CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY      WEEKLY NOTES
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GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR TRACKSTAR PAPERS

1.    Each paper must have a cover page with your name and date as well as the Trackstar number (Trackstar II).  This information     should  be centered both vertically and horizontally on the page.

2.    Each paper must be typed with 1 inch margins all around.  You must double space (with no extra spaces between paragraphs) and you must not justify the right margin. The Times New Roman, 12 pt font must be used.

3.    Type the title of each article and type each question before you type the answer. There should be something to differentiate the question from the answer, such as bold print, underlining, or a new line started.

4.    Use complete sentences and full explanations for your opinions.

5.    All arguments or statements must be coherent, logical, relevant and free of generalizations and stereotypes.  Do not preach and do not take scripture out of context.  Do not summarize the material.

6.    Each trackstar should be a minimum of 5 full pages.

7.    Page numbers begin with page two of your text (written material).  The title page is not part of your page count.  Page numbers are placed in the top right corner of the paper where the top one (1) inch margin intersects with the right margin.  The title page and the first page of written material do  not have a number on them.

8.    Staple your paper or put it in a folder. Papers which are paper-clipped together or papers with just the corners folded over will not be accepted.

9.    You must read all of the articles and answer all of the questions.

10.  Your paper will be graded not only on the content but also on the use of the English language (grammar, punctuation, etc.) as well as your adherence to the format listed above.

 

 

 

Reflection Papers

 

A reflection paper should include a discussion of the material presented in the text as well as the material presented in class.  It should contain ideas such as how theories relate to the current events and happenings as expressed in the media either locally, nationally or globally.  Analogies can also be drawn from personal experience as well as observations from your own environment. Scripture may be used; however, it should not be taken out of context nor should there be  "preaching" within the paper. 

Each reflection paper should be 8-10 pages, typed and double-spaced.  Each paper should have a title page with the following information centered both vertically and horizontally:  Reflection Paper I (or II, etc), your name as well as the date.  The title page and first page should not be numbered.  The page numbers start with page 2 of the text and are placed in the top right hand corner of the page where the once inch margins meet (one inch from the top and one inch from the right).  The paper should also be written in a modified APA format which includes:

1.    One inch margins all around

2.    No justification of the right margin

3.    No sexist language is used ( humankind rather than mankind; a child can be he/she, etc.)

4.    Standard English is used

5.    There is not a bibliography just a reference page (only work cited within the text of the paper is referenced) and there is no need to reference the text.

The paper's grade will reflect:

1.    The knowledge and use of the material in the readings from your textbook.

2.    The knowledge and use of the material presented in class

3.    The ability to synthesize the material

4.    The correct us of grammar, punctuation and spelling

5.    The absence of typographical errors

6.    The use of the format given above

7.    A minimum of 8 full pages.

8.    Papers which are stapled or placed in a binder.  No papers should be paper-clipped or just have the edges folded over.

 

lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES  1
lThe creation-evolution controversy is not between the Bible and science as such.
lIt is between some persons who hold certain interpretations of the Bible and other persons who maintain certain extrapolations or theories in science.
lAn extrapolation is an estimation beyond the known range of data
lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   2
lThe conflict appears to be between debatable theories of some scientists and doubtful interpretations of some expositors rather than a conflict between the facts of science and the text of scripture
lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   3
lThere are intellectual tools which allow you do some some analytical thinking before you make up your mind.
lThe first tool is using the analytic approach
lThe second tool is defining the problem and the terms
lThe third tool is recognizing assumptions
lThe fourth tool is looking at data and interpretations
lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   4
lAnalytical thinking requires more time and effort than simply believing what someone else tells you.
lHowever, it will bring you closer to the truth.
lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   5
lMost modern, well-educated people often believe that science is so complicated that years of study are necessary to understand it and that is should be left to the experts
lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERIES   6
lMany people feel that while science is interesting, it is not relevant to problems in today’s society.
lThey forget that if we are to decide about complicated issues such as cloning or combining different genetic codes, we must be able to think critically about scientific endeavors
lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   7
lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   8
lBasic information is frequently ignored and opinions become repeated so often that they take on the tone of laws.
lBasic information must be frequently re-examined and the conclusions analyzed
lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   9
l
lAll people, especially Christians, are obligated to use the mental capacities they have been given. 
lWhen we fail to use our minds, we descend to the level of animals.
lHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   10
lAre you able to think through a controversy?
lDo you rely on your emotions to dictate your beliefs?
lAre you able to help others to analyze conflict?
lAnalytical thinking is time-consuming and difficult.
lIt is much easier to believe what someone else tells you
lGod gave you a mind with which to THINK

 

 HOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES II
Unless you define the problem, how do you know where to look for an answer or recognize the answer if it comes? When the issue is clouded with emotion and hidden in irrelevancies, defining the problem is sometimes difficult, but always necessary.
Much of the creation-evolution conflict can be solved by defining the terms creation and evolution.
The term creation or creationist has at least six versions each differing from each other by various degrees.
HOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES II (2)
The term evolution causes even more confusion because of some important differences in the way it is used.
The term is both used as the “fact of evolution” as well as “the most generally accepted theory of evolution.”
A single scientist may use the term in both ways because of the variable uses and definitions of this single word.
HOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES II (3)
Evolution means an unrolling or a process of change in a certain direction.
It is the extent of the change which is the main key to the controversy
HOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES II (4)
Evolution must be considered on three different levels.
Each level has a different dominant evolutionary process.
The first level,individual variation, refers to the individual differences found within a single family or population
The second level, microevolution, or small change refers to the variation among different populations of the same species.
The third level, macroevolution, refers to the separation and divergence of populations which eventually form different species, genera, families, orders, etc.
HOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES II (5)
Few creationists find any conflict between the first two levels of evolution and their interpretation off biblical creation.
Most creationists do not accept macroevolution because of its direct conflict with their interpretations of the creation account in Genesis.
HOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES II (6)
Macroevolution is also the hardest level for evolutionists to defend because of its speculative nature. There is only indirect evidence to support it
This is the area of most difficulty between creationists and evolutionists because of the differing interpretations
HOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES II (7)
Confusion results for several reasons:
Some evolutionists claim that evolution (meaning both microevolution and macroevolution) is a fact;
Some creationists reject evolution because they cannot accept macroevolution
Some evolutionists interpret a rejection of evolution as a rejection of both microevolution and macroevolution
Because of the confusion over terms, creationists have been labeled as antiscientific.
Evolutionists have implied that macroevolution is as scientifically well established as microevolution.
HOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES II (8)
Creationists need to understand that when evolutionists refer to evolution as a fact, they are probably referring to microevolution only
When creationists reject evolution, they are usually rejecting only macroevolution

 

nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   III
nThere is rarely such a thing as total objectivity, even in science. Everyone has some kind of bias, mental leaning, preconditioning and background which influences the kinds of things observed and the ways in which these observations are interpreted.
nThe assumptions or presuppositions which someone brings to the facts, more than the facts themselves, often determine his or her conclusions.
nWhatever you read, you should ask, “What are this person’s underlying presuppositions?”
nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   III  (2)
nAn assumption is something taken for granted, stated positively with great confidence but without objective proof
nA scientist’s personal enthusiasm for his/her own hypothesis often makes it difficult to be objective
nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES  III  (3)
nThere are seven basic assumptions that are often not mentioned during discussions of evolution:
n1.  The first assumption is that non-living things gave rise to living material e.g. spontaneous generation occurred
n2.  The second assumption is that spontaneous generation occurred only once
nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES  III  (4)
n3.  The third assumption is that viruses, bacteria, plants and animals are all interrelated
n4.  The fourth assumption is that Protozoa gave rise to the Metazoa
n5.  The fifth assumption is that the various invertebrate phyla are interrelated
n6.  The sixth assumption is that the invertebrates gave rise to the vertebrates
nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES  III  (5)
n7.  The seventh assumption is that within the vertebrates the fish gave rise to the amphibia, the amphibia to the reptiles, and reptiles to the birds and mammals.  Sometimes this is expressed as the modern amphibia and reptiles had a common ancestral stock
nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES  III  (6)
nThe seven assumptions by their nature are not capable of experimental verification.
nThey assume that a certain series of events has occurred in the past
nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES  III  (7)
nThere are people on both sides of the fence (creationists and evolutionists) who believe in a personal Creator. 
nThe issue is not limited to a division between atheists and theists
nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES  III  (8)
nPre-conditioning and assumptions can greatly influence the way scientists see things.  It is quite possible for two people to see the same event and yet come to two very different understandings of what they saw
nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES  III (9)
nIn order to think critically, you should be able to distinguish sound scientific work from
n(1)  “scientific” work improperly done (unscientific)
n(2)  science falsely so-called (pseudoscience)
n(3)  philosophy and religion (non-science)  

Science is not able to nor designed to handle all realities, only those which are physical and objective

nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES  III  (10)
nTruth will not fear destruction by new discoveries.
nA faith system cannot prosper in ignorance because it can be overthrown by mere enlightenment
nScientifically is is not improper to hypothesize something which is later refuted.  It is, however, improper to elevate an unsupported hypothesis to the status of a theory or fact
nHOW TO THINK ABOUT EVOLUTION AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES   III  (11)
nImportant things to remember:
nWhat does the Bible say?
nDo you know the difference between the inspired Word and the interpreted Word?
nWhat kinds and amounts of scientific data exist?
nWhat do they mean?
nThe varied interpretations of the same biblical texts and scientific evidence have already given rise to at least four versions of evolution and six versions of creation

 

*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (1)
*Science is characterized by its methods.  If scientific methods cannot be properly applied, we are not dealing with science.
*There are five steps in the scientific method:  observation, statement of the problem, proposal of a hypothesis, gathering of data through observation and experimentation, and formation of a conclusion.
*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (2)
*Observation:
*All science starts with observation by the five physical senses.
*Anything which cannot be observed is outside the realm of science and is nonscientific
*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (3)
*Questions of the ultimate origins of our universe are actually nonscientific because they are events which nobody can observe.
*We may only predict what might have happened
*All people use their physical senses to some degree but will usually see more or less than what is actually there.
*Correct observation is a difficult art, even for trained scientists.
*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (4)
*Each observation must be also potentially or actually repeatable by several other competent observers
*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (5)
*The Question or Problem:
*As observations raise questions in the scientist’s mind, he/she tries to make as few assumptions as possible.
*He/she will ask questions of how, when and where a particular, problematic phenomenon occurs.
*These questions must be both relevant and testable
*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (6)
*Hypothesis:  The Most Likely Answer
*Now that a relevant, testable question has been asked about a repeatable observation, the next step is to propose a probable answer or educated guess called a hypothesis .
*At this point, the hypothesis is essentially an assertion or a statement without evidence
*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (7)
*Gathering Data:  Obtaining Additional Observations.
*A hypothesis is substantiated by gathering data to support it. 
*This is a critical step overlooked by some who intuitively believe that their hypothesis is so reasonable and obviously correct that it needs no supporting evidence.
*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (8)
*An appeal to other authorities is also not a valid way of supporting a hypothesis. 
*The basis of the authority’s knowledge must be questioned to see if it is just an opinion or if it has been scientifically established
*Additional data may be gathered by further observation of the same type that sparked the initial question or by observation under controlled conditions
*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (9)
*Bias may arise in the observations, in the design of the experiment and in the amount and kind of data considered necessary for supporting or refuting the hypothesis
*SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS  (10)
*Five different kinds of evidence are encountered in the creation-evolution controversy.
*Anecdotal or testimonial
*Positive evidence
*Negative evidence
*Direct evidence
*Indirect evidence
*

SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS II
The fifth step in the scientific method is the formation of a conclusion through interpreting the evidence
It is incorrect to conclude that a hypothesis has ever been proven.
No scientific evidence, regardless of strength, can ever prove the absolute validity of any hypothesis


SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS II (2)
A hypothesis supported by a large body of different types of observations confirmed by many independent investigators may become a theory


SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS II (3)
A GOOD THEORY:
Explains or shows relationships among facts
Simplifies
Clarifies
Grows to relate additional facts
Predicts new facts and relationships
Does not explain too much


SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS II (4)
A theory is a generalization which is more certain than a hypothesis.
Some theories, due to their high degree of certainty and wide acceptance, become laws


SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS II (5)
Even a law is not an absolute truth.
Generalizations can never be proved. They can be tested by seeing whether deductions made from them are in accord with experimental and observational facts.


SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS II (6)
A scientific fact is an accurate description of an object or event.
The work is often used with a sense of absolute finality that establishes the point beyond question


SCIENCE AND ITS METHODS II (7)
The word fact is also used in place of law, theory, hypothesis and even assertion.
Science does not claim to discover the final truth but only to put forward hypotheses based on the evidence available at the time

 

CULTURE SURROUDING FOOD
There are many similarities between ancient and modern cultures surrounding food.
Many societies rank food according to the same hierarchy.
Members of every culture believe that their way of doing things is normal.
The term ordinary does not only mean normal ; it also means order or rule.


CULTURE SURROUDING FOOD 2
French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss studied what people ate and how different cultures prepared their food even through myths in order to identify the underlying human structures.


CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 3
Every culture puts the food they eat into three broad categories, two natural (raw and rotten) and one mediated by culture (cooked).
Most every culture tries to turn nature into culture or the raw into the cooked.


CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 4
Anthropologists use food to explore and analyze the organizing principles of cultures.
Most every culture has comparable categories of classifying people and their food sources:
1. People who are very close like parents and siblings, and who are not marriageable. Incestuous taboos prevent people in this category from engaging in sexual intercourse with one another.


CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 5
a. Pets which are very close and are always considered inedible.
2. Those people who are kin, but not very close (first cousins in English society), clan siblings etc. In general, marriage among members of this category are prohibited or strongly disapproved.
b. Animals which are tame, but are not very close, like farm animals. They are mostly edible, but usually only when they are immature or castrated.


CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 6
3. Neighbors (friends), who are not kin and are either potential spouses or enemies.
c. Field animals or “game” with whom the English alternate having a friendly or hostile relationship. Game animals usually enjoy human protection but are not tame. These are edible in sexually intact form, and are killed at certain seasons of the years according to proscribed sets of hunting rituals.


CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 7
Distant strangers, those who are known to exist, but with whom there is no kind of social relationship possible.
d. Remote wild animals, which are not subject to human control and are, for the most part inedible
e. Vermin, a category which is loaded with taboos. Although unwanted, most vermin live in close proximity to humans and are intrinsically inedible.

 

nFORAGERS  
nThe aboriginal band was described by anthropologist A.R. Radcliffe-Brown as a band or a clan-horde.
nA band is defined as a group of twenty-five to fifty people who camp and forage together.
nEstate is defined as property held in common by a descent group, perhaps including territory, sacred sites, and ceremonies.
nPatrilocal band is an organization based on exogamy and patrilocal residence.
nFORAGERS 2
nCountry may refer to land as a religious estate or as a foraging territory.
nBand members may be referred to as “people” of a particular place whereas individuals may claim affiliation with several countries.
nFORAGERS 3
nThe range over which the band forages is a discrete territory containing the critical resources that sustain the band during normal years.
nFORAGERS 4
nBand territorial boundaries are recognized but not directly defended. Visitors must observe special entry rites upon arrival.  They must also ask permission before they can forage within a band territory.
nFORAGERS 5
nAll band members can use range resources but only those qualified to be estate owners can give permission and act as managers.
nFORAGERS  6
nExogamy:  marriage outside a culturally defined group.
nPatrilocality:  a cultural preference for a newly married couple to live near the husband’s parents or patrilineal relatives.
nPatrilineal descent:  descent traced through a line of men to a male ancestor.
nPatrilineage:  A lineage based on descent traced through a line of men to a common male ancestor and sharing a joint estate.
nClan:  a named group claiming descent from a common but often remote ancestor and sharing a joint estate.
nFORAGERS   7
nForaging is based on mobility and the productivity of natural ecosystems, interconnected communities of plants and animals.
nForaging allows an organized and culturally outfitted population to maintain itself in virtually any environment with no outside assistance.
nFORAGERS   8
nForaging requires a vast store of knowledge about plants and animals, specialized manufacturing and food-processing techniques, and hunting and gathering skills.
nIt also requires skills in assorted material implements and facilities.
nFORAGERS   9
nForagers are ultimately constrained by the level of food resources produced by the natural ecosystems they occupy.
nFORAGERS:  ABORIGINES  10
nVirtually every edible plant and animal has been part of the aboriginal diet.
nThe list would include insects, lizards, whales, birds, mammals, turtles, fish and shellfish, and nuts, fruits, greens, and grass seeds.
nAborigines commonly distinguish between plant and animal foods.
nAnimal fat, rather than meat as such, is often the food most desired by foragers.
nFORAGERS:  ABORIGINES  11
nLizards make up nearly half, by weight of the total meat animals brought in by aborigines.
nLizards represent one the most efficient desert resources considering the time and energy needed to collect and process them.
nFORAGERS 12
nIt takes only 15 minutes to capture and cook 2.2 pounds of lizards and they yield more than 1000 kilocalories of food energy.
nFORAGERS 13
nThe Witchetty grub is also quite energy-efficient.  The grubs weigh a little over 1 ounce and are almost pure fat and protein.
nAborigines can extract 1 kilogram of grubs in 30 minutes.
nFORAGERS:  ABORIGINES 14  
nDesert aborigines have relatively few plant foods available to them but they use them intensively.
nIn the Central Desert more than one hundred plant species are consumed.
nSeeds are a costly food resource since collecting and grinding can require up to 6 hours.
nFORAGERS:  ABORIGINES   15
nThroughout Australia, the primary concern traditionally was to maintain long-term food security, because unpredictable fluctuations and shortages of key staples could occur even in the richest areas.
nRather than stockpiling food, the basic strategy was to maintain access to resources over a wide area through kinship ties and social networks.

 

GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP
The aboriginal society is highly decentralized and egalitarian, with people in overlapping and interdependent roles that minimize the possibility that divisive interest groups will come into serious conflict.
Their social system allows the sorting of people into a workable number of social categories that specify appropriate interpersonal behavior, especially in the critical areas of marriage and access to spiritual property.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP 
(2)
Terms:
1.  Totem/totemic:  In Australia, specific animals, plants,   natural phenomena, or other objects that originate in   the Dreaming and are the spiritual progenitors of   aboriginal descent groups.
2.  Nuclear family:  the primary family unit of mother,   father, and dependent children
3.  Kinship terminology:  An ego-centered system of   terms that specifies genealogical relationships of   consanguinity and affinity in reference to a given   individual.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP  (3)
Complementary Opposition:  A structural principle in which pairs of opposites, such as males and females, form a logical larger whole.
Gerontocracy:  an age hierarchy that is controlled or dominated by the oldest age groups.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP   (4)
Section system:  A social division into four sections or eight subsections intermarrying, named groups, which summarize social relationships.  Members of each group must marry only members of one other specific group.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP   (5)
The totem estate groups are among the most important social categories.
In an aboriginal society, there might be dozens of totemic estate groups, or clans, that regulate rights in spiritual property and indirectly provide access to natural resources.
Who one marries is partly determined in reference to the totemic groups of one’s parents, and marriage establishes access to territory associated with one’s spouse’s totemic estates.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP   (6)
All social interaction takes place between people who can place themselves in specific kinship categories.
Aboriginal kin terms also indicate marriageability and relative totemic estate group affiliation.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP  (7)
Because everyone must be fitted into a “kinship” category, most people are not necessarily what non aboriginals would consider “real kin,” but aborigines do treat them as kin.
The terms reflect shared understandings of social status, and become basic guide lines for behavior.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP   (8)
Kinship terms represent cultural categories, and their specific application varies considerably.
In a given system, someone might refer to serveral women using the same term mother.  The term might then mean “woman of mother’s generation who belongs to mother’s totemic estate group (clan)”
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (9)
The biological facts of mother hood might be irrelevant in this context.  When the biological relationship needs to be designated, a modifier such as real or true  might be added
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (10)
Moieties sort people into two sides by estate groups.  All people. Totems and natural phenomena are assigned to a specific moiety.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (11)
Moiety groupings help organize ritual activities. 
One moiety may own a particular ritual, while another moiety actually carries out the ritual.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (12)
This is a form of complementary opposition because the ceremony could not be performed without the cooperation of both groups.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP   (13)
Many aspects of aboriginal society are related to the widespread practice of polygyny.
Polygyny automatically creates a scarcity of potential wives, which is partially alleviated by the large age difference between men and women at marriage.
Girls may be promised in marriage long before they are born, and men might be well beyond 30 years of age before their first marriage, perhaps to a much older widow, while a 12 year old girl might marry a 50 year old man.
GENDERN, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (14)
Polygyny also offers important benefits for the entire society.
Polygynous households may provide child-bearing women with greater security.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (15)
An older man is more likely than a young man to have a thorough knowledge of the territory and a wider network of kinship connections which will benefit his entire household especially in times of resource shortage.
Delaying marriage provides the young men with an opportunity to learn the intricacies of the totemic landscape and the locations of critical waterholes.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP   (16)
The aboriginal society is a gerontocracy.
The old men occupy the upper “class” and use polygyny and Dreamtime ideology to control women and the labor supply.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (17)
Elders do have moral authority; however, relationships among individuals at different generation levels are hierarchical and may be expressed as kinship responsibility or “looking after.”
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (18)
Elders do arrange the marriages; however, this is considered to be nurturing and guiding not domination or exploitation.
No one has generalized power over all others.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (19)
In the age system, status is always relative.  Everyone at a given level is equivalent and everyone moves up.
No one is permanently excluded from access to basic resources or political power by membership in a lower social class.
As they mature, everyone—both men and women alike—move to positions of greater decision making ability in society.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (20)
Through out the world, foraging people that are characterized by high mobility and low population density are the most egalitarian societies known.
GENDER, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP (21)
Equality is reflected in the conspicuous absence of differences in material wealth among individuals in the availability to each  household of the resources needed to secure its existence, and in the absence of permanent political leaders with coercive power over others.

 

*RELIGION

*The key element of the aboriginal culture is the complex, multidimensional concept called the Dreaming, which recognizes the interdependence and vitality of all parts of the cosmos

*RELIGION (2)

*The term Dreaming refers variously to creation, the moral order, an ancestral being, people, a spirit, the origin point of a spirit, a specific topographic feature, and a totem species, object, or phenomenon.

*As a philosophy of life, the Dreaming provides both a cosmogony to account for the origin of everything and a cosmology to  explain the fundamental order of the universe.

*RELIGION (3)

*

*The aborigines, as with open societies, is primarily concerned with healing, love magic, and natural fertility rather than with witchcraft.

*

*Individual souls are recycled and may exist briefly as ghosts, but they are not permanently commemorated in ancestor cults.

*RELIGION (4)

*Totem:  In Australia, specific animals, plants, natural phenomena, or other objects that originate in the Dreaming and are the spiritual progenitors of aboriginal descent groups.

*Cosmogony:  An ideological system that seeks to explain the origin of everything

*Cosmology:  An ideological system that explains the order and meaning of the universe and people’s places within it.

*RELIGION (5)

*There is no all-powerful god and no rank order in the Dreaming.

