hears voices. they make sense. (channonyarrow) wrote in little_details,
hears voices. they make sense.

Ostracism in tribal societies

A friend and I are working on a novel that is set in an imaginary semi-fantasy universe, but we're finding that she needs some real details for her main character's story.

I am looking for the names of tribal societies (not religions or classical societies, thanks, we've got lots on that) that perform ostracism, particularly ostracism that leads to death. Our scenario is that her main character has committed a murder and has been ostracised by the townsfolk, entirely to force her to seek her death at the hands of my character, though she is not suicidal. We need her to be "dead" to the people in her town so that she will do what she's supposed to and go die already, and we both know that there are tribes that practise this, but neither of us can find them. For plot purposes, this is actually broadly similar to the banishment of Ayla in Clan Of The Cave Bear, but I'm not taking Auel's work as a good source of fact without confirmation; in any event, it doesn't really work since the character in our work goes back to her town to kick ass and take names, and Ayla goes on to become self-sufficient.

I've looked at "ostracism africa tribes anthropology" and various combinations thereof on Google; the best I came up with was social class discrimination about homosexuals, which isn't likely going to work for our purposes. The main other thing that came up was shunning of a leader to force them to change their decisions, but I need more than that. I also need more than an abstract; most of the things that came up were not the actual article but an unlinked abstract. Wikipedia is even less helpful, providing a lot of information about Classical Athens and religious shunning, but being shockingly short on external links or even internal, relevant links that might let me get outside Wiki into real scholarship. We've both done offline research as well, in both books and course notes, but for some reason I'm not able to chase down the niggling thought that I know this. I am not helped by the fact that because I did my Master's in Anthropology overseas, I haven't got any of the books I used (so, no indices) and I never wrote specifically on ostracism, so I don't have anything in my notes that I can find. And, surprise surprise, the books I know well aren't readily available in the US. There is no anthropology tag on this comm, nor anything that looked relevant to this search, but I looked at that list as well.

Wiki did turn up that Aborigines perform this sort of ostracism, and I've passed that on to my friend; I know she's chasing that down, but I wanted to ask if anyone here knows what the heck I'm talking about, and please suggest tribes. They don't need to be African, I just did most of my in-depth research on African tribes (primarily the Nuer and the Dinka, and the Azande) so I feel like that must be what I'm thinking of.


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