Bear Feasts in a Land without Wild. Bears: Experiments in Creating Animist Rituals

Harvey, Graham (2018). Bear Feasts in a Land without Wild. Bears: Experiments in Creating Animist Rituals. International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 9(2) pp. 195–213.



Reception of academic debates about animism have led to an increase in the number of people who self-identify as “animists”. Among Pagan animists, one example experiments with a midwinter Bear Feast to embed respect for the larger-than-human world in foodways and rituals. To do so they draw on Indigenous and scholarly sources in processes that might be ‘indigenizing’ in several senses. Sources are drawn into an existing tradition, re-shaping it along more localised and more animistic lines. They also encourage the kind of personhood that is more often encouraged among Indigenous people — i.e. promoting ‘dividuation’ rather than the individualising of consumer capitalist Modernity. Simultaneously, ceremonies are developed that also draw on / in Indigenous knowledges (some mediated by scholars) as well as advancing a post-Protestant, un-Modern re-turn to ritual.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 67459
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 2041-9511
  • Keywords
  • Indigenizing; Pagans; animists; food; ritual; Moderns
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2018 Graham Harvey
  • Depositing User
  • Graham Harvey