…During filming we were able to capture a choreographed sagne* as well as a spontaneous sagne that arose as a result of an interpersonal conflict. A comparison of the two recordings shows that the reactions of those watching the “staged” battle did not increase in intensity until three to five minutes after the first stick fight began (there was no traditional hymn singing before the fight and it only started some 30 minutes later). The combatants then gradually started picking out their opponents based on existing conflicts and contradictions. During both sagne there was a kind of social facilitation — the speed and power of strikes increased when other combatants were also fighting. As the sagne progressed, more and more warriors joined in the confrontation. Note that a similar process of joining in a fight is characteristic even of non‑human primates (the Rhesus macaque)…
…The phenomenon of the sagneis an example of preparing for and taking part in an intragroup confrontation. It is an elaborate sexual cycle in terms of its primary symbolism — demonstration (parade) → physical battle → securing the status of the dominant male, or proclamation of a new victor → first choice of female.
“War archetypes: violence, the unconscious and struggle for basic needs”
* sagne — a ritual fight on sticks