibalism:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of cannibalism.No—No—Yes—Personal effects:Notes: "...the dead man is given wooden knives when he is laid in the coffin. The grave of a manis decorated with his crossbow and wallet, and tools, and that of a woman with an apparatusfor distilling rice wine, and a few broken vessels, and moreover, baskets and a 'rain-coat' arehung on the middle pole of the grave" (Izikowitz, 1951:108).Yes—Yes—In cemetery:Notes: "The cemetery is always situated outside the village, and those that I observed were nomore than 300 metres away, in the one case, and in the second about four kilometres. Thethird case was an old abandoned place. In all three cases the cemeteries were situated deep inthe forest and no paths led to them" (Izikowitz, 1985:226).Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 6 of 18Supernatural BeingsAre supernatural beings present:Notes: "Ancestor, forest, and village spirits have already been mentioned as the most important andmost common spiritual beings...They are all called mbrong (spirits) by the Lamet, but the word phi isalso often used, although this word is borrowed from the Thai language. There are many kinds ofmbrong in the Lamet supernatural world, and the Lamet themselves are not sure of the actualnumber" (Izikowitz, 1985:219).Family tomb-crypt:Notes: (Izikowitz, 1985:226)No—Domestic (individuals interred beneath house, or in areas used for normal domesticactivities):Notes: (Izikowitz, 1985:226)No—Yes—A supreme high god is present:Notes: According to SCCS Variable 238, High Gods [note: equivalent to Ethnographic Atlascolumn 34], a high god is either absent or not reported (Murdock, 1962-1971; Retrieved fromDivale, 2004).No—Previously human spirits are present:Notes: "In addition to the mbrong, there are other categories of supernatural beings, as forexample, the priérr, the spectre of the dead, the śi-ep and śi-ong, the fire-ghost and ghost ofmen dead by accident, etc." (Izikowitz, 1985:220). "The klpu of the dead rests in the grave,fastened by stones, while the spirit of the dead goes away to the village of dead men" (ibid, pg.228).Yes—Human spirits can be seen:Notes: "The mbrong and priérr are real spirits which sometimes can have form. Amongthe Upper Lamet some of the spirits are considered to be like 'young men dressed inwhite'. And among the Lower Lamet I once heard that the mbrong ying cansometimes appear as a huge man" (Izikowitz, 1985:244).Yes—Human spirits can be physically felt:Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 7 of 18I don't know—Human spirits have deliberate causal efficacy in the world:I don't know—Human spirits have indirect causal efficacy in the world:Notes: "These spirits [the ancestor, or house, spirits] are the most important of all, andthe family is dependent upon them to a very large extent. As a matter of fact they arethe central figures in the lives of the Lamet, who believe that if they look after thesespirits properly, the whole family will have good health, many children will be born, theharvest will be successful, and all their wishes will be fulfilled" (Izikowitz, 1951:323).Yes—Human spirits communicate with the living:I don't know—Non-human supernatural beings are present:Notes: "Ancestor, forest, and village spirits have already been mentioned as the mostimportant and most common spiritual beings...They are all called mbrong (spirits) by theLamet, but the word phi is also often used, although this word is borrowed from the Thailanguage. There are many kinds of mbrong in the Lamet supernatural world, and the Lametthemselves are not sure of the actual number" (Izikowitz, 1985:219). "It seems to me that thembrong have always existed and have no origin, which is not the case with the other [theghosts of humans]" (Izikowitz, 1985:220-221). "Every village has its own particular spirits, ofwhich the principals are mbrong ying (the village spirit proper), the spirit of the ćong, the spiritof water or the village spring, the spirit of the village gate, and the other lesser ones. Thembrong ying is the most important of all, and lives under the ground of the village territory, i.e.where the village stands, and not outside its limit where a greater expansion of territory lies"(ibid, pg. 228). "Rice possesses klpū just as a human being does, and the soul of rice is calledklpu gō" (Izikowitz, 1951:243).Yes—These supernatural beings can be seen:I don't know—Non-human supernatural beings have deliberate causal efficacy in the world:I don't know—These supernatural beings have indirect causal efficacy in the world:Notes: "The village spirit represents, or symbolizes the life of the village, and thesacrifices made to him are for the well-being and health of the village, for a good crop,Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 8 of 18Supernatural MonitoringIs supernatural monitoring present:This refers to surveillance by supernatural beings of humans’ behaviour and/or thought particularly as itand for protection from all kinds of dangerous influences; these results are evidently tobe obtained by casting