Human at risk: becoming human and the dynamics of extended sociality
In this article, Jon Henrik Ziegler Remme discusses human-spirit relations among the Filippino highland people Ifugao.
What does it take to become and remain human? By examining this question through ethnography on human-spirit relations among the Filippino highland people Ifugao, Jon Henrik Ziegler Remme explores how the source of being human lies not in its core or essence but at the very edge of its existence. Encounters with powerful and dangerous spirits are at one and the same time necessary to ensure good health and continued life as a human and potentially lethal. Locating humanity in its risky edge implies that the more-than-human sociality that humans are involved in with spirits therefore must extend and contract in an dynamic which is crucial for life to sustain.