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
ISBN 9789027202871 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
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ISBN 9789027284693
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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
Cited by

Cited by 7 other publications

Senft, Gunter
2016. “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. DOI logo
Senft, Gunter
2018. Rituelle Kommunikation. In Handbuch Pragmatik,  pp. 423 ff. DOI logo
Senft, Gunter
2023. Chapter 2. The system of classifiers in Kilivila. In Nominal Classification in Asia and Oceania [Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 362],  pp. 10 ff. DOI logo
Shapiro, Warren
2014. Contesting Marshall Sahlins on Kinship. Oceania 84:1  pp. 19 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2012. Books and Films Received. Current Anthropology 53:2  pp. 252 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 13 november 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
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2011026146 | Marc record