Robarchek, Clayton A. 1979. “Conflict, Emotion, and Abreaction: Resolution of Conflict among the Semai Senoi.” Ethos 7: 104-123.
The Semai resolve serious conflicts with a formal proceeding called a bcaraa‘. Usually the facts of the dispute are already well known, so the purpose of the proceeding is to prompt everyone involved to settle the matter rather than to determine if someone is guilty. The principals to the case and others will give unemotional speeches that present their viewpoints on the dispute. Discussions continue for hours until no one has anything additional to say and all are exhausted. The headman concludes the matter by lecturing everyone on correct behavior and the importance of group unity, mutual dependence, and peace. He makes it clear to all that the matter has been completely settled and no one may bring it up again. The bcaraa‘ effectively removes the emotions of the dispute from the parties, reconciles them, and reintegrates the whole village. It reaffirms that the group is mutually interdependent, and that correct, peaceful behavior is essential.
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