spells during the ceremonies in honour of the spirit" (Izikowitz,1985:229).These supernatural beings exhibit positive emotion:Notes: "The mbrong are good and bad, dangerous and benevolent; some, if treatedright, can be of great help while other can never be any good, but will stay away fromhuman domains if sacrificed to properly" (Izikowitz, 1985:221).Yes—These supernatural beings exhibit negative emotion:Notes: "The mbrong are good and bad, dangerous and benevolent; some, if treatedright, can be of great help while other can never be any good, but will stay away fromhuman domains if sacrificed to properly" (Izikowitz, 1985:221).Yes—Mixed human-divine beings are present:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of mixed human-divine beings.No—Does the religious group possess a variety of supernatural beings:Notes: "Ancestor, forest, and village spirits have already been mentioned as the mostimportant and most common spiritual beings...They are all called mbrong (spirits) by theLamet, but the word phi is also often used, although this word is borrowed from the Thailanguage. There are many kinds of mbrong in the Lamet supernatural world, and the Lametthemselves are not sure of the actual number" (Izikowitz, 1985:219).Yes—Organized by kinship based on a family model:No—Power of beings is domain specific:Notes: Ancestor spirits appear to have power in the domain of the home and family,while village spirits appear to have power in the domain of the village community.Forest spirits appear to have power in the domain of the forest and wild animals.Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 9 of 18relates to social norms or potential norm violations.Notes: Ethnographic evidence suggests that it is important to keep the good will of spirits in order tomaintain the general welfare of the community and family. However, it is unclear if the spirits areparticularly concerned with social norms, or if the spirits preferred to be treated in a certain manner."For instance, when a Lamet had broken a taboo or committed a 'sin' against a spirit, or has had badluck, he takes a few leaves from the roofing and going to a brook throws them there and washes hishands and feet. A similar purification ceremony is performed on agricultural implements every nightwhen the daily work is done...One may not wear ornaments or a turban, must keep silence, etc. for fearof disturbing Har [tree spirits] who can cause the failure of crops if displeased" (Izikowitz, 1985:234)."These spirits [the ancestral or house spirits] are the most important of all, and the family is dependentupon them to a very large extent. As a matter of fact they are the central figures in the lives of theLamet, who believe that if they look after these spirits properly, the whole family will have good health,many children will be born, the harvest will be successful, and all their wishes will be fulfilled. Whatevera Lamet is about to undertake he must inform the house spirits. If he should forget to do so, he is likelyto meet with some mishap" (Izikowitz, 1951:323). "The Lamet are extremely afraid of disturbing thegood will of the house spirits in the slightest degree, which is of course easy to understand, since somuch depends upon them. For this reason the behavior of the individuals in a dwelling is checked by anumber of rules of taboo. Thus I could not sit inside the dwelling and make notes, not takemeasurements of the house, for they feared that the spirits would not like this" (Izikowitz, 1951:325).Do supernatural beings mete out punishment:Notes: See questions below for more detailed information regarding supernatural punishment.I don't know—Yes—Is the cause or agent of supernatural punishment known:Notes: The Har [tree spirit] (Izikowitz, 1985:234) as well as house/ancestral spirits (Izikowitz,1951:325) are described as agents of supernatural punishment.Yes—Done only by high god:Notes: According to SCCS Variable 238, High Gods [note: equivalent to EthnographicAtlas column 34], a high god is either absent or not reported (Murdock, 1962-1971;Retrieved from Divale, 2004).No—Done by many supernatural beings:Notes: The Har [tree spirit] (Izikowitz, 1985:234) as well as house/ancestral spirits(Izikowitz, 1951:325) are described as agents of supernatural punishment.Yes—Done through impersonal cause-effect principle:No—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 10 of 18Is the reason for supernatural punishment known:Notes: See questions below for reasons for supernatural punishment.Yes—Done to enforce religious ritual-devotional adherence:I don't know—Done to enforce group norms:Notes: "For instance, when a Lamet had broken a taboo or committed a 'sin' against aspirit, or has had bad luck, he takes a few leaves from the roofing and going to a brookthrows them there and washes his hands and feet. A similar purification ceremony isperformed on agricultural implements every night when the daily work is done...Onemay not wear ornaments or a turban, must keep silence, etc. for fear of disturbing Har[tree spirits] who can cause the failure of crops if displeased" (Izikowitz, 