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Mana, in Austronesian languages, means "power", "effectiveness", and "prestige". In most cases, this power and its source are understood to be supernatural and inexplicable.Its semantics are language-dependent. The concept is significant in Polynesian culture and is part of contemporary Pacific Islander culture; it came to the attention of Western anthropologists through reports from island missionaries. Its study was included in cultural anthropology—specifically, the anthropology of religion. Links were seen between mana and earlier phases of Western religion: animism at first, followed by pre-animism.
The Austronesian languages are a language family that is widely dispersed throughout Maritime Southeast Asia, Madagascar and the islands of the Pacific Ocean, with a few members in continental Asia. Austronesian languages are spoken by about 386 million people (4.9%), making it the fifth-largest language family by number of speakers. Major Austronesian languages with the highest number of speakers are Malay, Javanese, and Filipino (Tagalog). The family contains 1,257 languages, which is the second most of any language family.
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians, and share many similar traits including language family, culture, and beliefs. Historically, they had a strong tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night. The largest country in Polynesia is New Zealand.
Pacific Islanders or Pasifikas, are the peoples of the Pacific Islands. It is a geographic and often ethnic/racial term to describe the inhabitants of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania: Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. These people speak various Austronesian languages.
According to the POLLEX Project,a protoform (an ancestral form of a word) for "mana"—noted in historical-linguistic convention as *mana-"—existed in Proto-Oceanic, the precursor of many Pacific languages. Although the path through the tree from Proto-Oceanic to a specific language is not always clear, the word and concept are thousands of years old. According to linguist Robert Blust, "mana" means "thunder, storm, or wind" in some languages. Blust hypothesized that the term originally meant "powerful forces of nature such as thunder and storm winds that were conceived as the expression of an unseen supernatural agency. As Oceanic-speaking peoples spread eastward, the notion of an unseen supernatural agency became detached from the physical forces of nature that had inspired it and assumed a life of its own."
Proto-Oceanic is a proto-language that language comparatists since Otto Dempwolff have proposed as the probable common ancestor to the group of Oceanic languages. Proto-Oceanic is itself an Austronesian language and so therefore a descendant of the Proto-Austronesian language (PAN), the common ancestor of the Austronesian languages.
Mana is a foundation of the Polynesian worldview, a spiritual quality with a supernatural origin and a sacred, impersonal force. To have mana implies influence, authority, and efficacy—the ability to perform in a given situation. The quality of mana is not limited to individuals; peoples, governments, places and inanimate objects may also possess mana, and its possessors are accorded respect.
Polynesian culture is the culture of the indigenous peoples of Polynesia who share common traits in language, customs and society. Sequentially, the development of Polynesian culture can be divided into four different historical eras:
Authority is the right to exercise power, which can be formalized by a state and exercised by way of judges, appointed executives of government, or the ecclesiastical or priestly appointed representatives of a God or other deities.
In Hawaiian and Tahitian culture, mana is a spiritual energy and healing power which can exist in places, objects and persons. Hawaiians believe that mana may be gained or lost by actions, and Hawaiians and Tahitians believe that mana is both external and internal. Sites on the Hawaiian Islands and in French Polynesia are believed to possess mana—for example, the top rim of the Haleakalā volcano on the island of Maui and the Taputapuatea marae on the island of Raiatea in the Society Islands.
The term "energy" is used by writers and practitioners of various esoteric forms of spirituality and alternative medicine to refer to a variety of phenomena. There is no scientific evidence for the existence of such energy.
The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name chosen by James Cook in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The contemporary name is derived from the name of the largest island, Hawaii Island.
French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic and the only overseas country of France. It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) in the South Pacific Ocean. Its total land area is 4,167 square kilometres (1,609 sq mi).
Ancient Hawaiian believed that the island of Molokaʻi possesses mana, compared with its neighboring islands. Before the unification of Hawaii by King Kamehameha I, battles were fought for possession of the island and its south-shore fish ponds which existed until the late 19th century.
Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great, was the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii. A statue of him was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C. by the state of Hawaii as one of two statues it is entitled to give.
