Women as Unseen Characters

Author: Pascale Bonnemere
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812201376
Release Date: 2013-03-26
Genre: Social Science

Rituals have always been a focus of ethnographies of Melanesia, providing a ground for important theorizing in anthropology. This is especially true of the male initiation rituals that until recently were held in Papua New Guinea. For the most part, these rituals have been understood as all-male institutions, intended to maintain and legitimate male domination. Women's exclusion from the forest space where men conducted most such rites has been taken as a sign of their exclusion from the entire ritual process. Women as Unseen Characters is the first book to examine the role of females in Papua New Guinea male rituals, and the first systematic treatment of this issue for any part of the world. In this volume, leading Melanesian scholars build on recent ethnographies that show how female kin had roles in male rituals that had previously gone unseen. Female seclusion and the enforcement of taboos were crucial elements of the ritual process: forms of presence in their own right. Contributors here provide detailed accounts of the different kinds of female presence in various Papua New Guinea male rituals. When these are restored to the picture, the rituals can no longer be interpreted merely as an institution for reproducing male domination but must also be understood as a moment when the whole system of relations binding a male person to his kin is reorganized. By dealing with the participation of women, a totally neglected dimension of male rituals is added to our understanding.

Population Reproduction and Fertility in Melanesia

Author: Stanley J. Ulijaszek
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1571816445
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Social Science

Human biological fertility was considered a important issue to anthropologists and colonial administrators in the first part of the 20th century, as a dramatic decline in population was observed in many regions. However, the total demise of Melanesian populations predicted by some never happened; on the contrary, a rapid population increase took place for the second part of the 20th century. This volume explores relationships between human fertility and reproduction, subsistence systems, the symbolic use of ideas of fertility and reproduction in linking landscape to individuals and populations, in Melanesian societies, past and present. It thus offers an important contribution to our understanding of the implications of social and economic change for reproduction and fertility in the broadest sense.

Biomedical Entanglements

Author: Franziska A. Herbst
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781785332357
Release Date: 2016-10-30
Genre: Social Science

Biomedical Entanglements is an ethnographic study of the Giri people of Papua New Guinea, focusing on the indigenous population's interaction with modern medicine. In her fieldwork, Franziska A. Herbst follows the Giri people as they circulate within and around ethnographic sites that include a rural health center and an urban hospital. The study bridges medical anthropology and global health, exploring how the 'biomedical' is imbued with social meaning and how biomedicine affects Giri ways of life.

Oceanic Encounters

Author: Margaret Jolly
Publisher: ANU E Press
ISBN: 9781921536298
Release Date: 2009-07-01
Genre: History

This volume, the result of ongoing collaborations between Australian and French anthropologists, historians and linguists, explores encounters between Pacific peoples and foreigners during the longue durée of European exploration, colonisation and settlement from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century. It deploys the concept of `encounter¿ rather than the more common idea of `first contact¿ for several reasons. Encounters with Europeans occurred in the context of extensive prior encounters and exchanges between Pacific peoples, manifest in the distribution of languages and objects and in patterns of human settlement and movement. The concept of encounter highlights the mutuality in such meetings of bodies and minds, whereby preconceptions from both sides were brought into confrontation, dialogue, mutual influence and ultimately mutual transformation. It stresses not so much prior visions of `strangers¿ or `others¿ but the contingencies in events of encounter and how senses other than vision were crucial in shaping reciprocal appraisals. But a stress on mutual meanings and interdependent agencies in such cross-cultural encounters should not occlude the tumultuous misunderstandings, political contests and extreme violence which also characterised Indigenous-European interactions over this period.

Religious and Ritual Change

Author: Pamela J. Stewart
Publisher:
ISBN: STANFORD:36105132252896
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Social Science

The topic of religious and ritual change, including conversion from one modality of practices to another, has emerged in recent years as a prime focus of scholarly attention in anthropology and related disciplines, such as history, sociology, political science and religious studies. Conversion to Christianity is one focus that has developed within this broad and dynamic field of investigations. This edited volume is a unique set of studies that explores this field further, with a doubly innovative approach. First, the chapters represent a collaboration of leading scholars from Taiwan and from the USA and Europe. Second, the studies involve a comparative dimension, juxtaposing work done among indigenous Austronesian minorities in Taiwan and work done in the Pacific Islands (Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands). Within this collection of essays, common processes of change are evident, while the importance of specific histories is revealed, and analytical and theoretical issues are probed and reviewed in ways that demonstrate their relevance to the overall dimensions of comparison. No other work in this arena of study has brought together scholars with such a comparative framework in mind. This volume is relevant for scholars and students of religious change generally, as well as those readers who are interested in the wider Asia-Pacific region, minority groups, Christianity, indigenous movements, and the socialization of the ritual body in contexts of historical and cosmological change.

Religion Anthropology and Cognitive Science

Author: Harvey Whitehouse
Publisher:
ISBN: UOM:39015074080725
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Social Science

Part of the Ritual Studies Monograph Series, this book examines longstanding debates in the anthropology of religion concerning the connections between ritual and meaning, belief, politics, emotion, development, and gender. But it examines these old topics from a radically new perspective: that of the cognitive science of religion. As such the volume identifies potential solutions to established problems but it also sets out a program for future research in the field. The volume includes a substantial introduction from Harvey Whitehouse and James Laidlaw who highlight the connections between key issues in the history of religious anthropology and the latest findings of scientific psychology. This volume, they argue, presents us with potential solutions to old problems but also with a series of new and exciting challenges.