*There is no heaven or hell, and the distinctions between sacred and profane, natural and supernatural, are blurred

*RELIGION (6)

*Dreaming locations, or sacred sites, are centers for ritual activity and help define territorial boundaries and regulate use of resources.

*RELIGION (7)

*Some sites contain the spirit essence of their creators and are the places where special “increase ceremonies” are performed to perpetuate particular species.

*RELIGION (8)

*

*Aborigines experience the mystical as a perpetual unity with the cosmos as they follow the Dreaming Law in their daily life.

*A seemingly mundane activity, such as seasonally burning grass, can be considered a religious act because it perpetuates life and the cosmic balance between sun and rain, people and game.

*

*RELIGION (9)

*Because they saw no aboriginal farms or permanent houses, British authorities mistakenly concluded that the aborigines had no fixed relationship to the land.

*Australia was declared terra nullus, an empty wasteland, free for the taking.

*RELIGION (10)

*The Dreamtime ancestors or totemic beings, make a direct link between people and their land by means of the sacred sites which are the physical remains of the ancestors of their activities. 

*The most dramatic example of this is Uluru, a giant monolith in central Australia.

*RELIGION (11)

*Uluru is a perpetual Dreamtime monument crammed with cultural meaning.

*A series of stories recounts the activities of ten totemic beings and their relatives, including various snakes, reptiles, birds and mammals, who created the existing landscape and established the clan boundaries.

*RELIGION (12)

*Rocks, stains, caves, pockmarks that represent the bodies, camps, and physical signs of the totemic beings at Uluru also traveled widely across the country leaving permanent Dreaming paths.

*Entry to or even knowledge of sacred sites is often restricted and unauthorized intrusion may be severely punished.

*The spirit essence localized at certain sites also completes the direct link between people and their individual Dreaming, because this animating power is believed to be an essential but not an exclusive element in human conception and reproduction.

*RELIGION (13)

*An individual is a physical part of the Dreaming and this spiritual connection is a more important cultural fact than biological paternity.

*Dreaming tracks also serve as devices to help fix in memory the location of permanent waterholes which are critically important.

 
*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST

*Manioc production, is the key to successful human occupation of Amazonia.

*It depends on a specialized system of shifting cultivation that minimally disrupts the forest ecosystem.

*The forest itself ultimately maintains soil quality, regulates the local climate, recycles nutrients and water.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST  (2)

*Natives of the area rely on a diverse mix of crops in their gardens or swiddens.

*The overlapping layers of different plant species minimize erosion and losses to insects and disease.

*Sweet potato vines and beans quickly cover the ground, then are shaded by maize and manioc, which in turn are shaded by bananas and various fruit trees.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST  (3)

*Slash and burn is the favored system of farming.

*This is a farming technique in which a forest is cleared and burned to enrich the soil for planting.

*The burning concentrates nutrients in the ash, thus eliminating the need for additional fertilizer.  Unburned logs provide an easy source of wood for cooking fires.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST  (4)

*Shifting cultivation requires a great deal of specialized knowledge, which has an elaborate vocabulary.

*Native Amazonians distinguish several different types of soil and forest and they take into account the special characteristic of each when selecting a garden site.

*Because manioc require more than 6 months to produce large tubers, manioc must be grown on land that is not seasonally flooded.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST  (5)

*Although the gardens are seldom carefully tended more than 1 year, they may yield manioc for up to 3 years.

*New gardens might be made each year, so that at a given time every household has gardens at different stages of production

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST  (6)

*Gardens are abandoned in part because rapid forest regrowth makes weeding a burdensome task.

*In most forest soils, continuous replanting would soon lead to a decline in fertility and yield

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST  (7)

*Reclearing of old garden sites is avoided because, during the early stages of forest succession, the vegetation is very dense and difficult to clear with hand tools.

*Village sites may be shifted every few years to reduce conflict or to find better hunting ground.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST  (8)

*Most Amazonians grow a dozen or more varieties of manioc carefully distinguishing them based on characteristics of tuber and leaf.

*Rain forest villages usually remain small, averaging less than 100 people and seldom exceeding 300 people.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST (9)

*A single garden belonging to an Ashaninka household in the Peruvian Amazon potentially could produce some 30,000 pounds of manioc in a year.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST (10)

*All manioc tubers contain potentially toxic substances.  In “sweet varieties” they can be eliminated merely by peeling and cooking.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST (11)

*The bitter variety is used for flour by an elaborate labor-intensive process of squeezing and sifting then roasting the grated pulp

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST  (12)

*Amazonian villages clearly demonstrate some advantages of life.

*Men do the heavy work of garden clearing in seasonally concentrated bursts of effort.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPCIAL RAIN FOREST  (13)

*Women carry out the bulk of routine cultivation, harvesting, and food processing.

*Men, women, and children forage for wild plant food, insects, and small animals.

*Everyone may join large-scale fishing expeditions, but men provide most of the daily animal protein by hunting and fishing.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST (14)

*This production system guarantees that each household can meet nutritional needs with relatively moderate work loads while maintaining a reasonable labor balance between sexes.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST (15)

*It also provides strong incentives for maintaining low population densities because as densities increase, work loads quickly accelerate due to game depletion and the increasing distances that women must walk to their gardens.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST (16)

*Most villages do not exceed 300 although manioc gardening could produce enough calories to support a permanent village of 500 people as long as they could get enough animal protein in game and fish.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST (17)

*Available protein sources do not seem to be a problem either especially in the riverine enviroment or the flood forest zone.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST  (18)

*Meat and fish are pooled and distributed to each household in the village to smooth out the variation in productivity between households.

*All of these activities are individually directed, and everyone controls the necessary tools.

*This production system guarantees that each household can meet its nutritional needs with relatively moderate work loads while maintaining a reasonable labor balance between the sexes.

*It also provides strong incentives for maintaining low population densities.

*FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST (19)

*Cultural preferences for large frame animals, maximum leisure and household autonomy seem to be more important than supporting the largest possible villages.

* VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA
Local settlements in Amazonia resemble the bands of Australian aborigines in that both are usually exogamous groups.
Because rain forest villages are frequently moved, individual houses and landholdings are not inherited.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (2)
Ordinarily, gardens are only owned by those who clear and cultivate them until they are abandoned to the forest.
In Amazonia, genealogical reckoning is shallow and even discouraged by frequent taboos on speaking the names of dead ancestors.
This prevents ancestor cults or invidious ranking of descent lines. The results is a highly egalitarian social system that encourages easy access to natural resources.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (3)
Larger social groups often are named after rivers, but territories frequently overlap and generally seem much more flexible than in Australia.
Because they spend most of the year at a permanent residence, they could be considered “domesticated” societies.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (4)
The world of Mundurucu men and women is sharply divided. Men are primarily hunters, although they also do the heavy work of garden clearing. Women cultivate, harvest, and process bitter manioc.
Mundurucu men assume public roles which is symbolically reflected in the physical structure of the village.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (5)
Adult males and older boys sleep communally and spend much of their time in the eska, an open-walled men’s house, whereas all females and young boys sleep in close-walled domestic houses.


VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (6)
Mundurucu are divided into exogamous moieties.
A moiety is one part of a two-part social division.
Mundurucu moieties are color-coded “red” and “white,” and membership is allocated through males.
People marry their cross-cousins who belong to opposite moieties.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (7)
Matrilocality requires that a young man leave his own village and move into the men’s house in his new wife’s village.
Men consider themselves to be the superior sex and they frequently draw on symbolic support for this position, but the women reject this understanding.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (8)
Clan loyalties are strong, and ancestral spirits are symbolically present in sacred flutes, which are hidden in the men’s house.
The potential for intervillage conflict is reduced by the practice of matrilocality.

VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (9)
The entire mythic charter for the male view is enshrined in the central myth of the phallic sacred flutes.
The myth tells how women originally possessed mysterious flutes that reversed normal gender roles. As long as the women had the flutes, they occupied the men’s house, relegating the men to carry water and firewood and to be seduced by aggressive women.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (10)
The downfall for the women was that the flutes demanded meat, but only men could hunt.
Eventually, the men grew impatient with this arrangement and threatened to stop hunting, thereby forcing the women to surrender the flutes and restoring normal gender roles.
The myth explains why men are both sexually and publicly dominant.
Men are superior to women—not because they are inherently superior, but because gender roles differ.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (9)
The hunting by males is culturally the most important gender role.
The sacred flute myth highlights a central problem: men are sexually attracted to women and physically dependent on them, but they fear their power.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (12)
Patrilineality gives men rights over the status of children, but only women can produce children
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (13)
The myth suggests that men know their vulnerability and must constantly assert themselves, or women will overcome them.
The mythic flutes are symbolically embodied in the 4-foot-long hollow wooden tubes, which are stored and regularly played in the men’s house.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (14)
The flutes reinforce the male role in patrilineality and hunting because they contain the spirits of the patriclan ( a named descent group with membership assigned through the male lines) and they must be offered meat.
Mundurucu male dominance is a male ideology of gender roles. Publicly, women remain in the background actively maintaining their separation from men, but in practical terms they have real power in their daily lives.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (15)
Mundurucu women are in charge of their households.
Senior women control food distribution, handing out both manioc and meat.
Households are centered predominantly on sisters, mothers, and daughters.
Kin ties between women are very strong.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (16)
One of the most distinctive features of domestic cultures is the way they preclude any concentration of political power that might threaten the autonomy of households and communities.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (17)
Village leaders serve the people and are granted no undue power.
The largest local settlement in Amazonia is a politically autonomous unit even if it contains only twenty-five people.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (18)
Villagers can move the village whenever they choose, can kill intruders and control their natural resources.
Given exogamy, there cannot be complete village autonomy because spouses must come from other villages.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (19)

A leader or headman, may be called a “chief” by outsiders; however his authority is extremely limited.
Normally he is a powerless coordinator who formally announces what everyone had already decided to do
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (20)
An Amazon village is essentially a “society against the state” in that it is designed to prevent the concentration of political power that would allow anyone to gain control of the economy for his own benefit.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (21)
The headman is granted a certain degree of privileged status, usually polygyny.
He frequently works harder than everyone else and is denied real power.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (22)
Most headmen need more than one wife in order to brew the extra manioc beer expected from a generous headman.
The headman can hold his position only as long as he serves the community
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (23)
Since a headman is limited to using his verbal powers, it may be almost impossible for him to keep peace in a “village” larger than 200-300 people.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (24)
A source of village conflict is the shortage of game and the related competition between village men for access to women.
In the absence of a powerful headman the situation can lead to village fragmentation.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (25)

Throughout Amazonia, hunting success is equated with virility and the successful hunter can support wives and lovers through gifts of meat.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (26)
Successful hunters also have free time to engage in infidelities while less skilled hunters are still in the forest.
This leads to conflict and villages break apart before potential game depletion sets in.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (27)

When game is really abundant, individual differences in hunting abilities are less prominent and men may turn to raiding other villages to capture women.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (28)

Successful raiding would increase village size, raise the pressure on hunters and, again, result in village fragmentation.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (29)

Domestic-scale cultures are characterized by chronic inter-village conflict because they have no overall political authority to enforce peace.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (30)
In Amazonia, inter-village conflict is carried out
For personal reasons
To avenge previous wrongs
To prevent future attacks
To capture wives
To gain individual prestige
To obtain material benefits
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (31)
The objective is not political conquest; domestic-scale conflict is better seen as raiding and/or feuding.
VILLAGE LIFE IN AMAZONIA (32)
Where raiding is especially common, extensive “no-man’s lands” may develop between hostile groups and can serve as de facto game reserves to replenish adjacent hunting territories.