1985:234).Yes—Done to inhibit selfishness:I don't know—Other [specify]Notes: "The Lamet are extremely afraid of disturbing the good will of the house spiritsin the slightest degree, which is of course easy to understand, since so much dependsupon them. For this reason the behavior of the individuals in a dwelling is checked by anumber of rules of taboo. Thus I could not sit inside the dwelling and make notes, nottake measurements of the house, for they feared that the spirits would not like this"(Izikowitz, 1951:325).Yes—Supernatural punishments are meted out in the afterlife:I don't know—Supernatural punishments are meted out in this lifetime:Notes: See questions below for examples of supernatural punishments in this lifetime.Yes—Supernatural punishments in this life are highly emphasized by the religiousgroup:I don't know—Punishment in this life consists of bad luck:Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 11 of 18Do supernatural beings bestow rewards:Notes: "The village spirits represent first of all the interest of the whole village, and are therefore boundup with many branches of the life of the village people. The ancestor spirits have a similar function, butare particularly directed to the welfare of the family, and to its prestige most of all. For this reason Ishould like to assume that the ceremonies in both these cases are particularly aimed at renewing andreinforcing the power of the village and the ancestor spirits, so that these forces can help humanbeings to the greatest possible extent in their efforts. The more one can strengthen these forces andget them to be kindly disposed, the greater their contribution to man will be in his effort for greatersecurity and prestige" (Izikowitz, 1951:338). "These spirits [the ancestral or house spirits] are the mostimportant of all, and the family is dependent upon them to a very large extent. As a matter of fact theyare the central figures in the lives of the Lamet, who believe that if they look after these spiritsproperly, the whole family will have good health, many children will be born, the harvest will besuccessful, and all their wishes will be fulfilled. Whatever a Lamet is about to undertake he mustinform the house spirits. If he should forget to do so, he is likely to meet with some mishap" (Izikowitz,1951:323).Notes: "Whatever a Lamet is about to undertake he must inform the house spirits. If heshould forget to do so, he is likely to meet with some mishap" (Izikowitz, 1951:323).Yes—Punishment in this life consists of crop failure or bad weather:Notes: "For instance, when a Lamet had broken a taboo or committed a 'sin' against aspirit, or has had bad luck, he takes a few leaves from the roofing and going to a brookthrows them there and washes his hands and feet. A similar purification ceremony isperformed on agricultural implements every night when the daily work is done...Onemay not wear ornaments or a turban, must keep silence, etc. for fear of disturbing Har[tree spirits] who can cause the failure of crops if displeased" (Izikowitz, 1985:234).Yes—Punishment in this life consists of sickness or illness:I don't know—Yes—Is the cause/purpose of supernatural rewards known:Notes: The village spirit and the ancestral spirits are described as agents of supernaturalreward (Izikowitz, 1951: 323,338).Yes—Done only by high god:Notes: According to SCCS Variable 238, High Gods [note: equivalent to EthnographicAtlas column 34], a high god is either absent or not reported (Murdock, 1962-1971;Retrieved from Divale, 2004).No—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 12 of 18Done by many supernatural beings:Notes: The village spirit and the ancestral spirits are described as agents ofsupernatural reward (Izikowitz, 1951: 323,338).Yes—Done through impersonal cause-effect principle:I don't know—Done to enforce religious ritual-devotional adherence:Notes: "These spirits [the ancestral or house spirits] are the most important of all, andthe family is dependent upon them to a very large extent. As a matter of fact they arethe central figures in the lives of the Lamet, who believe that if they look after thesespirits properly, the whole family will have good health, many children will be born, theharvest will be successful, and all their wishes will be fulfilled. Whatever a Lamet isabout to undertake he must inform the house spirits. If he should forget to do so, he islikely to meet with some mishap" (Izikowitz, 1951:323).Yes—Supernatural rewards are bestowed out in the afterlife:I don't know—Supernatural rewards are bestowed out in this lifetime:Notes: See questions below for examples of supernatural reward in this lifetime.Yes—Supernatural rewards in this life are highly emphasized by the religious group:I don't know—Reward in this life consists of good luck:Notes: The heads of animals captured while hunting are sacrificed to the spirit of theforest, "...which is supposed to rule all the animals in the forests and which gives theLamet good luck in hunting" (Izikowitz, 1951:73-74).Yes—Reward in this life consists of healthy crops or good weather:Notes: "These