Chapter

Two Forms of Masculine Ritualized Rebirth: The Melanesian Body and the Amazonian Cosmos

Pascale Bonnemère

in Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780520228511
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935815 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520228511.003.0002
Two Forms of Masculine Ritualized Rebirth: The Melanesian Body and the Amazonian Cosmos

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This chapter draws a comparison between male cults in a specific part of Papua New Guinea and in a limited region of Amazonia, considering the myth of matriarchy, the exclusion of women, and physical ordeals for boys. It focuses on the rebirth dimension of men's cults, as they appear among two Anga groups and in two related societies of the Vaupés region. The male cults in these two areas have much in common; the elements are acted out, the goals are assigned to them, and the discourses people have in respect to them are quite similar. However, there are certain differences in the representation of the rebirth of the boys during initiation rituals in the Anga and the Tukano areas, which may be related to differences in the ideas the respective populations have concerning the origin of the cosmos and of the living species.

Keywords: male cults; rebirth; initiation rituals; cosmos; exclusion; Papua New Guinea; Amazonia

Chapter.  14985 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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