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Belief Systems

A comparison of belief systems between The Trobrianders and The Forest People

Lauren Rodriguez

on 22 February 2010

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Transcript of Belief Systems

Belief Systems Magic The Trobrianders The Trobianders & The Forest People "Flying witches"- Individuals who leave their bodies while asleep & invisibly attack others
The Forest People Practices

Death & Afterlife The Trobrianders The Forest People A birth never brings people together the way a death does At death, the spirit (baloma) of the deceased becomes youthful again TUMA - Island where spirits go when they die When 1 dies, another is born (a spirit child, or waiwaia, is created) Magic is very powerful--Sorcery can be used to punish people for wrongdoings Sorcery can be used on children to weaken their father's power Spirit child returns to Kiriwina, enters a woman's body & causes her to become pregnant Magic spells are used to seduce (often dangerous because it can give a person control over the other person's thoughts) Magic & witchcraft are strongly associated w/the villagers Pygmies believe that when something goes wrong, it's because the forest is sleeping, not because of evil spirits The Trobianders A mother & her newborn must remain secluded for 2 months Nursing mothers, like mourners, must give up eating yams & pork A couple eats yams together to announce their marriage Kula - Exchange of prized shells; Competition lies in finding a big shell & seducing its owner to send it along a particular path The Forest People Molimo - Religious Festival (People dance around fire & sing for hours) Tribal Nkumbi Initiation Festival - Boys between ages 9-12 are circumcised; Would emerge 2-3 months w/privileges & responsibilities of adult status To be "of the forest," vertical slits are cut in the center of one's forehead & above each eye After a period of mourning, there's a great feast; Pygmies believe that it's better to forget the dead quickly If a man is sleeping during molimo's singing, he's killed Elima - Celebration that takes place when a girl reaches maturity & has her period Girls run around whipping boys they're interested in In elima, boy has to show courage to fight his way into the house after he's been invited (he can also kill an animal to prove himself a man) After a death, Pygmies return to the forest ASAP, to hold the biggest molimo festival & to make the forest happy again There's uncontrollable grief among relatives & friends towards deceased Pygmies cover themselves from head to foot in ashes as a sign of deepest mourning FOREST YAMS SHELLS THANKS FOR WATCHING! gracias merci arigato xie xie grazie salamat Cám ơn danku It can be used to help or to harm others
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