Religions of Melanesia

Author: G. W Trompf
Publisher:
ISBN: 0313287546
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Melanesia

Religions of Melanesia is the first comprehensive annotated bibliography of religious life in a region that boasts over one-quarter of the world's distinct religions.

Resisting State Iconoclasm Among the Loma of Guinea

Author: Christian Kordt Højbjerg
Publisher:
ISBN: 1594602182
Release Date: 2007-01-01
Genre: Social Science

Part of the Ritual Studies Monograph Series Resisting State Iconoclasm Among the Loma of Guinea is an anthropological study of a West African people's ongoing commitment to a specific religious tradition that involves both secrecy and public ritual.Loma secret religious practice appears to have been relatively unaffected by a long-term suppression, including the exposure of secrecy, by the postcolonial authorities. In recent years the famous male ritual association known as Poro has even taken on new significance in the context of political upheaval in the war-torn border area between Guinea and Liberia. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and regional comparative research, the study not only provides a detailed account of hitherto unknown ritual practices in the Upper Guinea forest and coastal region. It also challenges recurring claims about the political role of secret societies in this part of West Africa.The retention of "tradition" in the face of "change" is of central analytical concern to Resisting State Iconoclasm. Against presentist accounts of persistent culture, Hjbjerg argues that an adequate explanation of Loma religious resilience requires a composite approach addressing both the political dynamics of the studied area and the cognitive and relational processes involved in the transmission of religious and ritual tradition. The result of this approach serves as background for a critical engagement with current theories of the successful, enduring distribution of cultural ideas and practices.

The Changing South Pacific

Author: Serge Tcherkézoff
Publisher: ANU E Press
ISBN: 9781921536151
Release Date: 2008-12-01
Genre: Social Science

The texts collected in this volume take an anthropological approach to the variety of contemporary societal problems which confront the peoples of the contemporary South Pacific: religious revival, the sociology of relations between local groups, regions and nation-States, the problem of culture areas, the place of democracy in the transition of States founded on sacred chiefdoms, the role of ceremonial exchanges in a market economy, and so forth. Each chapter presents a society seen from a specific point of view, but always with reference to the issue of collective identity and its confrontation with history and change. The collection thus invites the reader to understand how the inhabitants of these societies seek to affirm both an individual identity and a sense of belonging to the contemporary world. In doing so, it informs the reader about the contemporary realities experienced by the inhabitants of the South Pacific, with a view to contributing to an intercultural dialogue between the reader and these inhabitants.

Five Percenter Rap

Author: Felicia M. Miyakawa
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 025334574X
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Music

The Five Percent Nation is a controversial organization and a substantial cultural force. Also known as Five Percenters, this offshoot of the Nation of Islam has employed commercial rap, or "God Hop," to teach its beliefs, comment on relevant issues, and recruit new members. Rap artists such as Erykah Badu and Queen Latifah are past members of the Five Percent Nation; GURU and Wu-Tang Clan are currently affiliated. Five Percenter Rap: God Hop's Music, Message, and Black Muslim Mission examines the phenomenon from musical, historical, and cultural perspectives. Such a kaleidoscopic approach is necessary given the Five Percent Nation's complex theology--grounded in Black Muslim traditions, black nationalism, Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) symbolism, Masonic mysticism, and Gnostic spirituality--its historical ties to major movements and moments in American history, and its deep involvement with popular culture. After establishing the theological and historical underpinnings of Five Percenter Rap, Felicia Miyakawa considers its marketing approaches and its use of specific musical techniques such as sampling, groove, and layering (often in significant numerical groupings). These techniques, she argues, are in service to the greater goal of Five Percenter rappers, who see themselves primarily as teachers and as bringers of a specific type of redemption and self-knowledge to benighted souls. Vividly written and solidly researched, Five Percenter Rap will appeal to readers interested in popular music, American music and history, and African American religion and culture. Felicia Miyakawa is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Robert W. McLean School of Music, Middle Tennessee State University. She lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Reimagining political ecology

Author: Aletta Biersack
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: UOM:39015066835482
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Nature

Introduces heterogeneity and paradox into our understanding of political ecology, critiquing 'modernist ecologies' and emphasizing transnational, place-based ones.

The Making of Global and Local Modernities in Melanesia

Author: Joel Robbins
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing
ISBN: 0754643123
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Social Science

Authored by well-established and respected scholars, this work examines the kinds of efforts that have been made to adopt Western modernity in Melanesia and explores the reasons for their varied outcomes. The contributors take the work of Professor Marshall Sahlins as a starting point, assessing his theories of cultural change and of the relationship between cultural intensification and globalizing forces. They acknowledge the importance of Sahlins' ideas, while refining, extending, modifying and critiquing them in light of their own first hand knowledge of Pacific island societies. Also presenting one of Sahlins' less widely available original essays for reference, this book is an exciting contribution to serious anthropological engagement with Papua New Guinea.