Kwaio Religion: The Living and the Dead in a Solomon Island Society / Edition 1

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Overview

In Kwaio Religion, Roger Keesing examines how the Kwaio, challenged by 110 years of European colonialism and now by the militant Christianity of their own rapidly Westernizing nation, have managed to continue their ancestral ways. Drawing on fieldwork carried out over a lost 20 years, Keesing explores the phenomenological reality of world where one's group includes the living and the dead, where conversations with the spirits, and the sing of their presence and acts, are very much a part of everyday life. He describes conceptions of mana and tabu that shed revealing light on old issues regarding Oceanic religion. Keesing situates the elegant though largely implicit structures of Kwaio cosmology within a framework of the "political economy of knowledge," examining the distribution of expertise in the community and the uses of religion as ideology, and asking how symbolic systems are perpetuated and changed. Questioning some currently fashionable anthropological approaches to symbolism, myth, ritual, and cosmology--approaches Keesing characterizes as "cultural cryptography"-- Kwaio Religion challenges common assumptions about cultural symbols and shared meanings.

Columbia University Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231053419
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/1982
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 257
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Keesing is professor and head of the department of anthropology at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Kwaio OrthographyPrefaceIntroduction1. The Kwaio of Malaita2. Encountering Ancestors3. The Spirit World4. Magic5. Cosmological Structures6. Ancestors in Kwaio Social Structure7. Adalo: AThe Powers and Precepts of the Dead8. Communications and Transactions iwth Ancestors9. Sacrifice10. Death anc Desacralization11. The Sociology of Kwaio Ritual12. Symbolism in Kwaio Ritual13. Structures, Meanings, and the Sociology of Knowledge14. Ancestors, Celestialization, and Earthly Politics15. The Struggle for AtonomyConclusionKwaio GlossaryReferencesIndex

Columbia University Press

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