Making dreams, making relations: dreaming in Angami Naga society
Many cultures, including the Nagas, give great importance to dreams as sources of divine knowledge, especially knowledge about the future. The anthropological study of dreams, which generally focuses on the interpretive practices that surround dream narration, can elucidate local notions of personhood, cosmology, and the myriad ways communities appeal to the supernatural when navigating everyday social problems. Such practices are especially heightened in contexts of political violence, as individuals and communities negotiate the anxieties of everyday uncertainty and unpredictability. A century ago, British administrator-ethnographer J.H. Hutton remarked that ‘the Angamis have almost a science of dreaming’, and this article considers Hutton’s observations while ethnographically examining dream experience in the same communities a century later.
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