The Tuma Underworld of Love
Erotic and other narrative songs of the Trobriand Islanders and their spirits of the dead
Gunter Senft | Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
e-Book – Open Access
The Trobriand Islanders' eschatological belief system explains what happens when someone dies. Bronislaw Malinowski described essentials of this eschatology in his articles "Baloma: the Spirits of the Dead in the Trobriand Islands" and "Myth in Primitive Psychology". There he also presented the Trobrianders' belief that a "baloma" can be reborn; he claimed that Trobrianders are unaware of the father's role as genitor. This volume presents a critical review of Malinowski's ethnography of Trobriand eschatology – finally settling the "virgin birth" controversy. It also documents the ritualized and highly poetic "wosi milamala" – the harvest festival songs. They are sung in an archaic variety of Kilivila called "biga baloma" – the baloma language. Malinowski briefly refers to these songs but does not mention that they codify many aspects of Trobriand eschatology. The songs are still sung at specific occasions; however, they are now moribund. With these songs Trobriand eschatology will vanish.
[Culture and Language Use, 5] 2011. xvii, 138 pp.
Publishing status: Available
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Table of Contents
Acknowledgments | pp. ix–xii
Introduction | pp. xiii–xvii
Chapter 1. Death on the Trobriand Islands and the Trobriand Islanders’ belief in a “baloma” spirit | pp. 1–14
Chapter 2. The spirits of the dead and their underworld life on Tuma Island: Trobriand eschatology | pp. 15–42
Chapter 3. The wosi milamala | pp. 43–100
Chapter 4. The moribund language of the spirits of the dead and its consequences for the Trobriand Islanders’ culture | pp. 101–110
Appendix I | pp. 111–116
Appendix II | pp. 117–126
References | pp. 127–134
Index | pp. 135–138
Cited byCited by 6 other publicationsSenft, Gunter2016. “Masawa—bogeokwa si tuta!”: Cultural and Cognitive Implications of the Trobriand Islanders’ Gradual Loss of Their Knowledge of How to Make a Masawa Canoe. In Ethnic and Cultural Dimensions of Knowledge [Knowledge and Space, 8], ► pp. 229 ff. 2018. Rituelle Kommunikation. In Handbuch Pragmatik, ► pp. 423 ff. Shapiro, Warren2014. Contesting Marshall Sahlins on Kinship. Oceania 84:1 ► pp. 19 ff. [no author supplied]2012. Books and Films Received. Current Anthropology 53:2 ► pp. 252 ff. 2015. Tales from the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea [Culture and Language Use, 16], 2018. Growing up on the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea [Culture and Language Use, 21], This list is based on CrossRef data as of 6 march 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Main BIC Subject
CF/2P: Linguistics/Oceanic & Austronesian languages
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2011026146 | Marc record