 

RELIGION II
The people of the Rain Forest, most particularly, the Amazonians, have a central concern for creation, life and death, and relationship between nature and culture.
In domestic-scale societies, there are no priests, no full time professionals to formalize the belief system or codify in writing.

RELIGION II (2)
Animism, a belief in spirits which can take on any form (both human and non-living) is their major source of religion.
Humans, animals, plants and a variety of anthropomorphic beings can have superhuman characteristics.
RELIGION II (3)
All of these beings can intrude directly in the affairs of humans and control natural resources.
Shamans are religious specialists who, by training and self-selection, are particularly adept at communicating with the spirit world—curing illnesses and dealing with misfortune.
RELIGION II (4)
In the absence of a centralized political authority, shamans often play a key role in the politics of village life by using their spirit power to enforce social control.

RELIGION II (5)
The fear of being accused of sorcery is a powerful means of enforcing social control and strengthening kin ties in a small community.
Behaving aggressively or doing anything that deviates from social norms can bring one under suspicion of sorcery.
RELIGION II (6)
Kin ties are critical because individuals who are surrounded by supportive kin rarely are accused of sorcery.
Spirit beings normally are invisible, but they can assume visible form and freely transform from human to animal form and back again.
RELIGION II (7)
In Ashaninka thought, any unusual animal or otherwise unexplained event may be attributed to a spirit.
The Ashaninka recognize and name scores of specific spiritual entities; some include the souls of their own ancestors, which are ordinarily considered harmless.
RELIGION II (8)
The principal actors in the myths and their spirit representatives in the forest and rivers invariably are oversexed demons seeking to seduce people, especially vulnerable women.

RELIGION II (9)

Malevolent spirit beings may appear as blue butterflies, tapirs, jaguars, hairy red humanoid dwarfs, or hoof-footed human impersonators.
They are found in the deep forest, and they frequent whirlpools and rocky cliffs.
Human contact with or even sight of a malevolent spirit beings may cause illness or death
RELIGION II (10)
Animism: A belief in spirits that occupy plants, animals, and people. Spirits are supernatural and normally invisible but may transform into different forms. Animism is considered by cultural evolutionists to be the simplest and earliest form of religion.
Shaman: A part-time religious specialist with special skills for dealing with the spirit world; may help his community by healing, by divination, and by directing supernatural powers against enemies.
RELIGION II (11)

Myth: A narrative that recounts the activities of supernatural beings. Often acted out in ritual, myths encapsulate a culture’s cosmology and cosmogony and provide justification for culturally prescribed behavior.
Natural symbols: Inherent qualities of specific plants and animals used as signs or metaphors for issues that concern people.
RELIGION II (12)
A central feature in this cosmology is the theme that women in animal form were originally the possessors of culture, which was wrested from them by men who humanized them and took control of culture in the form of fire and cultivated plants.
The Mundurucu have the same theme in the myth of the “sacred flutes.”
RELIGION II (13)

The entire cosmology is permeated by sexual antagonism; it is primarily a male construction, relegating women to a negative role, as in their symbolic association with sickness and death.
RELIGION II (14)
The myths consistently focus on the cosmic issues of reproduction and fertility, the relationship between sexes the origin of culture, and illness and death.
The dominant characters are drawn from especially powerful natural symbols found in the rain forest.
RELIGION II (15)

Sexual antagonism in the cosmology is evident by the striking gender division in the society, which often physically separates men and women.

The vivid sexual imagery also can be attributed to the fact that sex is one of the only activities that men and women engage in together and thus is a major preoccupation.
RELIGION II (16)
Men also seem to be jealous of women’s role in reproduction and in the myths, masculine characters sometimes assume important creative roles.
This jealousy is reflected in the special vulnerability of women to assaults by demons when their biological role is especially evident.

RELIGION II (17)
Usual female symbols are the anaconda, caiman tapir, king vulture and frog. Hollow bee hives and gourds are also female symbols.
A giant anteater is also used as a male symbol.
RELIGION II (18)
During times of biological vulnerability such as puberty, menstruation and pregnancy, women may be secluded and observe specific food taboos.
The basic cosmology of these people also keep the natural system balanced. They assume that a balance must be maintained between a finite supply of fish and game and the human population that depends on them.
RELIGION II (19)

People threaten that balance through over-hunting and through uncontrolled sexual behavior which leads to overpopulation.

RELIGION II (20)


The game animals are protected by a spirit being, the Keeper of the Game who is usually identified with the jaguar.
RELIGION II (21)


The Keeper of the Game regulates the supply of animals and may release them to be hunted at the request of the shaman who communicates with him while in a hallucinogenic, drug-induced trance or with the aid of tobacco smoke.
RELIGION II (22)
The Keeper of the Game may withhold game or send sickness if he feels that people are being irresponsible.
In preparation for hunting, people must practice sexual abstinence and observe other specific requirements.

CULTURE SURROUDING FOOD
There are many similarities between ancient and modern cultures surrounding food.
Many societies rank food according to the same hierarchy.
Members of every culture believe that their way of doing things is normal.
The term ordinary does not only mean normal ; it also means order or rule.
CULTURE SURROUDING FOOD 2
French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss studied what people ate and how different cultures prepared their food even through myths in order to identify the underlying human structures.
CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 3
Every culture puts the food they eat into three broad categories, two natural (raw and rotten) and one mediated by culture (cooked).
Most every culture tries to turn nature into culture or the raw into the cooked.
CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 4
Anthropologists use food to explore and analyze the organizing principles of cultures.
Most every culture has comparable categories of classifying people and their food sources:
1. People who are very close like parents and siblings, and who are not marriageable. Incestuous taboos prevent people in this category from engaging in sexual intercourse with one another.
CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 5
a. Pets which are very close and are always considered inedible.
2. Those people who are kin, but not very close (first cousins in English society), clan siblings etc. In general, marriage among members of this category are prohibited or strongly disapproved.
b. Animals which are tame, but are not very close, like farm animals. They are mostly edible, but usually only when they are immature or castrated.
CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 6
3. Neighbors (friends), who are not kin and are either potential spouses or enemies.
c. Field animals or “game” with whom the English alternate having a friendly or hostile relationship. Game animals usually enjoy human protection but are not tame. These are edible in sexually intact form, and are killed at certain seasons of the years according to proscribed sets of hunting rituals.
CULTURE SURROUNDING FOOD 7
Distant strangers, those who are known to exist, but with whom there is no kind of social relationship possible.
d. Remote wild animals, which are not subject to human control and are, for the most part inedible
e. Vermin, a category which is loaded with taboos. Although unwanted, most vermin live in close proximity to humans and are intrinsically inedible.

 

PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE
To design a reliable food system based on domestic animals, a subsistence herder must solve several problems:
Which animals to use
What food products to produce
How many animals to herd
What age and sex categories to maintain in the herds
When to slaughter
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (2)
When to time the breeding
How to feed and water the herd
How to protect the herd from disease
How to protect the herd from predators.
Whereas hunters let nature take care of most of these matters, herders must constantly attend to the needs of their animals.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (3)
Most East African pastoralists are considered and consider themselves to be cattle people because of the dominant cultural role that cattle are assigned.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (4)
Virtually all aspects of East African pastoral society are in some way connected with the need to maintain cattle.
The Nuer and Maasai demonstrate close connections between cattle and all areas of life
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (5)
East Africans also depend on other distinct domesticated animals: camels sheep and goats.
Cattle play major social, ritual and subsistence roles while providing important material products.
Camels become increasingly important as rainfall declines or pastures become overgrazed.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (6)
The small stock (sheep and goats) may provide more of a household’s meat than cattle and can be a significant source of milk.
Small stock are also useful to speed recovery after a serious drought because they reproduce more quickly than cattle.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (7)

Reliance on animal domesticates makes for a situation that is the reverse of the protein limitation situation in Amazonia.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (8)
East African pastoralists have some difficulties producing adequate carbohydrates and calories except where they can grow grain or obtain it by barter with neighboring farmers.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (9)
As grazers, cattle and sheep feed primarily on grasses and herbaceous vegetations; as browsers, goats and camels rely on woody shrubs and trees.
Utilization of diverse domesticates also helps level out seasonal fluctuation in food production.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (10)
Camels often produce milk year round.
Cows produce only during the wet season.
Sheep and goats produce most milk during the dry season.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (11)
Rather than emphasizing meat production which obviously represents a onetime use of an animal, herders are concerned primarily with milk production.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (12)
Milk maximizes biological efficiency because the calories in milk can be produced four times more efficiently in terms of energy cost than the calories in meat.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (13)
Blood and milk can be produced without harm to the animal and they complement each other in that blood is a major source of iron and can be drawn from animals that are not producing milk.
Cattle are not as efficient as goats at meat production, so cattle are rarely slaughtered except ritually.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (14)
Traditional herding is a labor-intensive activity.
Individual herds may be subdivided to better reflect the abilities and requirements of different types of animals.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (15)
Herds are moved seasonally to take advantage of the best pastures. Transhumance (moving herds for optimum grazing) is practiced.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (16)

Pastoralists manage their herds to maximize the number of female animals to keep milk yields and growth potential high.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (17)
Given the natural mortality rates of cattle and their reproductive biology, a herd is unlike to contain more than 30% fertile cows, and only half of these will be producing milk.
The actual number of animals needed to satisfy household nutritional requirements can be estimated, based on calculations of the annual production of the herd.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (18)


Pastoral milk is more concentrated in its nutritional value.
It is 30% higher than that of European milk.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (19)

The pastoralists herding strategies contribute to the long-range survival of their families in a very difficult environment.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (20)
Pastoralism permits precise control over reproduction and harvesting of the animals.
It leads to large increases in food production per unit of land.
It is a complex, delicately balanced system that requires major adjustments in the organization of society and labor.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (21)
The primary objective of subsistence is to extract the maximum food value from the animals for direct consumption as efficiently as possible and with long-term security.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (22)
Cattle people use cattle more for social and ritual purposes than for subsistence.
Cattle are treated as wealth objects and sources of prestige.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (23)
The pastoralists of East Africa use cattle:
Milk is consumed fresh or sour, or processed as cheese.
Blood is boiled or allowed to coagulate and roasted in a block.
Dung is used for cooking and dung fires help drive off biting insects.
Dung is used as construction plaster as well as for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE (24)
Cattle urine is used in the cheese making and tanning of skin while the skin and bones of dead animals have many uses in the manufacture of various artifacts such as containers and ornaments.

NUER SOCIETY: BRIDE-WEALTH, LOVERS AND GHOSTS

In the Nuer society (pastoral subsistence), the supreme value of their cattle comes from their use as bride-wealth, which was the basic requirement for establishing a fully legitimate household.
Bride-wealth are goods, often livestock, that are transferred from the family of the groom to the family of the bride in order to legitimize the marriage and the children of the couple.

NUER SOCIETY (2)


Nuer marriage involves rights over cattle and women and is an agreement between the families of the bride and groom.
NUER SOCIETY (3)

It requires a lengthy series of negotiations, public and private ceremonies, and transactions, which are not complete until children are born to the couple.

NUER SOCIETY (4)

The process of Nuer marriage is initiated by preliminary talks between the two families in order to specify the animals that can be transferred.
NUER SOCIETY (5)

The bride’s family can demand cattle for six different categories of claimants by order or precedence: the bride’s grandparents or their ghosts, the bride’s parents, her uncles, her aunts, the spirits of her father and mother; and her brothers and half-brothers
NUER SOCIETY (6)
Ideally, some 40 head of cattle ultimately are transferred to the bride’s father, who is then obligated to distribute them to each of the claimants on his side of the family and to the bride’s mother’s family.
NUER SOCIETY (7)
In a typical distribution, 20 animals would go to the bride’s immediate family with her father getting the largest share, and 10 animals would go to each set of uncles and aunts.

