Jeannette MARIE MAGEO : ­Spirit Girls and Marines : Possession and Ethnopsychiatry as Historical Discourse in Samoa

Published in American Ethnologist February 1996, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 61-82 Posted online on October 22, 2004(doi:10.1525/ae.1996.23.1.02a00040)

Through an analysis of a case of possession I argue that possession can be read as historical discourse. The possessed person and the ethnoanalyst often do cultural-historical work useful to the larger society. The case examined casts light on Samoan moral history from missionization to the present and on how Samoans have reinvented traditions–not naively as the literature on cultural reinvention suggests, but as at least a partially self-conscious process.

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