Skip to content

The Transformative Power of Food: The “Milk Mothers” in Sri Lankan Buddhism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standard

The Transformative Power of Food : The “Milk Mothers” in Sri Lankan Buddhism. / Langer, Rita.

In: Material Religion, Vol. 15, No. 5, 20.10.2019, p. 529-552.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

APA

Vancouver

Author

Langer, Rita. / The Transformative Power of Food : The “Milk Mothers” in Sri Lankan Buddhism. In: Material Religion. 2019 ; Vol. 15, No. 5. pp. 529-552.

Bibtex

@article{12b21c2c6a6b469ca2c2afc807365879,
title = "The Transformative Power of Food: The “Milk Mothers” in Sri Lankan Buddhism",
abstract = "This article examines the role of food in the religious cosmology of Sri Lankan Buddhists, combining textual and ethnographic research and drawing on original material, including untranslated pamphlets and interviews. Looking at food as an agent rather than an instrument reveals a creative and transformative power that is tangible in individual ritual contexts. One such context is the offering of dishes rich in milk to seven “milk mothers,” who are representatives of the Buddhist goddess Pattini. Despite its great popularity this ritual has so far received little scholarly attention. The milk mothers are often invited in fulfilment of a vow to Pattini who is associated with fertility, childbirth and childhood diseases, but also more generally with prosperity and health. The article demonstrates how milk is crucial for the success of this popular ritual as it creates the necessary ritual frame and, from an ayurvedic perspective, has the power to transform mothers into milk mothers.",
keywords = "food, milk mothers, kiriammā, Sri Lanka, Theravada Buddhism, cosmology, Pattini",
author = "Rita Langer",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1080/17432200.2019.1670380",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "529--552",
journal = "Material Religion",
issn = "1743-2200",
publisher = "Berg Publishers",
number = "5",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Transformative Power of Food

T2 - The “Milk Mothers” in Sri Lankan Buddhism

AU - Langer, Rita

PY - 2019/10/20

Y1 - 2019/10/20

N2 - This article examines the role of food in the religious cosmology of Sri Lankan Buddhists, combining textual and ethnographic research and drawing on original material, including untranslated pamphlets and interviews. Looking at food as an agent rather than an instrument reveals a creative and transformative power that is tangible in individual ritual contexts. One such context is the offering of dishes rich in milk to seven “milk mothers,” who are representatives of the Buddhist goddess Pattini. Despite its great popularity this ritual has so far received little scholarly attention. The milk mothers are often invited in fulfilment of a vow to Pattini who is associated with fertility, childbirth and childhood diseases, but also more generally with prosperity and health. The article demonstrates how milk is crucial for the success of this popular ritual as it creates the necessary ritual frame and, from an ayurvedic perspective, has the power to transform mothers into milk mothers.

AB - This article examines the role of food in the religious cosmology of Sri Lankan Buddhists, combining textual and ethnographic research and drawing on original material, including untranslated pamphlets and interviews. Looking at food as an agent rather than an instrument reveals a creative and transformative power that is tangible in individual ritual contexts. One such context is the offering of dishes rich in milk to seven “milk mothers,” who are representatives of the Buddhist goddess Pattini. Despite its great popularity this ritual has so far received little scholarly attention. The milk mothers are often invited in fulfilment of a vow to Pattini who is associated with fertility, childbirth and childhood diseases, but also more generally with prosperity and health. The article demonstrates how milk is crucial for the success of this popular ritual as it creates the necessary ritual frame and, from an ayurvedic perspective, has the power to transform mothers into milk mothers.

KW - food

KW - milk mothers

KW - kiriammā

KW - Sri Lanka

KW - Theravada Buddhism

KW - cosmology

KW - Pattini

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85074337691&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/17432200.2019.1670380

DO - 10.1080/17432200.2019.1670380

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 529

EP - 552

JO - Material Religion

JF - Material Religion

SN - 1743-2200

IS - 5

ER -