Small Sacrifices: Religious Change and Cultural Identity among the Ngaju of Indonesia / Edition 1

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This is an ethnographic study of the Ngaju Dyaks, rain forest dwellers of the remote interior region of Central Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). Like many indigenous peoples, the Ngaju have lately been affected by exposure to world religions, technological advances, and myriad external factors involving their growing incorporation into the rapidly expanding state system. Schiller demonstrates that their responses to these pressures are most clearly seen in the religious sphere and involve the recasting and reinterpreting of their indigenous religion. She focuses particularly on the changing form and content of "tiwah," an elaborate ritual of secondary burial with multiple and diverse meanings for Hindu Kaharingan Ngaju as well as for those who have converted to Islam or Christianity.
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Editorial Reviews

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"The book appeals to a broad audience with interests in religion, ethnicity, nationalism, social change, and so forth. Written eloguently and drawing on engaging episodes, it would also make a good textbook, paired with Schiller's ethnographic film on tiwah, 'Borneo: Beyond the Grave.'"—Religious Studies Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195095586
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
The Ngaju "Death Cult"
The "Ngaju" People and the Ngaju Region
Tiwah and the Issue of Ritual Acceptability
Kaharingan Ritual and Ngaju Identity
Some Implications of Religious Change in Central Kalimantan
2. Death Begins
The Rituals Today
The Three Stages of Mortuary Ritual
Souls and Life Forces
Ritual Specialists
The Mortuary Cycle: Death and Primary Treatment
The Mortuary Cycle: Informing the Deceased
Journey to the Village of Souls
Preparations for Tiwah
The Start of Tiwah
Ritual Specialists at Tiwah
The Cosmos Unlocked: Souls and Remains Are Treated
Order and Anti-Order in Natural and Supernatural Worlds.
Transgression of Hadat
The Origin of Hadat
Hadat and the Inhabitants of Upper- and Lowerworlds
Hadat and the Jungle-Dwelling Beings

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