Why do Europeans and indigenous peoples dream differently?

Why do people in Europe and indigenous peoples in Africa dream in different ways? A study by the University of Geneva shows that the dreams of the indigenous population are more threatening and socially oriented than the dreams of the Western population.

This is what the topic is about:

  • The study compared the dreams of indigenous peoples to people in Europe and North America.
  • The dreams of Africa’s indigenous population are more threatening and socially oriented.
  • In Western societies, dreams serve as preparation for fears.

Dreams as mirrors of culture: Africa and the West

The indigenous population of Africa dreams differently than people in Europe and North America. According to a study conducted in Geneva, the dreams of non-Western societies are more threatening, but also more redemptive and more socially oriented, than the dreams of Western societies. The University of Geneva (Unige) announced on Monday that the study shows that dreams may have different emotional functions.

Geneva. Researchers from Unige, University Hospital of Geneva (HUG) and the University of Toronto (Canada) compared the dreams of two groups of hunter-gatherers in Tanzania (Hazda) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (BaYaka) with the dreams of people in Switzerland. , Belgium and Canada. The results were published in the journal “Scientific Reports”.

Danger and salvation

“We found that the dreams of the BaYaka and Hadza are very dynamic. They often begin with a dangerous situation where life is threatened, but they end with a way to overcome this threat,” said co-author Lampros Perogamvros from Unige and HUG. .

According to the researchers, emotional resolutions among indigenous population groups were largely socially focused. As an example, they cited a native man’s dream in which he saw a buffalo attacking him in the middle of the forest. In his dream he was rescued by a member of his community.

Social bonds as emotional tools in dreams

“Social ties between BaYaka and Hadza are certainly very strong,” said lead author David Samson of the University of Toronto. “These relationships are emotional tools used to overcome life’s challenges.”

Emotional Function of Western Dreams

According to researchers, the dreams of the Western population fulfill a different emotional function: Dreams with negative content are often simulations of our fears, preparing us to confront them while awake.

“There appears to be more than one functional type of dreams. This study shows a strong connection between our socio-cultural lives and the function of dreams,” Perogamvros said.


Source: Vienna

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