An Anthropological Analysis of Dreams and their Perceived Interpretation in Rural Islamabad, Pakistan

  • Ms. Latafat Aziz, Asim Muneeb Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Muhammad Nadir Shahzad, Beenish Ambereen, Amna Afzaal


The current research work was focused around the contemporary debates on the folk
knowledge about dreams and their association with the reality. The researchers studied the
phenomenon of dreaming under the umbrella of symbolic anthropology. One of the typical
religio-cultural areas of Islamabad, Pakistan was selected as the locale of the study. Fortyseven
(47) respondents, selected through snowball sampling technique, were in-depth
interviewed for the purpose of data collection. Different anthropological ways of research
such as transit walk, participant observation, mapping, rapport building, and in-depth
interviews were performed to have as accurate data as possible. The researchers stayed the
field about three months as ethnographers themselves. The research work found that dreams
have a great importance in everyday lives of respondents. It was further comprehended that
dreams were categorized by natives in to true, false and idle dreams. Dreams were considered
to be infinitive while reality as limited. The relationship of dreams, time and date (lunar
calendar) were also found to have a significant relationship among them. The study concluded
that the respondents had a diverse kind of opinion about daydreaming and dreaming while
sleeping and two main practices of dream knowledge i.e. cultural and religious knowledge
were prevailed among the natives.