Extending the tracks: A cross-reductionistic approach to Australian Aboriginal male initiation rites
1998 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
The thesis stresses two points regarding mandatory initiation rites where a young person is introduced into adult rights and obligations: first, that a poly-angular approach is necessary to get a fair picture of rites in general and initiation rites in particular, second, that each culture, into which a young person is initiated, contributes in a very special way to the design of the initiation rite. Therefore, a survey of some modes of interpretations is presented, after a description of Australian Aboriginal culture from early contact periods and a summary of recurrent themes in the Aboriginal male initiation rites. The comparative perspective and the secret character of these rites necessitates the use of secondary sources, books and articles published by missionaries, farmers, government officials and anthropologists. Since the early Aboriginal culture was integrated in a hunting-and-gathering economy, one important theme was the value of îwalk-aboutî and orientation in the landscape. This orientation is built up by landmarks believed to be transformations of mythical personages or left by those beings. Besides psychological, social and religious facets of the initiation, the value of orientation in the natural, the social and the mythical environment is the one which makes the rite an Aboriginal one.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International , 1998. , 251 p.
Stockholm studies in comparative religion, ISSN 0562-1070 ; 34
History of Religions
Research subject History of Religion
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62184ISBN: 91-22-01802-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-62184DiVA: diva2:440106
Vaeth, Michael, Professor