spirits [the ancestral or house spirits] are the most important of all, andthe family is dependent upon them to a very large extent. As a matter of fact they arethe central figures in the lives of the Lamet, who believe that if they look after thesespirits properly, the whole family will have good health, many children will be born, theharvest will be successful, and all their wishes will be fulfilled. Whatever a Lamet isYes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 13 of 18Messianism/EschatologyAre messianic beliefs present:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of messianic beliefs.Is an eschatology present:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of an eschatology.PracticesMembership Costs and PracticesDoes membership in this religious group require castration:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of required castration.Does membership in this religious group require fasting:about to undertake he must inform the house spirits. If he should forget to do so, he islikely to meet with some mishap" (Izikowitz, 1951:323).Reward in this life consists of enhanced health:Notes: "These spirits [the ancestral or house spirits] are the most important of all, andthe family is dependent upon them to a very large extent. As a matter of fact they arethe central figures in the lives of the Lamet, who believe that if they look after thesespirits properly, the whole family will have good health, many children will be born, theharvest will be successful, and all their wishes will be fulfilled. Whatever a Lamet isabout to undertake he must inform the house spirits. If he should forget to do so, he islikely to meet with some mishap" (Izikowitz, 1951:323).Yes—Reward in this life consists of enhanced reproductive success:Notes: "These spirits [the ancestral or house spirits] are the most important of all, andthe family is dependent upon them to a very large extent. As a matter of fact they arethe central figures in the lives of the Lamet, who believe that if they look after thesespirits properly, the whole family will have good health, many children will be born, theharvest will be successful, and all their wishes will be fulfilled. Whatever a Lamet isabout to undertake he must inform the house spirits. If he should forget to do so, he islikely to meet with some mishap" (Izikowitz, 1951:323).Yes—No—No—No—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 14 of 18Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of required fasting.Does membership in this religious group require forgone food opportunities (taboos ondesired foods):Notes: "The priest is forbidden to eat certain things. In the village of Sithoun the xǝmiā told me that forthe first three years after being appointed priest he was not allowed to cut cane or palm leaves, norshould he eat the meat of monkeys, snakes, or tigers. If he should do these things he would lose therespect of the spirits" (Izikowitz, 1951:115).Specific to this answer:Status of Participants: ✓ Religious SpecialistsDoes membership in this religious group require sacrifice of adults:"Adults" here referring to an emic or indigenous category; if that category is different from the popularWestern definition of a human who is 18-years-old or older and who is legally responsible for his/heractions, then please specify that difference in the Comments/Sources: box below.Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of human sacrifice.Does membership in this religious group require sacrifice of children:"Children" here referring to an emic or indigenous category; if that category is different from the popularWestern definition, please specify that different in the Comments/Sources: box below.Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of human sacrifice.Does membership in this religious group require self-sacrifice (suicide):Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of human sacrifice.Does membership in this religious group require sacrifice of time (e.g., attendance atmeetings or services, regular prayer, etc.):Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of required time sacrifices.Does membership in this religious group require participation in large-scale rituals:I.e. involving two or more households; includes large-scale “ceremonies” and “festivals.”Notes: "In a way the greater feasts partaken of by all in the village form milestones. This is especially soin regard to the festivals for the spirits of the village. The first of these is held a few days before sowingNo—Yes—No—No—No—No—Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 15 of 18take place, that is, when the rains have come, and the second occurs when the rice has reached aheight of about 20 cm. With the celebrating of the second festival, community life undergoes achange, by the greater part of activity taking place out on the swiddens" (Izikowitz, 1951:166). "Beforesowing can take place, festivals are held in all Lamet villages in honor of the spirits of the village. Thetime for this ceremony is decided by the xǝmiā. He is the one who chooses a day which he considers