Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan
Austronesia is the vast oceanic region which stretches from Madagascar to Taiwan to New Zealand. Encompassing both scattered archipelagos and major landmasses, Austronesia – derived from the Latin australis, ‘southern’, and Greek nesos, ‘island’ – is used primarily as a linguistic term, designating a family of languages spoken by peoples with a shared heritage. Julian Baldick, a celebrated historian of ancient religion, here argues that the diverse inhabitants of the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, New Guinea and Oceania show a common inheritance that extends beyond language. This commonality is found above all in mythology and ritual, which reach back to an ancient, prehistoric past. From around 1250 BCE the original proto-Oceanic speakers migrated eastwards from southeast Asia. Navigating by the sun, the stars, bird flight, the swells of the sea and cloud-swathed mountain islands, Austronesian voyagers used canoes and outriggers to settle on new territories. They developed a unified pattern of religion characterised by mortuary rites, headhunting and agrarian rituals of the annual calendar, culminating in a post-harvest festival often sexual in nature. This unique overview of Austronesian belief and tradition will be essential reading for students of religion, prehistory and anthropology.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
ancestors ancestral spirits animals anthropologist Ata Tana Atayal Atoni Austronesian religions bad death bamboo based on ﬁeldwork believe beneath Berawan Biaks Borneo boys burial buried Caledonia canoe ceremony chief clan coconut common-house corpse dancing dead deceased deceased’s deities eastern Indonesia female fertility festival ﬁeld ﬁfth Fijians ﬁnal mortuary ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst fruits ﬁsh ﬁshing ﬁve days ﬂesh four funeral ghosts gods groups harvest head headhunting headtaker Huang Shujing human sacriﬁce hunting Ibid Ifugao Ilongot incest Indonesia island Kayan Kedangese killed Kiribati Kodi latter living Madagascar magic Malayo-Polynesian male Manus Maori marriage Mekeo men’s Merina millet mortuary feast mortuary rituals myth Nage Ngaju Nias Niasans night Oceanic speakers one’s orgies pigs prestige priests Puyuma reﬂected rice Rindi rites Saisiyat seven sexual shamans signiﬁcant Simbo skull slaves sometimes soul Sumba Sumbanese supreme taboos Taiwan Taiwanese aborigines taken Tsou Ulithi Vanuatu victims village warriors Western Malayo-Polynesian Wogeo women Yabem