A person may gain mana by pono (right actions). In ancient Hawaii, there were two paths to mana: sexual means or violence. Nature is dualistic, and everything has a counterpart. A balance between the gods Kū and Lono formed, through whom are the two paths to mana (ʻimihaku, or the search for mana). Kū, the god of war and politics, offers mana through violence; this was how Kamehameha gained his mana. Lono, the god of peace and fertility, offers mana through sexuality.[ citation needed ]
Pono is a Hawaiian word commonly rendered as "righteousness". For instance, the Hawaii state motto: Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono or "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness".
In Hawaiian mythology, Kū or Kūkaʻilimoku is one of the four great gods. The other three are Kanaloa, Kāne, and Lono. Feathered god images or ʻaumakua hulu manu are considered to represent Kū. Kū is worshipped under many names, including Kū-ka-ili-moku, the "Snatcher of Land". Kūkaʻilimoku rituals included human sacrifice, which was not part of the worship of other gods.
In Hawaiian religion, the deity Lono is associated with fertility, agriculture, rainfall, music and peace. In one of the many Hawaiian stories of Lono, he is a fertility and music god who descended to Earth on a rainbow to marry Laka. In agricultural and planting traditions, Lono was identified with rain and food plants. He was one of the four gods who existed before the world was created. Lono was also the god of peace. In his honor, the great annual festival of the Makahiki was held. During this period, war and unnecessary work was kapu (forbidden). In Hawaiian weather terminology, the winter Kona storms that bring rain to leeward areas are associated with Lono. Lono brings on the rains and dispenses fertility, and as such was sometimes referred to as Lono-makua. Ceremonies went through a monthly and yearly cycle. For 8 months of the year, the luakini (temple) was dedicated to Ku-with strict kapus. Four periods each month required strict ceremonies. Violators could have their property seized by priests or overlord chiefs, or be sentenced to death for serious breaches.
In Māori, a tribe with mana whenua must have demonstrated their authority over a territory. In Māori culture, there are two essential aspects of a person's mana: mana tangata , authority derived from whakapapa (genealogy) and mana huaanga, defined as "authority derived from having a wealth of resources to gift to others to bind them into reciprocal obligations".Hemopereki Simon, from Ngati Tuwharetoa, asserts that there are many forms of mana in Maori culture. The indigenous word reflects a non-Western view of reality, complicating translation. This is confirmed by the definition of mana provided by Maori Mardsden who states that mana is:
Spiritual power and authority as opposed to the purely psychic and natural force — ihi.
According to Prof. Margaret Mutu mana in its traditional sense means:
Power, authority, ownership, status, influence, dignity, respect derived from the god[/atua].
In terms of leadership Ngāti Kahungunu legal scholar Carwyn Jones comments that, "mana is the central concept that underlies Māori leadership and accountability." He also considers mana as a fundamental aspect of the constitutional traditions of Māori society.
According to the New Zealand Ministry of Justice:
Mana and tapu are concepts which have both been attributed single-worded definitions by contemporary writers. As concepts, especially Maori concepts they can not easily be translated into a single English definition. Both mana and tapu take on a whole range of related meanings depending on their association and the context in which they are being used.
In contemporary New Zealand English, the word "mana", taken from the Māori, refers to a person or organisation of people of great personal prestige and character.The increased use of the term mana in New Zealand society is as a result of the politicisation of Maori issues stemming from the Māori Renaissance.
Missionary Robert Henry Codrington traveled widely in Melanesia, publishing several studies of its language and culture. His 1891 book The Melanesians: Studies in their Anthropology and Folk-Lore contains the first detailed description of mana. Codrington defines it as "a force altogether distinct from physical power, which acts in all kinds of ways for good and evil, and which it is of the greatest advantage to possess or control".
His era had already defined animism, the concept that the energy (or life) in an object derives from a spiritual component. Georg Ernst Stahl's 18th-century animism was adopted by Edward Burnett Tylor, the founder of cultural anthropology, who presented his initial ideas about the history of religion in his 1865 Researches into the Early History of Mankind vi and developed them in volumes one (1871) and two (1874) of Primitive Culture. :1:
In Tylor's cultural anthropology, other primates (from which evolutionists hypothesized man had evolved) did not appear to possess culture.