NUER SOCIETY (8)
Each category of claimant receives a specific number and type of animal.
The bride’s full brother can receive 3 cows, 2 oxen, and 1 cow with its calf (7 animals in all).
In the negotiations, animals are promised by name to specific people.
NUER SOCIETY (9)

The preliminary negotiations are formalized in the betrothal ceremony, which is the first public marriage ritual.
Betrothal is marked by the sacrifice and distribution of an ox by the bride’s father to the groom’s family.
NUER SOCIETY (10)
The first installment of bride-wealth cattle also is transferred to the bride’s father.
Several weeks later; at the wedding ceremony, negotiations are finalized and more cattle transferred, but the transfer and the marriage are not considered official until a later consummation ceremony with its own series of rituals.

NUER SOCIETY (11)
The couple does not establish a joint homestead until after their first child is weaned.
Until then, the wife remains in her parents’ homestead, and her husband is a visitor who must maintain a ritual distance from his in-laws.
NUER SOCIETY (12)
Many domestic arrangements are possible.
An infertile woman might become a “husband” and have children by marrying another woman who then takes a male lover who becomes the biological father or genitor of the female husband’s children.
In this case, the female husband is the legitimate father or pater of the children, as well as the husband, and her family transfers cattle as bride-wealth to the family of her wife.
NUER SOCIETY (13)
In a ghost marriage, someone marries in the name of a sibling or other relative who has died without having completed a marriage and who thus has left no descendants.
In all cases, cattle are transferred to the bride’s family, while the deceased, male or female, becomes the pater; the stand-in relative lives with the wife as “husband” and genitor but has no rights over the children.
In a Levirate marriage, a man marries his deceased brother’s wife. It resembles a ghost marriage except that the dead husband was already married and the bride-wealth had been transferred.

NUER SOCIETY (14)
The original, now dead, husband is still considered the husband, and the brother who stands in his place has less control over his wife than the “husband” in a ghost marriage.
Genitor: the biological father of a child
Pater: the culturally legitimate, or sociological, father of a child
Levirate: a cultural pattern in which a woman marries a brother of her deceased husband.
NUER SOCIETY (15)
For the Nuer, the concept of paternity, or “belonging to,” is far more important than biological parentage or the details of domestic arrangements.
Paternity is establish by bride-wealth cattle.
Marriage also links one to a set of ancestor ghosts and spirits that must be ritually acknowledged.
NUER SOCIETY (16)
The Nuer is organized by clans, lineages and territorial groups into an acephalous or headless political system which operates in the absence of formal political offices.
The clans and lineages are based on an agnatic principle which meant that they recruited members exclusively through males by means of patrilineal descent, or filiation.
The highest descent-based unit is the clan.
NUER SOCIETY (17)
East African pastoralists do remember ancestors, and they marry outside of specific categories of kin; however, they seem not to organize themselves into corporate descent groups.
Their lives are organized around politically autonomous villages, households and overlapping networks of kinship

 

THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM
The Maasai demonstrate that a domestic-scale culture based on subsistence herding organized at a family level can maintain a high degree of social equality and autonomy while coexisting with larger-scale social systems.
They demonstrate the age-class system.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (2)
The Maasai system depends on three critical social roles:
The elders who control normal herding activities
The wives, who do the milking and take care of the animals within the domestic compound
The moran, unmarried warrior who until just recently raided for cattle.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (3)
Family herds are managed by the male heads of households, which are ideally polygynous.
A man’s married sons live in the same homestead compound with their individual corrals grouped around a common corral.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (4)
Marriages are entirely arranged by a girl’s father, who selects a future husband for her from among her suitors.
It is assumed that men will make the important decisions concerning the cattle, and they may beat wives who flaunt their authority.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (5)
Sixty percent of the men over 40 have more than one wife.
Polygyny offers direct advantages to the herd manager because it increases his labor force and allows him to subdivide responsibility for his animals.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (6)
The age-class system with its associated rituals helps balance the social stresses created by polygyny and patriarchy.
Life stages and generation levels are marked by a series of rituals that occur throughout an individual’s lifetime.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (7)
Removal of the lower incisors means that a young boy is old enough to herd livestock near the homestead, but he does not go far with the animals until he is old enough to tolerate large incisions in his ear lobes.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (8)
A calf is ritually slaughtered at the first stage of adulthood, but this must occur after the father has been ritually inducted into his status as a full elder by having an ox slaughtered.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (9)
Males of roughly the same age move as a group sequentially through a series of subgrades from boyhood to warriorhood to elderhood.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (10)
A new class is formed about every 15 years under the sponsorships of the elders, who are two classes ahead of them or approximately 30 year their senior and who will serve as patrons of the new class.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (11)
The highlight of the entire age sequence is the moran grade which young men enter after going through ceremonies that ritually separate them for their families.
They become the protectors of their communities and are expected to dress in special finery, wear their hair in braids, dance, display and carry on with the young girls.
 
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (12)
Some ceremonial phases of the moran system have ritualized rebellions against parental authority and they establish a manyata or common, egalitarian villages.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (13)
The excesses of the moran are held in check in that they are guided through the process by their elder patrons who maintain control by their power to curse their charges.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (14)
The midpoint of moran-hood is ritually marked by an extended ceremony know as eumoto which initiates a 10 year series of steps leading to elderhood.
After this ceremony, the moran are expected to marry and the manyat villages are disbanded.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (15)
The age-class system is related to incest avoidance.
Men of one age class marry the daughters of the men in the class senior to them rather than marrying daughters of their own age mates.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (16)
Age-class systems of exogamy also means that men will tend to marry much younger women which makes polygyny possible.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (17)
They have postpartum taboos on sexual intercourse and prolonged lactation.
This is linked to the age-class system, child spacing and fertility dampening factors.
THE MAASAI AGE-CLASS SYSTEM (18)
Divorce is an option especially early in the marriage.
Abused wives may appeal to the elders for help.
Men who commit serious offenses may be perceived as a threat to all women
These men may be assaulted and beaten and have their cattle slaughtered by a large group of women acting in a publicly sanctioned role as enforcers of community morality.
RELIGION  III
The religious beliefs of the African pastoralists are primarily expressed in life cycle rituals or during other crisis events, such as drought and disease and often feature the sacrifice of animals.
The most basic distinctions in their cosmology is made between Spirit and Creation, or between the immaterial and material worlds, which exist in complementary opposition.
RELIGION  III
When people show proper respect for these distinctions, their lives can normally be expected to go smoothly; misfortune occurs, however, when these categories intrude on each other; either in natural events or due to immoral human actions involving natural categories or human society.
Failure to observe incest restrictions, for example, can bring illness.  Confusion of categories causes ritual pollution or contamination by “dirt” as “matter out of place.” 
Sacrifice and ritual can restore the previous order by mediating between the opposing principles of Spirit and Creation.
RELIGION  III
In the Nuer concept of Spirit there is a hierarchy of spirit manifestations ranked from high to low with distinctions based on their location and social associations.
The highest level is called God and is considered to be a pure spirit who is located in the sky and is associated with humans
RELIGION  III
Their “God” may be referred to as father; but his involvement with human affairs is indirect.
The air spirits occur at a lower level, in the atmosphere and are represented by charismatic religious specialists known as prophets who are thought to communicate directly.
RELIGION  III
The prophets may help warriors prepare themselves spiritually for cattle raiding and may be instrumental in organizing relatively large-scale military expeditions.
Lower-level spirits may be manifest in animals and objects and are associated with kin groups and individuals.
RELIGION III
 
The Massai believe in an omnipresent God (Nkai or Enkai), but they have no means of knowing their God’s form or intentions.
Inasmuch as God has human attributes, they might be described as those of extreme age.
RELIGION III
 
Respect for the knowledge of the oldest living men and for their ritual power to bless and to curse is magnified in the profound respect for their all-powerful and all-knowing god.
RELIGION III
The Maasai traditionally place themselves at the center of their universe as God’s chosen people.
 
The Maasai believe that god (Nkai) created the world, forming three goups of people.
RELIGION III
 
The first group were the Torrobo (Okiek pygmies), a hunting and gathering people of small stature to whom God gave honey and wild animals as a food source.
RELIGION III
The second group were the neighboring Kikuyu, farmers to whom God gave seed and grain.
The third were the Maasai, to whom God gave cattle, which came to earth sliding down a long rope linking heaven and Earth.
RELIGION III
While the Torrobo were destined to endure bee stings, and the Kikuyu famines and floods, the Maasai received the noble gift of raising cattle.
A Torrobo, jealous of the Maasai’s gift of cattle, cut the “umbilical cord” between heaven and earth.
RELIGION III
 
For the Maasai, the center of their world remains their cattle, which furnish food, clothing and shelter.
RELIGION III
Maasai legends include their ascent from a crater, the emergence of the first Maasai prophet-magician (Laibon), the killing of an evil giant (Oltatuani) who raided Maasai herds, and the deception by Olonana of his father to obtain the blessing reserved for his older brother, Senteu.
RELIGION III
There widespread concern with sorcery is associated with the Loonkidongi dynasty of prophets. 
Each tribal section has its own prophet, who is seen as helping its members to cope with the endemic sorcery, by providing them with protective medicines and advice for their ceremonies.
RELIGION III
 
The prophet is regarded with awe as a type of all-seeing godfather.
His power to curb sorcery is also thought to derive from his knowledge of sorcery as a Loonkidongi.
RELIGION III
The Loonkidongi tend to live in small colonies on the borders between Maasai tribal sections, where they are suspected of providing a breeding ground for discontent, practicing sorcery among themselves and even secretly selling evil charms to would-be Maasai sorcerers.
RELIGION III
There are no elaborate death practices among the Maasai and no real beliefs in afterlife.
For a parent, there is a sense akin to immortality in leaving behind a family whose very existence stems from a life that has been dedicated to care and attention.
RELIGION III
 
 
To leave no successors is to face oblivion in the fullest sense and it may be taken as a sign of having been cursed.
RELIGION  III
 
There are may ritual specialists including earth priests, cattle priests, and grass priests.
There is a wide range of curers and diviners, all of whom maintain special relationship with the spirits.
RELIGION  III
Prophets have long hair and beards, wear clothing, and appear unkempt, when ordinary Nuer would be unclothed, clean-shaven and neat.
They accomplish their roles as mediators between Spirit and Creation because they partake of both categories and are in a position to realign them.
When anyone performs a ritual sacrifice, he, in effect, helps restore the cosmic order.
RELIGION  III
The preferred sacrificial animal is an ox (a bull, castrated at maturity), and every sacrifice is called an ox even when a sheep or goat is used.
A female is not used because of the potential growth and milk production.
RELIGION  III
There is no codified religious system and no fraternity of religious specialists.
Spirit possession is available to anyone.
Individuals retain a brief identity after death in relation to cattle and children, but there is no ancestor cult.
RELIGION  III
Any man can perform sacrifices, and the political roles that prophets and leopard-skin chiefs play are strictly limited.
These roles do not give them control over strategic resources or allow them to extract labor or tribute.

 

CHINESE VILLAGE-STATE

 

The Chinese state was thought to function like an enormous village based on patrilineages, ancestor worship and kinship-based reciprocity.

Village life revolved around subsistence farming and the performance of rituals.  In pre-revolutionary China, 500 million people were supported by very small farms, usually less than 5 acres.  Chinese agriculture was a capital-maintaining labor-absorbing, intensive hand-gardening system.  The Chinese subsistence system made limited use of draft animals or animal protein.

 

After 1900, famers began to cultivate smaller plots of land more intensively because of:

          1.      large scale deforestation

          2.      erosion

   3.      the Chinese practice of giving each son an equal division

            of the family land.

