l potere della rinuncia. Elementi di costruzione del sacro tra i Mandan

The term xo’pini indicates power in the Mandan culture, and it had strong social repercussions. Xo’pini power was increased by undertaking a number of actions that we may call “sacralised”, such as fasting, self-torture and honouring the sacred bundles. It decreased by performing secular activities, such as war, hunting, horse taming. During certain ceremonies husbands offered the elders the chance to have intercourse with their wives. In this case the xo’pini power went directly from the elders to the husbands and because of this weak elders could refuse to take advantage of the gift of the wives. This paper tries to reconstruct the logic underlying the exchange of xo’pini power.