Informal Session: Dreaming in the Pacific
Organizers: Marianne "Mimi" George and Charles D. Laughlin
Mimi George and Charles Laughlin have been interested in how people in different cultures experience and interpret their dreams. Having had “lucid dreaming” experiences, we are very aware of how realistic (perhaps hyper-realistic) dreams can be. Humans dream along with other big-brained animals. Dreaming is a human universal, with each society featuring a “dream culture” which informs members about the significance of their dreams (Laughlin 2011). In technocratic cultures, the value of dreaming is typically negligible. However, among most of the planet’s non-technocratic peoples, dreaming is considered an extension of reality. What happens in dreams is significant, and in some cases vital. Indeed, dreaming is commonly integral to a people’s world view, their spiritual life and their understanding of healing/reconciliation, time, place, and causation.
Regardless of the focus of their research, Western ethnographers almost inevitably encounter a society’s dream culture during their fieldwork experience (e.g., George 1995a, 1995b; Lohmann 2003; Mimica 2013; Storlie 2012; Tonkinson 2013). First Nations scholars have been raised in this kind of culture and can speak to dreaming from direct experience. Anthropologists from various ontological foundations are interested in transpersonal aspects of culture, including dreaming. We welcome ASAO colleagues who are interested in discussing, and writing papers, on the topic of Pacific dream cultures.
Mimi George, Richard Moyle, Caroline Thomas, and Hadas Ore participated in the informal session in Auckland. They may attend the 2020 working session in person or by SKYPE. Charles Laughlin, Roger Lohmann, and Martha Noyes plan to attend in 2020. Paper abstracts are welcome now. Paper drafts should be shared before October, 2019.
Marianne (Mimi) George, Vaka Taumaka Project <George.firstname.lastname@example.org>