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Gender in Amazonia and MelanesiaAn Exploration of the Comparative Method$
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Thomas Gregor and Donald Tuzin

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520228511

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520228511.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.17) Two Two Forms of Masculine Ritualized Rebirth: The Melanesian Body and the Amazonian Cosmos
Source:
Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia
Author(s):

Pascale Bonnemère

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520228511.003.0002

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

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