Lenka Budilová and Marek Jakoubek: "Why do (some) Roma groups eat dogs while it makes them polluted?"

The Departmental Seminar Series features Lenka Jakoubková Budilová, Social anthropologist at the Department of Ethnology, Charles University, Prague and Marek Jakoubek, Head of the Department of Ethnology, Charles University, Prague.

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Abstract

The presentation discusses the concept of ritual (im)purity in Roma communities. Ritual pollution in various Roma groups is generally associated with ideas concerning the human body, sexuality or food, and social practices of separation and ritual avoidance. The authors draw on their field data from several Roma settlements in eastern Slovakia and focus on an alimentary practice of dog eating. They introduce the concept of taboo to explain an ambivalent position of dogs´ consumption in Roma settlements in eastern Slovakia.

If dogs are generally considered unclean by Roma, as many authors state, how can we explain that in eastern Slovakia dogs are eaten by some Roma groups?

Why do some Roma eat dogs, even though this practice makes them impure?  

Why is it good to eat dogs?

About

Lenka Jakoubková Budilová is social anthropologist teaching and researching at the Department of Ethnology, Charles University, Prague. Together with her husband, Marek, she has done fieldwork in Roma settlements in Eastern Slovakia and in Czech socially excluded localities inhabited by the Roma. She has also done another joint fieldwork with Marek in Voyvodovo, the former Czech village in Bulgaria (Budilova, L. J. and Jakoubek, M. Bulgarian Protestants and the Czech village of Voyvodovo, 2017). Her research has focused on kinship, household formation, inheritance strategies and naming.

Marek Jakoubek is the Head of the Department of Ethnology, Charles University, Prague.  His professional interest and hobby is theory of ethnicity. Together with his wife Lenka he has done fieldwork in Voyvodovo, the former Czech village in Bulgaria, and among the re-emigrants from Voyvodovo in the Czech Republic. Previously he has conducted fieldwork in Roma settlements in eastern Slovakia and in socially excluded localities in northern Bohemia. He has translated a number of anthropological texts to Czech, including Ethnic Groups and Boundaries.

Published Oct. 5, 2021 3:35 PM - Last modified Oct. 20, 2021 1:15 PM