Tylor did not try to find evidence of a non-cultural human state because he considered it unreachable, "a condition not far removed from that of the lower animals" and "savage life as in some sort representing an early known state." 33 He described such a hypothetical state as "the human savage naked in both mind and body, and destitute of laws, or arts, or ideas, and almost of language". :30 According to Tylor, speculation about an acultural state is impossible. Using the method of comparative culture, similar to comparative anatomy and the comparative method of historical linguistics and following John Lubbock, he drew up a dual classification of cultural traits (memes and memeplexes): savage and civilised. Tylor wrote, "From an ideal point of view, civilization may be looked upon as the general improvement of mankind by higher organization of the individual and of society ... " :24 and identified his model with the "progression-theory of civilization". :81:
Tylor cited a "minimum definition" of religion as "the belief in Spiritual Beings". 383 Noting that no savage societies lack religion and that the initial state of a religious man is beyond reach, he enumerated two stages in the evolution of religion: a simple belief in individual animae (or Doctrine of Souls) and the elaboration of dogmas. The dogmas are systems of higher spirits commanding phases of nature. In volume two of Primitive Culture, Tylor called this stage the Doctrine of Spirits. :108–110 He used the word "animism" in two different senses. :385 The first is religion itself: a belief in the spiritual as an effective energy, shared by every specific religion. In his progression theory, an undogmatic version preceded rational theological systems. Animism is the simple Theory of the Soul, which comparative religion attempts to reconstruct.:
Tylor's work predated Codrington's, and he was unfamiliar with the latter. The concept of mana occasioned a revision of Tylor's view of the evolution of religion. The first anthropologist to formulate a revision (which he called "pre-animistic religion") was Robert Ranulph Marett, in a series of papers collected and published as Threshold of Religion. In its preface he takes credit for the adjective "pre-animistic" but not the noun "pre-animism", although he does not attribute it. xxi:
According to Marett, "Animism will not suffice as a minimum definition of religion." Tylor had used the term "natural religion", 386 consistent with Georg Ernst Stahl's concept of a natural spiritual energy. The soul of an animal, for example, is its vital principle. Marett wrote, "One must dig deeper" to find the "roots of religion".[ citation needed ]:
Describing pre-animism, Marett cited the Melanesian mana (primarily with Codrington's work): "When the science of Comparative Religion employs a native expression such as mana ... it is obliged to disregard to some extent its original or local meaning ... Science, then, may adopt mana as a general category ... ". 99 In Melanesia the animae are the souls of living men, the ghosts of deceased men, and spirits "of ghost-like appearance" or imitating living people. Spirits can inhabit other objects, such as animals or stones. :115–120:
The most significant property of mana is that it is distinct from, and exists independently of, its source. Animae act only through mana. It is impersonal, undistinguished, and (like energy) transmissible between objects, which can have more or less of it. Mana is perceptible, appearing as a "Power of awfulness" (in the sense of awe or wonder). 12–13 Objects possessing it impress an observer with "respect, veneration, propitiation, service" emanating from the mana's power. Marett lists a number of objects habitually possessing mana: "startling manifestations of nature", "curious stones", animals, "human remains", blood, :2 thunderstorms, eclipses, eruptions, glaciers, and the sound of a bullroarer. :14–17:
If mana is a distinct power, it may be treated distinctly. Marett distinguishes spells, which treat mana quasi-objectively, and prayers (which address the anima). An anima may have departed, leaving mana in the form of a spell which can be addressed by magic. Although Marett postulates an earlier pre-animistic phase, a "rudimentary religion" or "magico-religious" phase in which the mana figures without animae, "no island of pure 'pre-animism' is to be found." xxvi Like Tylor, he theorizes a thread of commonality between animism and pre-animism identified with the supernatural—the "mysterious", as opposed to the reasonable. :22:
In 1936, Ian Hogbin criticised the universality of Marett's pre-animism: "Mana is by no means universal and, consequently, to adopt it as a basis on which to build up a general theory of primitive religion is not only erroneous but indeed fallacious". 99 Spells, for example, may be found "from Central Australia to Scotland." :55However, Marett intended the concept as an abstraction. :
Early 20th-century scholars also saw mana as a universal concept, found in all human cultures and expressing fundamental human awareness of a sacred life energy. In his 1904 essay, "Outline of a General Theory of Magic", Marcel Mauss drew on the writings of Codrington and others to paint a picture of mana as "power par excellence, the genuine effectiveness of things which corroborates their practical actions without annihilating them". 111 Mauss pointed out the similarity of mana to the Iroquois orenda and the Algonquian manitou, convinced of the "universality of the institution"; :116 "a concept, encompassing the idea of magical power, was once found everywhere". :117:
Mauss and his collaborator, Henri Hubert, were criticised for this position when their 1904 Outline of a General Theory of Magic was published. "No one questioned the existence of the notion of mana", wrote Mauss's biographer Marcel Fournier, "but Hubert and Mauss were criticized for giving it a universal dimension".Criticism of mana as an archetype of life energy increased. According to Mircea Eliade, the idea of mana is not universal; in places where it is believed, not everyone has it, and "even among the varying formulae (mana, wakan, orenda, etc.) there are, if not glaring differences, certainly nuances not sufficiently observed in the early studies". "With regard to these theories founded upon the primordial and universal character of mana, we must say without delay that they have been invalidated by later research".