 

The class structure in which a small elite controlled most of the best

farmland kept the poorest classes at a permanent disadvantage.

 

The upper classes refused to engage in any labor.  The middle class was

composed of owner-tenants and the landless class hired out their labor.

 

The Chinese village was the lowest rural unit in an organizational

hierarchy.  The villages were grouped around local centers called

standard market towns.  The Chinese social organization was based on

the patrilineal clan.

 

CONFUCIANISM AND LITURGICAL GOVERNMENT

 

Confucianism is a scholarly tradition and moral order, based on the

humanistic teachings of Confucius.  It was not a religion; however, it

became a state cult because it advocated filial piety and the perpetuation

of the ritual and political traditions.  The most precious tradition the

Chinese have is the proper regard for ancestors.  Confucianism related

the duties of the individual to that as a functioning agent in the universe.

 

Confucius sought to promote practical ideals of

1.    Good government

2.    Citizenship

3.    Domestic life

 

The Confucian Great Tradition represented the power of the state in the form of great palaces, temples, rituals, literature and artworks.  Commoners, who represented 98% of the population were only passive participants in the Great Tradition.

 

Confucianism created a form of moral nationalism.  Its essential weakness is in its monarchical basis and hierarchal scheme.  The idea of democracy is contrary to Confucian thought.

 

In their daily lives, commoners directly perpetuated shamanistic cultural traditions.  The  most common elements shared by the elites and commoners included the basic family system with its emphasis on patrilineal descent as well as the worship of ancestors.

 

The lowest level deity who operated at the household level was the stove or kitchen god.  Complementary opposition was also a basic feature of Chinese popular culture.  Concern for proper alignments was reflected in the layout of cities, temples, tombs and houses as well as the timing of ritual events, in the selection of mates and even in the seating of guests.

 

CHINESE WEDDING TRADITIONS

 

The chief objectives were the joining and enhancing of two families and ensuring succession with numerous descendants.  Reverence to parents and ancestors, omens to encourage fertility and wealth, financial and social obligations contracted by both families at the betrothal, extensive gift giving etiquette and the bride’s incorporation into her husband’s family are the recurring elements.

 

Several days after betrothal, the girl’s family sent porters with an inventoried dowry to the boy’s house.  The dowry consisted of practical items including chamber pots and fruit as well as strings of coins.  The procession demonstrated the wealth and social status of the girl’s family as well show their love for their daughter.

 

Child betrothals were acceptable.  Many couples did not meet until they were betrothed.

 

CHINESE DOMESTIC LIFE AND THE ROLE OF WOMEN

 

Pre-revolutionary China would consider the ideal family one which produced many sons who would bring their wives to live in their father’s house or at least in this village.  This practice would increase the strength of the lineage and ensure its perpetuation.  Wealthy families could also add  new members by adoption.

 

The ideal family was a large family containing two or more married sons, often called a joint family.  The small family either had no married sons or was a stem family with only a single married son.

 

Sons were preferred over daughters and women did not own lineage property.  A brdie was dominated by her mother-in-law.  This domination reinforced the control of the extended family by the elders and also reflected the common practice of adopting a girl into the family for the son to marry.  Marriages were arranged, monogamy was the pattern although concubinage occurred, divorce was difficult and widow remarriage was discouraged.  Marriage was so essential for women that if they died unmarried, their spirits could be married later.

 

A woman brought a sizable endowment of domestic articles and possibly personal wealth with her when she married.  A wife could also manage her husband’s share of the family estate and keep her own private earnings.  As a wife, a woman had important responsibilities in the domestic rituals and her tablet would rest in her husband’s ancestor hall.

 

TAOISM

Tao can be roughly translated into English as “path.”
The founder of Taoism was Lao-Tse, a contemporary of Confucius.

TAOISM (2)

He was searching for a way that would avoid the constant feudal warfare and other conflicts that disrupted life during his lifetime.
The result was his book: Tao-te-Ching

TAOISM (3)

Taoism started as a combination of psychology and philosophy but evolved into a religion in 440 B.C. when it was adopted as one of the state religions.
Lao-Tse became popularly venerated as a deity.


TAOISM (4)
Taoist Beliefs:
Tao is the first-cause of the universe. It is a force that flows through all life.
Time is cyclical, not linear as in Western thinking.
Yin (dark side) is the breath that formed the earth. Yang (light side) is the breath that formed the heavens.


TAOISM (5)
The Tao surrounds everyone and therefore everyone must listen to find enlightenment.
The five main organs and orifices of the body correspond to the five parts of the sky; water, fire, wood, metal and earth


TAOISM (6)


Each person must nurture the Ch’s (air, breath) that has been given to them.

The goal of everyone is to become one with the Tao.


TAOISM (7)
Development of virtue is one’s chief task.
The Three Jewels to be sought are compassion, moderation and humility.
One should plan in advance and consider carefully each action before making it.


TAOISM (8)

It is the practice of going against the stream not by struggling against it but by standing still and letting the stream do all the work.


TAOISM (9)
A Taoist is kind to other individuals, largely because such an action tends to be reciprocated.
Taoists believe that people are compassionate by nature—left to their own devices they will show this compassion without expecting a reward.


TAOISM (10)
There were 5 principal Taoist sects which emerged:
The Heavenly or Celestial Masters: founded about 200 A.D. by Chang Tao-ling who reputedly possessed remarkable healing powers. It advocated faith healing through the confession of sin and at one time recruited members as soldiers and engaged in war against the government.
The Supreme Peace sect: adopted practices much like those of the Heavenly Master sect and launched a great rebellion that went on for several years.


TAOISM (11)
The Mao-shan (Mount Mao) sect, introduced rituals involving alchemy, the practice of mediums and visionary communication with the divinities.
The Ling-pao (Marvelous Treasure) sect, introduced the worship of divinities called the Heavenly Lords


TAOISM (12)
The Ch’uan-chen (Completely Real) sect was founded in the 12th century as a Taoist monastic movement.
Eventually the Heavenly Master sect absorbed most of the beliefs and practices of the other sects and became the most popular of the Taoist groups.

TAOISM (13)
Yu-huang-The Jade Emperor
He is the great High God of the Taoists. All other gods must report to him.
His chief function is to distribute justice, which he does through the court system of Hell where evil deeds and thoughts are punished


TAOISM (14)
According to legend, Yu-hang was the son of an emperor. He exhibited, from his birth, great compassion.
He ruled as well; however, after a few years on the throne, he abdicated and retired as a hermit spending his time dispensing medicine and knowledge of the Taoist texts.
Some Taoist scholars see in this the myth of the sacred union of the sun and the moon, their son being the ruler of all Nature.


TAOISM (15)

Yuan-shih T’ien-tsun--The First Principal
Although Yu-huang is the High God, there are other abstract deities above him. He rules; they simply exist and instruct, First and foremost is Yuan-shih T’ien-tsun.
TAOSIM (16)
Yuan-shih T’ ien-tsun has no beginning and no end. He existed “before the void and the silence, before primordial chaos.” He is self-existing, changeless, limitless, invisible, contains all virtues, is present in all places and is the source of all truth.


TAOISM (17)
San-ch’ing—Three Pure Ones
These are named Yu-ch’ing (Jade Pure), Shang-ch’ing (Upper Pure) and T’ai-ch’ing (great Pure).
They are believed to be different manifestations of Lao Tzu. They are not rulers, but rather seek to save humans by teaching and benevolence

TAOISM (18)

San-kuan: The Three Officials
The San-kuan rule over all things in the three regions of the universe, keep a register of good and evil deeds and award good or bad fortune accordingly. T’ien-kuan is the rule of heaven and grants happiness. Ti-kuan is the ruler of earth grants remissions of sins and Shui-kuan is the ruler of water and averts all evil. “All of them have compassion for all people which is unbounded.”

TAOISM (19)

Picture Only


THE THREE RULERS


TAOISM (20)
San-Yuan—Three Epochs or Principals

The san-yuan originate from a time in the Eastern Chin Dynasty when the year was divided into three unequal periods.
Shang-yuan ruled the first six moons (winter and spring); Hsia-yuan ruled the 7th and 8th moons (summer); and Chung-yuan ruled the 9th to 11th moons (fall).
It was believed that they dwelled in the North Star.

 

TAOISM II

Taoism also contains the Pa-hsien also called the Eight Immortals.  These are popular deities modeled on historical figures.  They were believed to live in grottos in Heaven.

TAOISM II  (2)

Lu-Tung-pin

Was a scholar, doctor and official.  He became a Taoist after a long and distinguished life as an official which ended in disgrace.

He was very popular in his life and after his death became venerated as the King of Medicine.  He represents the wealthy and literacy.

TAOISM II  (3)

Ts’ao Kuo-chiu

His brother committed a crime for which he was ashamed and he retired and became a hermit who studied the Tao and learned the recipe for perfection.

One day another immortal found him and asked him what he was doing.  He replied that he was studying the Tao.  They asked where was Tao?  He pointed to  heaven and his heart.  At that point they gave him the recipe for perfection.

TAOSIM  II  (4)

Chang Kuo-lao 

He was once head of the Imperial Academy but he retired to live as a hermit on Mt. Chung-t’iao in Shansi.  He was summoned to court by the Empress We; however, when he reached the Temple of the Jealous Woman he fell down dead.  Shortly afterwards he came back to life.

TAOISM II (5)

Chang Kuo-lao had a magic mule which could travel thousands of miles a day.  When he reached his destination the mule would turn to paper and Chang Kuo-lao could fold it up and put it in his pocket.  He could then unfold it, spit on it and it would become a mule again.

TAOSIM II  (6)

Li T’ieh-kuai

He has an iron crutch and a black face.  He represents the crippled and deformed He tries to alleviate human suffering.  He was taught to be an immortal by Hsi-wang-mu, Queen of the Immortals.

The legend is that one day when his soul went to Mt. Hua, he told his disciple to guard his body and cremate it after seven days if he had not returned.  On the sixth day the disciple’s mother fell ill and so leaving to take care of her, he burnt the body a day early.

TAOISM II  (7)

On returning he could find no body so his soul entered that of an old man who had just died.  Only then did he discover that it was a crippled body.

At first he wanted to leave it but Lao Tzu persuaded him to stay and gave him a golden circle and an iron crutch.

TAOISM II (8)

Li T’ieh-kuai forever carries a gourd with him in which he keeps medicine to help people.  Some say that it contains the elixir of life made from the peaches of immortality that grow in Hsi-wang-mu’s garden.

TAOISM II  (9)

Ho Hsien-ku

She is usually represented holding a lotus blossom (a traditional symbol of purity) and a peach.  The legend is that she lived in the time of the Empress Wu and in the Yun-mu or Cloud Mother Mountains. 

She is the patron deity of women

TAOISM  II  (10)

Legend says that one night she had a dream that she should grind up a stone called Yun-mu and eat it.  She did and vowed chastity at the same time.  She then floated from mountain peak to mountain peak gathering fruits which she gave to her mother.

She disappeared on the way to the court of the empress and became an immortal.

TAOISM II  (11)

Han Hsiang-tsu  

Represents youth.  He is reported to have accomplished all manner of remarkable feats including the production of extraordinary plants.

He became immortal by eating one of the peaches of immortality.  He carries with him a basket of fruit or flowers.

TAOISM II  (12)

Han Chung-li

Represents military men since he was a Marshall of the Empire.  In his old age he became a hermit and lived on Mt Yang-chiu.  There he met the Five Heroes who taught him how to be immortal.

TAOISM II  (13)

During a famine he turned base metals into silver which he distributed to the poor people.

When he achieved immortality he was carried by a stork into the heavens.

He is recognized as a figure who holds a fan or a peach.

