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Among the natives of Kiriwina, death is the starting point of two series of events which run almost independently of each other. Death affects the deceased individual; his soul (baloma or balom) leaves the body and goes to another world, there to lead a shadowy existence. His passing is also a matter of concern to the bereft community. Its members wail for him, mourn for him, and celebrate an endless series of feasts. These festivities consist, as a rule, in the distribution of uncooked food; while less frequently they are actual feasts in which cooked food is eaten on the spot. They center around the dead man's body, and are closely connected with the duties of mourning, wailing and sorrowing for the dead individual. But--and this is the important point for the present description--these social activities and ceremonies have no connection with the spirit. They are not performed, either to send a message of love and regret to the baloma(spirit), or to deter him from returning; they do not influence his welfare, nor do they affect his relation to the survivors. It is possible, therefore, to discuss the native beliefs in afterlife without touching the subject of mourning and mortuary ceremonies. The latter are extremely complex, and, in order to be properly described, a thorough knowledge of the native social system would be required. In this article the beliefs concerning the spirits of the dead and afterlife will be described.
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.
Daß der Tod in modernen Gesellschaften "verdrängt" wird, gehört zu den scheinbar sicheren Wissensbeständen des alltagsweltlichen common-sense. Hauptziel der Untersuchung ist, mit gesellschaftstheoretischen Mitteln dieses vermeintlich sichere Urteil auf seinen Gehalt kritisch zu überprüfen. Nach einer erkenntnistheoretischen und geistesgeschichtlichen Hinführung zum Thema bekommt die Formulierung einer sozialwissenschaftlich fundierten Theorie der Todesverdrängung, die die üblichen kulturkritischen Folien einer totalisierenden Vernunft- und Modernitätskritik vermeidet, einen zentralen Stellenwert. Die in einem letzten größeren Gedankenschritt formulierten "Überwindungsversuche" moderner Todesverdrängung beziehen die Kriterien ihrer Kritik aus den Kategorien der Moderne selbst und nicht von einem extramundanen Standpunkt her.
Bronislaw Malinowski (1884–1942) was one of the most colorful and charismatic social scientists of the twentieth century. His contributions as a founding father of social anthropology and his complex personality earned him international notoriety and near-mythical status. This landmark book presents a vivid portrait of Malinowski’s early life, from his birth in Cracow to his departure in 1920 from the Trobriand Islands of the South Pacific. At the age of 36, he had already created the innovative fieldwork methods and techniques that would secure his intellectual legacy. Drawing on an exceptionally rich array of primary documents, including Malinowski’s letters and unpublished diaries and manuscripts, Michael Young provides significant new information about the anthropologist’s personality, private life, and career. The author describes Malinowski’s restless life of travel, connections with intellectuals and artists, Nietzschean belief in his own destiny, and legendary fieldwork. The singular man who emerges from these pages fascinates on every level—as a volatile friend and lover, a provocative colleague, a passionate diarist, and a brilliant thinker who pioneered radical change in the field of anthropology.
Bronislaw Malinowski's path-breaking research in the Trobriand Islands shaped much of modern anthropology's disciplinary paradigm. Yet many conundrums remain. For example, Malinowski asserted that baloma spirits of the dead were responsible for procreation but had limited influence on their living descendants in magic and other matters, claims largely unchallenged by subsequent field investigators, until now. Based on extended fieldwork at Omarakana village--home of the Tabalu "Paramount Chief"--Mark S. Mosko argues instead that these and virtually all contexts of indigenous sociality are conceived as sacrificial reciprocities between the mirror worlds that baloma and humans inhabit. Informed by a synthesis of Strathern's model of "dividual personhood" and L�vy-Bruhl's theory of "participation," Mosko upends a century of discussion and debate extending from Malinowski to anthropology's other leading thinkers. His account of the intimate interdependencies of humans and spirits in the cosmic generation and coordination of "life" (momova) and "death" (kaliga) strikes at the nexus of anthropology's received wisdom, and Ways of Baloma will inevitably lead practitioners and students to reflect anew on the discipline's multifold theories of personhood, ritual agency, and sociality.
Ethical Transformation in Amerindian, Buddhist, and Greek Rebirth
Author: Gananath Obeyesekere
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"This work is a tour-de-force in cross-cultural scholarship, both sound and bold, constructing a new and refreshing theory on the rise to prominence of rebirth eschatology in India. Obeyesekere argues convincingly that 'ethicization' of rebirth through the theory of karma was the new ingredient that transformed a commonplace belief into a central philosophical and eschatological principle in most of Indian theologies. This is a book that will engage and challenge anthropologists, classicists, and Indologists alike, as well as non-specialists interested in culture and religion."—Patrick Olivelle, University of Texas at Austin "This is a book in the grand tradition of comparative studies, pulling together anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis, classics, Indology, and history of religions, but in a distinctly contemporary mode. Few scholars would attempt such a project today, let alone pull it off so intriguingly as Obeyesekere does. A brilliant and intellectually courageous book."—Paul B. Courtright, Emory University, author of Ganesha, Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings
With Karma and Rebirth: A Cross Cultural Study on the very first comparison of rebirth concepts across a wide range of cultures. Exploring in rich detail the beliefs of small scale indigenous societies of West Africa, Melanesia, and North America, Obeyesekere compares their ideas with those of the ancient and modern Indic civilizations and with the Greek rebirth theories of Pythagoras, Empedocles, Pindar and Plato. His groundbreaking and authoritiative discussion decenters the popular notion that India was the origin and locus of ideas of rebirth.
In the same way that Frazer mapped out new worlds for modern anthropologists by rediscovering a common poetry in the mythologies of cultures, so Malinowski (through his studies of the Melanesian peoples) found a poetry in daily living. By exploring the rhythm of work and ritual among primitive peoples, he reveals essentials about ourselves. The three essays included here, first published in the 1920's, retain their power to move. In 'Magic, Science and Religion' Malinowski examines the various views of primitive religion (put forth by Frazer and Durkheim among others) and goes on to explore his own theories. Scientific knowledge, he finds, is common to all peoples, even the most primitive but religion and magic are special means by which man in a specific culture reconciles his place in the universe. The second essay, 'Myth in Primitive Psychology', was written as a tribute to Sir James Frazer, where Malinowski links myth with magic as a source of ethical and philosophical ideas, stressing the changing relationship with the culture that produces it. In the final essay, 'Baloma', Malinowski describes beliefs found in the Trobriand Islands regarding the spirits of the dead and explains his basic ideas on the functional link between behaviour, belief and society.
Erotic and Other Narrative Songs of the Trobriand Islanders and Their Spirits of the Dead
Author: Gunter Senft
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
The Trobriand Islanders' eschatological belief system explains what happens when someone dies. Bronislaw Malinowski described essentials of this eschatology in his articles "Baloma: the Spirits of the Dead in the Trobriand Islands" and "Myth in Primitive Psychology" There he also presented the Trobrianders' belief that a "baloma" can be reborn; he claimed that Trobrianders are unaware of the father's role as genitor. This volume presents a critical review of Malinowski's ethnography of Trobriand eschatology - finally settling the "virgin birth" controversy. It also documents the ritualized and highly poetic "wosi milamala" - the harvest festival songs. They are sung in an archaic variety of Kilivila called "biga baloma" - the baloma language. Malinowski briefly refers to these songs but does not mention that they codify many aspects of Trobriand eschatology. The songs are still sung at specific occasions; however, they are now moribund. With these songs Trobriand eschatology will vanish.
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