The Land of Remorse

A Study of Southern Italian Tarantism

By Ernesto De Martino

Contributions by: Dorothy Zinn

The Land of Remorse (La Terra del Rimorso, first Italian edition 1961) is a classic work by Ernesto De Martino, the founding figure of Italian cultural anthropology and ethnopsychiatry. Based on fieldwork conducted in the Salentine peninsula of Southern Italy in 1959, the study deals with the phenomenon of Apulian tarantism, a form of possession related to the belief in the bite of a mythical tarantula and its ritual cure in the tarantella dance. De Martino draws together the contributions of various specialists who participated in the fieldwork, including a psychologist, a psychiatrist, an ethnomusicologist and a social anthropologist. As both an ethnologist and classically-trained religious historian, the author reviews the fieldwork data through the lens of tarantism's historical analysis. The result is a compassionate and compelling account of tarantism, which no longer appears as mere mental illness or as a "survival" of shamanistic irrationality, but as a product of a cultural history defined from above, endowed with its own forms of rationality. This annotated edition, translated by Dorothy Zinn, includes the fieldwork photographs of those afflicted by tarantism as they perform the ritual exorcism, an example of the author's early use of visual methods in ethnographic research.

332 pages

Publication Date: 8/1/2005
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781853437847

Temporarily out of stock

Temporarily out of stock.