Timothy Asch

Patsy Asch & Timothy Asch & Linda Conner – A Balinese Trance Seance (1981)

A Balinese Trance Seance
Bringing offerings of rice, flowers, and woven coconut leaves, clients visit Jero in her household shrine to determine the cause of their son’s death. Jero lights an incense brazier, sprinkles holy water, and recites mantras as preliminaries to trance. Several ancestors and finally the young son speak through her voice, revealing the nature of his premature death (witchcraft) and his wishes for cremation. In contrast to other films about Balinese trance which focus on spectacular, community performances, this film provides an intimate view of a fascinating process of communication between Jero, the spirits, and her clients who are at one point moved to tears. Read More »

Timothy Asch – The Ax Fight (1975)

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A fight broke out in Mishimishimabowei-teri on the second day of Chagnon and Asch’s stay in this village in 1971. The conflict developed between the villagers of Mishimishimabowei-teri and their visitors from another village. The visitors had formerly been part of Mishimishimabowei-teri, and many still had ties with members of that village. Their friends in Mishimishimabowei-teri had invited them to return, but other factions were not pleased with this, reflecting a persistent tension in this large village of over 250 people. The visitors refused to work in their hosts’ gardens, yet they demanded to be fed. One visiting man beat a woman who refused to give him plantains from her garden. She ran screaming and crying back to the village, where her sister comforted her while her brother, her husband, and his relatives attempted to settle the dispute, first with clubs and then with axes and machetes. Read More »