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Among the Sambia, a hunting and horticultural people living in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea, dreams bear upon ritual by providing explicit instructions that are followed by initiates in order to head off impending attacks. More generally, many aspects of Sambia social interaction are characterized by a watchfulness and a suspiciousness necessary to anticipate attacks. This type of social paranoia inhibits and frames dream experiences, as well as regulates the sharing of them and their interpretations. Among the most typical dreams, which generally refer to the same images and themes, are the dream experiences of feeling cheated or disgusted, being chased by malevolent people, being threatened with drowning, or seeing a raging fire.

Dreams are regarded as experiences, occurring during sleep, in which the soul leaves the body. The soul takes thought with it, leaves the body empty, and visits various places. The dream world exists parallel to this one. Thus, dream reports are viewed as narratives of events. All dream images are supernatural because they occur not to the person but to the soul, for whose actions the person is not responsible.

The principal setting in which dreams are shared is the residence where a person sleeps. Another typical context for dream sharing is a healing ceremony in which shamans, who are the mediators between the secular and the spiritual worlds, perform dream rituals. Another context is initiation rituals, where dreams are shared by elders and shamans and where dream interpretations for ritual secrets are taught. Other settings are public or secret storytelling sessions, during gossip and rumor exchanges, and during hunting, trading, or gardening trips.

Dreams are influenced by social status factors such as sex, age, and ritual standing. Thus, men generally share dreams more often than women, and older people report more dreams than younger individuals do, even though children’s nightmares are regarded as threatening enough to be shared. Dreams are usually shared by the Sambia because they have been part of their basic experience since childhood. However, most dreams are forgotten after awakening, and only significant and troubling dreams are remembered and shared. Accounts of these dreams often become very stylized and stereotyped. If they are shared in public contexts, they may become an important part of public cultural knowledge.

Dream interpretation may reveal bad omens about future events, and sometimes reinterpretations of past dreams make it seem they foretold correctly what happened. The Sambia generally seek dream interpretation when they are beginning new or risky ventures, as well as to relieve the anxiety and troubling feeling associated with some dreams.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Das Samland in der romischen Kaiserzeit und seine Verbindungen mit dem romischen Reich und der barbarischen Welt.
Baltic amber is found in the amber-bearing marine "blue earth" deposit of the Samland Peninsula and in blue-earth-derived accumulations in various areas on the edge of the Baltic Sea (Schlfiter, 1990).
At the top of the map is Memel and Samland. On the right side is the Biss River and Kautten.
Wells Fargo Insurance Services of Minnesota, a unit of Wells Fargo and Company (NYSE: WFC) Inc has named Gina Samland as managing director for its Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas City, Kansas operations.
Francois Lamoureux, Deputy Director-General for External Relations (DGIA), puts the cost at between Euro 3 and 4 billion over the next few years, which is bound to have an effect on the Budget 2000 procedure and procedures thereafter.The Committee on Budgets, as its former leader, Detlev Samland told EU Ministers, during the July 16 Budget Council, is extremely hostile to siting the EU's Kosovo Reconstruction Agency in Salonika.
Es bestunde kein Zweifel an Kontakten zwischen einer in Samland heimischen Kulturgruppe mit der westestnischen Inselwelt.
The General Secretariat of the European Commission has now requested its various Directorates-General to postpone all meetings, limit the number of participants to be refunded, and inform the various experts working for the European Commission that there may be a delay in the refund of their expenses.The Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets, German Socialist Detlev Samland, is no longer calling for the Regulatory Committees to be scrapped.
Starting with the 1999 Budget procedure, the Parliament has acted, egged on by the Chair of its Committee on Budgets, Detlev Samland (PES, Germany), to get a Council undertaking to improve the Agreement, mainly so as to allow the Parliament co-decision powers over all items of expenditure, including non-compulsory spending, or agricultural and structural priorities.
"This is a first step towards meeting our demands for flexibility among the different categories and a less rigid distinction between compulsory and non-compulsory spending", explained Detlev Samland (PES, Germany), Chairman of the Committee on Budgets.
Detlev Samland (PES, Germany), Chairman of Parliament's Committee on Budgets, felt the same way.
According to the head of the parliamentary delegation and Chairman of the Committee on Budgets, German Socialist Detlev Samland, it is "a step forward because for the first time we shall a say on compulsory expenditure".
Winding up the hearing, Detlev Samland (PES, Germany) agreed with the experts that the tasks facing the EU Budget would have to be determined before expenditure levels could be set.