tobe 'good,' and he is the one who leads the whole ceremony for these important spirits, who areconnected with the welfare of the whole village" (Izikowitz, 1951:218).Society and InstitutionsLevels of Social ComplexityThe society to which the religious group belongs is best characterized as (please chooseone):Notes: SCCS Variable 237, Jurisdictional Hierarchy Beyond Local Community [Note: Equivalent toEthnographic Atlas Column 32], indicates that the Lamet have no levels of political authority beyondthe local community (Murdock, 1962-1971; Retrieved from Divale, 2004). "...at one time there was achief in Mokahang Tai who rules over eight Lamet villages. However, he had a Siamese title of nobility,and served mostly as tax bailiff. I have not discovered the slightest trace of any original organizationbetween the villages of the Lamet themselves. In reality, each village forms a unit for itself. The chiefsof today are appointed by the French, and this institution existed at least partly under the Siameseperiod. But even this is not original for the Lamet, for they have no real chief as a matter of fact. Whatmost resembles a chief in the Lamet villages, is the priest of sacrifice..." (Izikowitz, 1951:112). Principalethnographic authority (Izikowitz, 1951:84) notes that the Lamet have seven totemic clans that arepatrilineal and exogamous; each clan has an origin myth telling of the clan's ancestor and relation totheir totem. Ethnographic Atlas (Murdock, 1967) Column 20, Patrilineal Kin Groups and Exogamy,indicates that the Lamet have "sibs ('clans' in British usage), i.e., lineages whose core membershipnormally comprises residents of more than one community."BureaucracyDo the group’s adherents interact with other institutional bureaucracies:Notes: At the time the principal ethnographic authority was living with the Lamet, the Lamet wereAre there orthopraxy checks:Orthopraxy checks are mechanisms used to ensure that rituals are performed in a standardizedway, e.g. through the supervisory prominence of a professionalized priesthood or other system ofgovernance, appeal to texts detailing the proper procedure, etc.Notes: "When new houses are to be built in the village, or when a new village is to be founded,it is the priest of sacrifice who officiates as 'building committee.' At feasts and ceremonieswhich are taken part in by the whole village, or performed simultaneously by all in the village,it is the xǝmiā who decided which days are, and which are not suitable for the occasion"(Izikowitz, 1951:113).Yes—A tribe—Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 16 of 18governed by the French (see Izikowitz, 1951:112).TaxationAre taxes levied on the group’s adherents by an institution(s) other than the religious group inquestion:Notes: "The Lamet were under French administration, and were obliged to pay taxes to thisgovernment" (Izikowitz, 1951:344).EnforcementDoes the religious group in question provide an institutionalized police force:Notes: According to Tuden and Marshall (1972), column 10: Police, "police functions are not specializedor institutionalized at any level of political integration, the maintenance of law and order being leftexclusively to informal mechanisms of social control, to private retaliation, or to sorcery".Does the religious group in question provide institutionalized judges:Notes: According to Tuden and Marshall (1972), column 9: Judiciary, "supreme judicial authority islacking at any level above that of the local community".CalendarDoes the religious group in question possess a formal calendar:Notes: "The Lamet have a calendar system that is made up of a combination of ten and twelve days.These run together in a sixty-day-cycle, that is to say, five 'weeks' of 12 days and six of 10 days make upsuch a cycle. The Lamet have learned this system from the Yuan, and originally it is supposed to havebeen Chinese...Only a few Lamet are acquainted with this system. First of all the priest, and then themedicine men. It is used for calculating the lucky and unlucky days" (Izikowitz, 1951:171).Food ProductionDoes the religious group in question provide food for themselves:Notes: The Lamet rely primarily on agriculture for subsistence. Animal husbandry and hunting providesecondary forms of subsistence, and gathering supplements the diet. Source of information fromEthnographic Atlas (Murdock, 1962-1971), retrieved from Divale, 2004; Variables 203-207, 232.Yes—No—No—Yes—Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 17 of 18Please characterize the forms/level of food production [choose all that apply]:Notes: The Lamet rely primarily on agriculture for subsistence. Animal husbandry and huntingprovide secondary forms of subsistence, and gathering supplements the diet. Source ofinformation from Ethnographic Atlas (Murdock, 1962-1971), retrieved from Divale, 2004;Variables 203-207, 232.Gathering—Hunting (including marine animals)—Pastoralism—Small-scale agriculture / horticultural gardens or orchards—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 18 of 18

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