Category Archives: Indigenous Cultures

LODAGAA

#3 The Day of Death: Restraining the Bereaved to Prevent Suicide
     (Jack Goody, 1962)

The stage is now set; kinsfolk and ritual specialists have completed their preparations, and the body of the dead man now rests upon the funeral stand, ready to receive a mourning tribute from all those dwelling in the neighborhood, as … Continue reading

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Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

DOGON

#2 The Souls of the Dogons
     (Solange de Ganay, 1937-39)

With men, this force [the nyama] depends on the kikinu sae, or the soul. Whereas the soul is individual and pursues its extra-human destiny after death, the nyama is the impersonal element, which, after separating itself from the body upon … Continue reading

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Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

#1 African Origin Myths: Man Desires Death
    (Hans Abrahamsson)

It has several times been asserted that death enters into the world as a punishment because men have sinned against God, have been unwise or neglectful. In certain quarters, however, one meets with a totally different thought. Thus L. Frobenius … Continue reading

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AFRICAN TRADITIONAL SUB-SAHARAN CULTURES
(documented 1853-present)

African Origin Myths: Man Desires Death (Hans Abrahamsson) Dogon: The Souls of the Dogons (documented by Solange de Ganay, 1937-39) LoDagaa: Restraining the Bereaved to Prevent Suicide (documented by Jack Goody, 1962) Akan: The Detection of Witches: Ordeal and Punishment … Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures, African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures, Indigenous Cultures, The Early Modern Period, The Modern Era

GREENLAND ESKIMO

#17 The Old Woman and the Cliff
     (Fridtjof Nansen, 1893)

The conceptions of good and evil in this world are exceedingly divergent. As an example, let me cite the case of the Eskimo girl who, when Niels Egede spoke to her of love of God and her neighbor, said to … Continue reading

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Filed under Arctic Cultures

LABRADOR ESKIMO

#16 Respect for the Aged
     (Ernest W. Hawkes, 1914)

The aged are treated with great respect, and the word of the old men and women is final. The Eskimo say that they have lived a long time and understand things in general better. They also feel that in the … Continue reading

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Filed under Arctic Cultures

ESKIMO OF BAFFIN ISLAND

#15 Tribal Life
     (Julian Bilby, 1923)

 …now the time has come to get ready for a very big annual enterprise indeed—the great deer hunt, upon which the fortunes of the tribe will turn for months. If the Eskimo lay up little store of food, they accumulate … Continue reading

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Filed under Arctic, Arctic Cultures, Indigenous Cultures

ESKIMO OF BAFFIN ISLAND

#14 Theological Questions
     (Charles Francis Hall, 1860-62)

…The Innuits believe in a heaven and a hell, though their notions as to what is to constitute their happiness or misery hereafter are varied as on meets with different communities. Tookoolito says: “My people think this way: Kood-le-par-mi-ung (heaven) … Continue reading

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HUDSON BAY INUIT

#13 The Desertion of Old Women
     (Lucian M. Turner, 1882-84)

…The dress of the Tahagmyut [Hudson Bay Inuit] differs somewhat from that of their neighbors on either side of them… …The character of their dwellings is the same as that of the other Innuit. Their manner of living and their … Continue reading

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IGLULIK ESKIMO

#12 Those Who Were Left Behind
     (Knud Rasmussen, 1921-1924)

The communism which necessarily prevails in Eskimo society in order that all can manage to exist renders it a duty for the family to care for all helpless persons; among such are reckoned fatherless children, widows or old men and … Continue reading

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Filed under Arctic, Arctic Cultures, Indigenous Cultures