Yaktovil is an elaborate healing ceremony employed by Sinhalas in Sri Lanka to dispel the effects of the eyesight of a pantheon of malevolent supernatural figures known as yakku. Scott’s investigation of yaktovil and yakku within the Sinhala cosmology is also an inquiry into the ways in which anthropology, by ignoring the discursive history of the rituals, religions, and relationships it seeks to describe, tends to reproduce ideological-often, specifically colonial-objects. “A challenging work that is on the one hand a fine descriptive ethnography of a Sri Lankan ritual and on the other hand an examination of the presuppositions that went into the construction of 'demonology' in Sri Lanka. It will, I am sure, provoke a vigorous debate on the nature of ethnographic writing.” --Gananath Obeyesekere, Princeton University
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