 

BUDDHISM
Buddhism, both a religion and philosophy was founded in India around 525 BC by Siddhartha Gautama called the Buddha.
It came into China around the first century AD because of Buddhist scholars and “missionaries.”
BUDDHISM  (2)
The basic doctrines common to all Buddhism include the “four noble truths”:  existence is suffering: suffering has a cause, namely craving and attachment; there is a cessation of suffering; and there is a path to the cessation of suffering.
BUDDHISM  (3)
Nirvana, the cessation of suffering is achieved through the “eightfold path” of right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
BUDDHISM  (4)
Buddhists analyze experience into five aggregates.
The first form refers to material existence
The next four are sensations, perceptions, psychic construct and consciousness which are all psychological processes.
 
BUDDHISM (5)
Central to Buddhist teaching is the assertion that in the five aggregates no independently existent, immutable self or soul can be found
 
BUDDHISM  (6)
 
 
All phenomena arise in interrelation and in dependence on causes and conditions and thus, are subject to inevitable decay and cessation.
BUDDHISM  (7)
The causal conditions are defined in a 12-membered chain called dependent origination:  ignorance, predisposition, consciousness, name-form, the senses, contact, craving, grasping, becoming, birth, old age, and death,” whence again ignorance.”
BUDDHISM  (8)
With Buddhism’s distinctive view of cause and effect, they hold to the concept of samsara in which living beings are trapped in a continual cycle of birth and death, with the momentum to rebirth provided by one’s previous physical and mental actions, karma.
BUDDHISM  (9)
The release from this cycle of rebirth and suffering is the total transcendence called nirvana.
The doctrine of karma states that one’s position in this life is a result of actions (both mental and physical) in past incarnations and action in this life can determine one’s destiny in future incarnations.
BUDDHISM  (10)
Nirvana is a state of supreme liberation and bliss in contrast to the “bondage” of the repeated cycle of death and rebirth.  It suggests both the end of suffering and the cessation of desires that perpetuate bondage.  Other terms are “the free,” “the immortal,” and “the unconditioned.”
BUDDHISM  (11)
Meditation and observance of moral precepts were the foundation of Buddhist practice.
The five basic moral precepts are:  to refrain from taking life, stealing, acting unchastely, speaking falsely and drinking intoxicants.
BUDDHISM  (12)
Buddhists in monastic orders also take five additional precepts;
To refrain from eating at improper times, from viewing secular entertainment, from using garlands, perfumes and other bodily adornments, from sleeping in high and wide beds and from receiving money.
BUDDHISM  (13)
In Buddhist tradition, the divine kings were responsible for protecting the Buddha and his law, the sanctuary, and the Buddhist congregation from dangers and threats of evil forces arising from the four cardinal directions of the compass.
BUDDHISM  (14)
The Gods of Strength are wrathful deities who are often depicted as hyper-masculine beings.
Subordinate to the Divine kings, they are responsible for fighting the evil forces of the world.
BUDDHISM  (15)
Within Buddhism is the concept of the 16 Arhats or Lohans.
Buddhist scripture indicates that they are the patrons and guardians of the Shakyamuni Buddha’s system and of its adherents both lay and monastic.
These spiritual protectors of Buddha’s religion after his death are found as early as the fourth century B.C. writings.
BUDDHISM  (16)
 
The writings of Buddhism indicate that these Arhats will watch over and care for the welfare of the believers and protect their spiritual interests until the Buddhist Maitreya appears.
BUDDHISM  (17)
Maitreya is a bodhisattva revered by Buddhists.  He is currently believed to be functioing in Tushita heaven and will be born on earth for the benefit of beings 5,000 years after the passing of Shakyamuni Buddha
BUDDHISM  (18)
One of the Arhats is Angida or Angaja.  He holds a fly whisk and incense.
He was a devoted disciple of Buddha and was known for the cleanness and fragrance of his body.  He was described as being perfect in all things
BUDDHISM  (19)
 
Vanavasa, another Arhat, has a retinue of 1,400; sits in a cave meditating; he usually has his eyes closed; some statues show him with his hands making a mudra; or he hugs his right knee
BUDDHISM  (20)
Chudapantaka, was first noted for his “stupidity.”
However, Buddha had pity on him and gave him a broom.  His mind was then stimulated and he came to see that all attachment to things of this world was defilement and to be swept away by the broom of Buddha’ doctrine.
BUDDHISM  (21)
Chudapantaka then achieved perfection and became noted as one of the first disciples in ‘mental aiming at excellence’; he is chiefly occupied with the mind and mental contemplation.

 

BUDDHISM II
In the practice of Buddhism, the Bodhisattvas are very important.
The term bodhisattva literally means “essence of Bodhi” or enlightenment.

BUDDHISM II (2)
A Bodhisattvas is one on the way to the awakening.
Bodhisattvas are considered to be of various degrees of attainment or rank relating to their level of buddhahood
BUDDHISM II (3)

According to the scholars, “all who comprise the great assemblage of Bodhisattvas are powerful and beneficial to countless beings, so that all things seem to be at their command.”
BUDDHISM II (4)
According to Buddhist writings, Bodhisattvas also can “cause a lotus tree to grow from the middle of the ocean, or transform a teardrop into an ocean. Everything in nature is at the Bodhisattva’s call


BUDDHISM II (5)
The great wisdom is the Manjusri Bodhisattva. He represents great wisdom which empowers one to distinguish universal morality from all wrong-doing. In learning the wisdom of Manjusri, one can distinguish between morality and perversion, thereby taking control of one’s destiny toward the right path.


BUDDHISM II (6)
The great compassion, Avalokit (Kuan Yin)
She is the embodiment of great compassion for the affliction and suffering of the world and will come to the aid of anyone who invokes her name.
By possessing her compassion, one can be mindful of society and work harder for the welfare of others.


BUDDHISM II (7)
The great benevolence bodhisattva or Maitreya is also know as the “happy buddha.” He has tolerance toward all living beings and immense kindness. He brings abundance of joy and hope to the world through his discriminating attitude.


BUDDHISM II (8)
The great vow or Ksitigarbha bodhisattva is known for his great vow that attaining Buddhahood would come for him only when hell is emptied of all afflicted beings. He set aside his own happiness in order to liberate others from their sufferings.


BUDDHISM II (9)
The great practice, Samantabhadra bodhisattva. He is well know for his great practice of Dharma teachings for the benefit of all. By adopting his example, Buddhist feel that they can attempt to accomplish the task of benefiting the society at large.


BUDDHISM II (10)
There are two “fat” Buhhdas which are not considered true images of Buddha.
Mi Fo, the guardian king of prosperity who is associated with fertility.
Hotei, the laughing monk who seems to support heavens or the Chinese emissary sent to invite Buddhist teachers to that land.


BUDDHISM II (11)
The apsara are celestial nymphs or dancers represented usually as flying figures. They are the divine symbol of happiness.


BUDDHISM II (12)
Representation of an Apsara on a temple wall.


BUDDHISM II (13)
The stories of Buddha’s former lives contain several incidents in which divine beings are described as traveling through the air.
Such a being is called a dakini which is a term generally translated as “space-goer,” “celestial woman,” or “cloud fairy.”
The ini ending indicates a feminine word ending.


BUDDHISM II (14)
Dakinis have been explained as “emanations of Enlightened Mind” and also as “holding to the bodhisattva commitment.”
The wish for enlightenment is for all beings.


BUDDHISM II (15)
Dakini refers to the feminine principle of wisdom that manifests in female form to benefit all beings.
They can appear as beautiful maidens in a variety of forms.
They are generally depicted wearing only their ornaments in a dancing or lunging position.

BUDDHISM (16)
A yidam is an enlightened meditational deity who embodies the union of wisdom and compassion, yet is not separate from the meditator.


BUDDHISM II (17)
A Dharma protector is usually portrayed as an enlightened being in wrathful form, a protector’s primary function is to eliminate the spiritual obstacles hindering the practitioner.


BUDDHISM II (18)
A Guru is usually the founder or holder of a lineage; a fully realized being whom one identifies wholly with one’s spiritual guide.

 

HINDUISM

Hinduism comes from the Persian hindu which translates as “river.”  It may also be derived from the Persian word for Indian.

Hindus call their religion sanatama dharma, “eternal religion” or “eternal truth.”

HINDUISM (2)

Hinduism is not a single, organized religion.

It is a compilation of hundreds, possibly thousands of smaller belief systems.

Consequently, Hinduism is very complex to outsiders.

HINDUISM (3)

Hinduism acknowledges the Divine as a complement of opposites:  the synergy of the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine that maintains the balance of all existence.

HINDUISM (4)

Fire (masculine) is balanced by water (feminine).  Hindus honor both each morning with prayers to flowing water and the day’s first rays of sunlight.

HINDUISM (5)

Hinduism is based on the concept that human and animal spirits reincarnate or come back to earth to live many times in different forms.

HINDUISM (6)

The belief that souls move up and down an infinite hierarchy depending on the behaviors they practiced in their life is visible  in Hindu societal policies.

HINDUISM (7)

The caste system survives and charity towards others is unheard of because each individual deserves to be in the social class in which they were born.

A person is born into the highest class because they behaved well in the past life and a person is born into poverty and shame because of misbehaviors in a past life.

HINDUISM (8)

 

A Hindu can be polytheistic (many gods), pantheistic (god and the universe are one), agnostic (unsure if god exists) or atheistic (no god) and still claim to be Hindu.
HINDUISM (9)
Central to Hinduism are the concepts of reincarnation, the caste system, merging with brahman (ultimate reality), finding morality and reaching Nirvana (the peaceful escape from the cycle of reincarnation).
HINDUISM (10)
The Hindu paths to salvation include the way of works (rituals), the way of knowledge (realization of reality and self-reflection) and the way of devotion (devotion to the god that you choose to follow).
HINDUISM (11)
Brama:  the creator god
Brahman:  ultimate reality
Dharma:  the teachings of virtue and principle
Karma:  the culminating value of all of one’s life actions, good and bad, which together determine one’s next rebirth and death
Moksha:  the term for liberation from the bondage of finite existence

 

HINDUISM (12)
Veda:  the oldest of the Hindu scriptures, consisting of four collections of sacred writings.
Yoga:  the Hindu path of union with the divine.  Any sort of exercise (physical, mental or spiritual) which promotes one’s journey to union with Brahma

 

