Micronesian Religion and Lore: A Guide to Sources, 1526-1990

Micronesian Religion and Lore: A Guide to Sources, 1526-1990

Micronesian Religion and Lore: A Guide to Sources, 1526-1990

Micronesian Religion and Lore: A Guide to Sources, 1526-1990

Excerpt

The need for this book became apparent to Douglas Haynes in 1989, when he began a comparative study of the iconographical sources of traditional Micronesian art. In compiling the bibliography for this art historical work, it was relatively easy to gather materials from the more widely circulated journals and larger book publishers. It soon became clear that there was a large body of unpublished, scarce materials that were essential to such an iconographical and iconological study. To complete this study properly, a comprehensive bibliography would first have to be compiled. The enormity of this task soon compelled Professor Haynes to put the iconographical study on hold. This bibliography had to come first. Professor William Wuerch, an experienced, published bibliographer and historian, who has an intimate knowledge of the sources of the region, was recruited to lend his invaluable expertise in this huge project.

Traditional Micronesian iconography is largely religious in nature, as is the case with most tribal or preliterate societies. There is also a large corpus of Micronesian myths, legends, beliefs, and practices that may not fit the Western concept of religion, but would be classified under folklore. That distinction cannot be consistently made in Micronesian cultures, nor in most other preliterate, thus "prehistoric" societies. The overlap of religion and folklore is pervasive, so the scope of subjects included is therefore broad. The subject matter encompasses magic, sorcery, ritual, cosmology, mythology, iconography, iconology, oral traditions, songs, chants, dance, music, traditional medicine, and many activities of daily life. Only those works were included, however, that directly treat these subjects in the context of religion or folklore.

The focus is on traditional, indigenous Micronesian religion and folklore. These traditions soon became modified after contact with the West, and the adaptation and persistence of these traditions are included in this bibliography. Works that solely deal with the Christianization of the area or the introduction of other religions are not included. The history of non-indigenous religions in Micronesia could merit another . . .

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