The embodiment of marime: Living Romany Gypsy pollution taboo
This dissertation examines the ways that pollution taboo affects the life experience of Romany Gypsy women. A cultural analysis is made upon ethnographic data gathered from the Romany Gypsy community in Boston, Massachusetts, combining theories of embodiment with the Scheper-Hughes and Lock (1987) "three bodies" critical-interpretive model. Marime, as this taboo is known locally, is experienced as fear, shame and disgust and conceptualized in terms of top/bottom or inside/outside body symbolism which categorizes by analogy the sacred from profane, e.g., Gypsy and Gajo or non-Gypsy. This understanding leads to social praxis which is shown to affect the quality of Gypsy women's lives in personal, social and political domains. Since marime is a bodily experence which is predicated upon pre-existing cultural discourses and results in social action this analysis supports the theoretical view that the body is the ground of culture.
Minority & ethnic groups;
0700: Social structure
0453: Womens studies
0631: Minority & ethnic groups