Julian Baldick's Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From PDF

By Julian Baldick

ISBN-10: 1780763662

ISBN-13: 9781780763668

Austronesia is the massive oceanic zone which stretches from Madagascar to Taiwan to New Zealand. Encompassing either scattered archipelagos and significant landmasses, Austronesia – derived from the Latin australis, 'southern', and Greek nesos, 'island' – is used basically as a linguistic time period, designating a kinfolk of languages spoken by means of peoples with a shared background. Julian Baldick, a celebrated historian of historic faith, right here argues that the varied population of the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, New Guinea and Oceania express a standard inheritance that extends past language. This commonality is located mainly in mythology and formality, which achieve again to an old, prehistoric earlier. From round 1250 BCE the unique proto-Oceanic audio system migrated eastwards from southeast Asia. Navigating by way of the sunlight, the celebs, chicken flight, the swells of the ocean and cloud-swathed mountain islands, Austronesian voyagers used canoes and outriggers to choose new territories. They built a unified development of faith characterized via mortuary rites, headhunting and agrarian rituals of the yearly calendar, culminating in a post-harvest competition usually sexual in nature. This designated evaluation of Austronesian trust and culture should be crucial analyzing for college students of faith, prehistory and anthropology.

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Extra info for Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan

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On the fourth day the two diviners thank the two ancestors who gave the gift of rice to two brothers: three handfuls of rice are thrown onto a rock. 72 On the sixth day the ‘virile warriors’ and elders go to the mountain. On the way they make barriers, to put the domestic spirits and women behind them. Then they camp on their hunting site. On the seventh and eighth days the ‘virile warriors’ set traps. On the ninth day the 18-yearolds are initiated into their three-year marginal period, and then the males return to the village.

So too does the soul of a man whose head is taken in headhunting, unless it stays to protect the headtaker’s village. Beliefs about the origins of humankind are also of 38 ANCIENT RELIGIONS OF THE AUSTRONESIAN WORLD various kinds. 66 Zheng: The Paiwan In an article published in 1991 on the Paiwan, Zheng notes that the Paiwan priest is usually male, and has a round magic stone, which he takes out to deal with typhoons or drought. The Paiwan shamaness invokes a female pantheon: Muakai, who created humankind and protects the people, having power of life and death over humans; Salimet, the first ancestress, who taught humans magic; and Lenele, the first shamaness, who grants her successors communication with the gods and has four sisters (also shamanesses), invoked after her.

Headhunting was also done to avenge a relative or punish violation of a frontier. A victorious headhunter would have a good harvest. Every year, at the end of the headhunting ritual, men go to the site of the skull rack, make a substitute body and put up a stone altar. Then a diviner sets out offerings of wine and food, and the men circle the altar three times before kicking it over. This headhunting ritual, observes Cauquelin, is also an initiatory and a purificatory one, and the start of the new year, when marriages of the new ‘virile warriors’ are arranged.

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Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan by Julian Baldick

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