HINDUISM II
In the Hindu tradition, the whole creation is the dynamic game of three fundamental forces symbolized by three gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva
HINDUISM II (2)
The triad is made up of the creator (Brahma), the sustainer (Vishnu) and the destroyer or transcendent (Shiva).
The correspondence of these three principles (creation, sustenance and destruction) in our daily existence is to be found in birth, life, and death.
HINDUISM II (3)
The path of the human being to spiritual perfection has to be trod with a creative positive inner attitude or “cosmic optimism.”
This optimism may be awakened and amplified through the process of resonance with Brahma’s specific energy.
HINDUISM II (4)
A Hindu does view Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva as three distinct deities independent of each other.
They represent the same Supreme Force in its three different aspects.
Brahma is the creator of the universe and of all beings. His world is Brahmaloka, containing all the splendors of the earth and all other worlds.
HINDUISM II (5)
Brahma is considered the creator of the universe.
Before the cosmos existed, Brahma was alone, self-contained and self-content.
HINDUISM II (6)
Eventually, he felt inadequate and longed for company. Brahma split himself and created the goddess Shatarupa. Her many forms captivated Brahma and he longed to posses her.
HINDUISM II (7)
Shatarupa would turn into something else everytime Brahma got to her.
She turned into a cow, a mare, a goose and a doe.
Brahma kept pursuing her, taking the form of the corresponding male, a bull, a horse, a gander and a buck. Thus, all creatures of the cosmos, from the smallest insect to the largest mammal, came into being.
HINDUISM II (8)
Brama sprouted five heads so that he could watch Shatarupa at all times.
To restrain Brahma’s lust, Shiva wrenched off one of Brahma’s five heads.
HINDUISM II (9)
This helped Brahma come to his senses, and he took Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge as his consort. With her help, he regained control of his mind.
The four current faces represent the Four Divine States of Mind: loving, kindness, compassion, sympathy and equanimity.
HINDUISM II (10)
Brahma’s most common representation is four-headed with four arms, and red skin.
He is usually holding a cup, a bow or a book of prayers.
HINDUISM II (11)
He has a vehicle, a white swan. The swan is endowed with magic power: she may separate soma (divine nectar) from water, as well as good from evil.
Unlike other gods, Brahma carries no weapon.
HINDUISM II (12)
According to “Shatapath Brahman” writing, Brahma was born from “Brahman” or god.
Wishing to create the universe, Brahman first created the water in which he placed his seed.
This seed transformed into a golden egg, from which Brahma appeared.
According to the Puranas Brahma is the son of God and the feminine energy or Maya
HINDUISM II (13)
Maya is the symbol of cosmic illusion whose veil does not allow mortals to perceive God.
Maya has two aspects: ignorance which estranges mortals from God or the liberating knowledge that leads mortals to communion with God
HINDUISM II (14)
Saraswati is Brahma’s feminine counterpart.
She “radiates more than the light of ten billion moons.”
Her ornaments are purified in the heavenly fire.
HINDUISM II (15)
Saraswati is the mother of the Vedas, the embodiment of nature and the patron of the arts and sciences.
She is always smiling and her beauty surpasses all imagination.
Her body is covered in jewels and pearls.
When identification with Saraswati is perfect, all the 64 arts become known.
HINDUISM II (16)
The Hindu tradition sustains that the universe exists for one day of Brahma.
At the end of this day, human measurements of four billion years, the whole universe is dissolved.
HINDUISM II (17)
Brahma then rests for one night. This process, named pralaya repeats for 100 Brahma years (his lifespan).
After his “death” another 100 years pass until he is reborn and the whole creation begins anew.

 

HINDUISM III
 
With the many deities and gods in the Hindu religion, ritual is a very important aspect of the devout Hindu.
The rituals range from the daily pujas to the very elaborate shrautas and rites of passage rituals.
The basic daily ritual  is known as puja.
HINDUISM III  (2)
The puja is performed in a sacred corner in a worship room of the home.
It is done to keep Hindus aware of their family gods and mindful of their duties as individuals.
The ritual of puja has three steps
HINDUISM  III  (3)
 
The first is seeing the family deity (darshana).  A small statue or picture of the god is placed in the sacred corner.
The worshiper offers the god flower, fruits and cooked food (bhog).
HINDUISM III  (4)
 
 
The third step is retrieving the blessed food (prasada) and consuming it.
This is thought to bring the deity down to earth and brings the person closer to them.
HINDUISM III  (5)
A college professor of engineering strikes a dancer’s pose each morning when he prays to the rising sun, viewed as a male deity.
With his right hand he pours water from a vessel to honor the feminine element.
HINDUISM III  (6)
There are special rituals that only priests, or brahmin, can perform.
These are called the shrauta rituals and are very complex and elaborate sacrifices to the god Agni.
These “fire-sacrifice” rituals are to bring out the central element of the power of the gods and nature through the fire.
HINDUISM III  (7)
Rites of passage rituals are the most common special occasion rituals performed by Hindus.
These are usually performed by the individuals rather than brahmins and are conducted within the family.
Hindus believe that there are four stages in life:  childhood, youth, middle age and old age.
These rituals are called samskars.
HINDUISM III (8)
Jatakarma is performed at the birth of the child.
It is done to welcome the child into the family
Mantras, or verse prayers, are recited for a healthy, long life.
The goal is to provide a comfortable atmosphere for the child and mother
HINDUISM III  (9)
For boys in the upper three castes, the thread ceremony or upanayan is performed.
They eat a final meal with their mothers and then are introduced to manhood.
They “die” to their young self and are “born” into their new, older self.
HINDUISM III  (10)
Marriage, vivaha is the middle age passage.
Many rites are performed in the presence of family deities.
These rites show the importance of a strong bond between a husband and wife.
HINDUISM III   (11)
 
 
The final rite is the passage of death, antyeshti.
In the Hindu tradition, individuals are cremated and special rites are done to ensure a good after life.

 

HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES
Hinduism, by many estimates, has almost 330,000 deities.
Each town and village may have its own set of deities which it worships.
The most important deities are:
Brahma
Shiva
Vishnu
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (2)
Vishnu the Protector
Vishnu is also known as the remover.  He separated heaven and earth, creating the universe.
He also takes the forms of animals such as the boar, tortoise, or the fish.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (3)
Vishnu usually appears on a powerful serpent that represents the sleeping universe.
He has a dark color that symbolizes the passive and formless ether.
He has four hands: one holds a conch shell, another a discus, the third holds a lotus and the fourth holds a mace.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (4)
As the preserver of the cosmos, Vishnu upholds the universal laws.
Vishnu constantly participates in worldy affairs, ensuring that all is well.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (5)
When order prevails in the universe, Vishnu sleeps on the coils of Sesha, ruler of the Nagas.
As Sesha floats along the cosmic ocean, the universe unfolds from Vishnu’s dream.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (6)
When there is disorder in the universe, Vishnu mounts his vehicle, Garuda and battles with the forces of chaos or he sends one of his avatars (incarnations) to save the world.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (7)
In Kurma avatar, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a tortoise and took the newly created earth on his back in order to render stability to the trembling globe.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (8)
The Vedas or holy books remained drowned in the water.  Vishnu took the form of a fish, Matsya, and descended into the waters and brought up the sacred books.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (9)
In periodical destruction of the world, once the earth sunk into the deep waters.  Lord Vishnu, the great preserver, taking the form of a boar (Varaha), descended into the waters and drew up the earth with the help of his tusks.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (10)
Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Narasingh who was neither man nor animal, in order to kill the demon king by pulling him apart in the middle.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (11)
When the kings of the earth and their ministers became very corrupt, the goddess Prithvi (Mother Earth) went to Lord Vishnu.
He appeared as Parasuram and avenged the earth and freed the earth from oppression
HINDUSIM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (12)
Kalki, is yet to appear.  Kalki will appear at the end of the Kalyuga.  He will appear seated on a white horse with a drawn sword blazing like a comet.
He will destroy the wicked and restart the new creation to restore purity of conduct in humans.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (13)
Shiva the Destroyer
Shiva is the god of devotion
He represents victory over demonic activity, calmness and power of human nature.
His vehicle is a bull which is a symbol of happiness and strength.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (14)
Shiva usually appears meditating.
His hair is matted and represents the flowing of the Ganges river.
There is a serpent coiled around his neck and ashes cover his body.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (15)
The goddess Lakshmi is the wife of Lord Vishnu and is the goddess of prosperity, purity, chastity and generosity.
Her four hands represent four spiritual virtues.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (16)
Parvati is the wife of Shiva and the mother of Ganesh.
Lord Shiva was at first married to Sati; however, Sati committed suicide.
The distraught Shiva never wanted to marry again.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES (17)
After many years, a young woman named Parvati committed herself to living an austere life of meditation to win over Shiva.
She meditated in the Himalayas for years not budging through driving rain, blistering heat or elephant stampedes.
One day she heard a child cry and she immediately sprang up to help.
It was Shiva, testing her resolve.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (18)
She had failed the test, but Shiva was so touched that she would give up what she desired most to help someone in need that he took her as his wife.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (19)
Ganesh is the older son of Shiva and Parvati.
He was born when the eternal couple contemplated the AUM.
He is also called Vinayak (Knower) and Ekadantha (One Tooth, a reference to the fact that Ganesh only has one tusk)
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (20)
Ganesh lost a tusk when he killed Gana, the demon.
He is also known as Vighneshwer (Remover of Obstacles).
Ganesh has the head of an elephant, a big belly and four hands.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (21)
Ganesh is served by mice. 
This combination of elephant and mouse  represents tremendous wisdom, intelligence and presence of mind.
His name is invoked for blessing at the beginning of any event hoping it to be an “auspicious event.”
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (22)
Durga is a fierce warrior goddess.
She is depicted in Hindu art riding on a lion or a tiger with a variety of weapons as well as attacking the buffalo demon Mahisha.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (23)
Her battles against evil are popular in a Hindu text the Devi Mahatmyam (Glory of the Goddess)
It is said that hearing the text cleanses one from sin.
HINDUISM:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (24)
Rama, a commonly adored god, is known as an ideal man and hero of the epic Ramayana.
He holds a bow and arrow, symbolic of his readiness to destroy evils.
HINDUISM IV:  GODS AND GODDESSES  (25)
He is generally shown with his wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and his devotee, Hanuman (the monkey god) who is sitting near Rama’s feet.

 

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES II

Kali

In Hindu myth, Kali sprang from the furrowed brow of Durga when she could not defeat the demon Raktabija.

Every time Durga struck the demon, drops of blood would fall to the ground and form another demon.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES II (2)

Durga was getting frustrated; however, Kali took care of it.  She stuck out her tongue and caught all the drops of blood, then she ate the demon up.

Kali’s name means “She who is black.”

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES  II  (3)

Kali is generally depicted as half-naked with a garland of skulls, a belt of severed limbs and waving scary-looking weapons with two of her 10 hands.

She is often dancing on a prostrate Shiva, who looks up at her admiringly.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES  II  (4)

Kali is associated with death, sexuality, violence and sometimes, motherly love.

She has been the object of violent cults.

Her tongue is usually out of her mouth in order to swallow up evil and negative thoughts.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES  II  (5)

Lord Krishna is another of the most commonly worshipped deities in the Hindu faith.

He, like Rama, is also known for his bravery in destroying evil powers throughout his life.

He is usually shown as playing the flute indicating the spread of the melody of love to people.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES (6)

According to legend, Krishna was not only divine, but heroic as well.

Krishna is believed to have defeated numerous dragons and monsters and eventually killed his half-uncle the tyrannical king Kamsa.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES  II  (7)

He is also shown with his childhood devotee Radha.  He is usually remembered and worshipped as    Radha-Krishna.

The pair symbolizes the eternal love between people and god.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES (8)

Krishna expounds a philosophy of right action being the ideal path of salvation, as opposed to relying on ritualistic sacrifices. 

He maintains that righteous conduct is better since it helps in both the spiritual and material worlds.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES  II  (9)

Krishna is also shown with his pet cow, his childhood favorite.

According to the legends (history) of Krishna, he performed many divine sports (leela) as a child.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES  II  (10)

Hanuman is the monkey deity renowned for his courage, power and faithful, selfless service.

Some say that Hanuman was born as the son of the King and Queen of the Monkeys. Others say he is the son of a cursed Apsara and Vayu, the wind god.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES II (11)

Hanuman fought the demon Meghnaath, son of the demon Ravana.

When Ravana set fire to Hanuman’s tail, Hanuman set fire to all of Lanka (home of Ravana).

He returned to Lord Rama and helped him defeat Ravana.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES  II (12)

Hanuman brought back an herb to cure Lakshman (Rama’s brother).

Since he could not find the exact herb, he brought back the entire mountain so that Laksman could find the herb and be cured.

HINDUISM V:  GODS AND GODDESSES II  (13)

Hanuman remained Ram’s favorite general and continued his life in service to Rama.

When Rama offered him any gift that he cared to name, Hanuman asked to live as long as men spoke of the deeds of Rama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  










 

 

 

 

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