Larry Niven adopted the term in his 1969 short story, "Not Long Before the End". In this and subsequent stories, "mana" was the magical fuel used to cast spells. It was a non-renewable environmental resource; heavy use of magic could deplete the mana in an area.
Following on from the idea of mana as something that could be "used up", fantasy role-playing games and video games adopted the term to quantify "magical power."Magic points (MPs) were used by Ultima III: Exodus and games influenced by it, and for example the 1987 video game Dungeon Master replaced "magic points" with "mana points" as the definition of MPs.
Mana was used in a number of early role-playing board games. [ page needed ] In 1993, the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering used mana terminology. Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness called its MPs "mana", influenced by Magic: The Gathering. Diablo (1996) also used mana terminology; the two games' sequels and spin-offs, including World of Warcraft , popularized the term "mana".
Animism is the religious belief that objects, places and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Potentially, animism perceives all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human handiwork and perhaps even words—as animated and alive. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous peoples, especially in contrast to the relatively more recent development of organised religions.
Magic is a category in Western culture into which have been placed various beliefs and practices considered separate from both religion and science. Historically, the term often had pejorative connotations, with things labelled magical perceived as being primitive, foreign, and Other. The concept has been adopted by scholars in the study of religion and the social sciences, who have proposed various different—and often mutually exclusive—definitions of the term; much contemporary scholarship regards the concept to be so problematic that it is better to reject it altogether as a useful analytic construct.
Atua are the gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians. The Polynesian word literally means power or strength and so the concept is similar to that of mana. Today, it is also used for the monotheistic conception of God. Especially powerful atua included:
Anthropology of religion is the study of religion in relation to other social institutions, and the comparison of religious beliefs and practices across cultures.
Magical thinking in various forms is a cultural universal and an important aspect of religion. Magic is prevalent in all societies, regardless of whether they have organized religion or more general systems of animism or shamanism. Religion and magic became conceptually separated with the development of western monotheism, where the distinction arose between supernatural events sanctioned by mainstream religious doctrine (miracles) and magic rooted in folk belief or occult speculation. In pre-monotheistic religious traditions, there is no fundamental distinction between religious practice and magic; tutelary deities concerned with magic are sometimes called hermetic deities or spirit guides.
Animatism is a term coined by British anthropologist Robert Marett to refer to "a belief in a generalized, impersonal power over which people have some measure of control". Marett argues that certain cultures believe "people, animals, plants, and inanimate objects were endowed with certain powers, which were both impersonal and supernatural." Mana, Marett states, is a concentrated form of animatistic force found within any of these objects that confer power, strength, and success.
Sir Edward Burnett Tylor was an English anthropologist, the founder of cultural anthropology.
In sociology and anthropology, symbolic capital can be referred to as the resources available to an individual on the basis of honor, prestige or recognition, and serves as value that one holds within a culture. A war hero, for example, may have symbolic capital in the context of running for political office.
Marcel Mauss was a French sociologist. The nephew of Émile Durkheim, Mauss' academic work traversed the boundaries between sociology and anthropology. Today, he is perhaps better recognised for his influence on the latter discipline, particularly with respect to his analyses of topics such as magic, sacrifice, and gift exchange in different cultures around the world. Mauss had a significant influence upon Claude Lévi-Strauss, the founder of structural anthropology. His most famous book is The Gift (1925).
History of anthropology in this article refers primarily to the 18th- and 19th-century precursors of modern anthropology. The term anthropology itself, innovated as a New Latin scientific word during the Renaissance, has always meant "the study of man". The topics to be included and the terminology have varied historically. At present they are more elaborate than they were during the development of anthropology. For a presentation of modern social and cultural anthropology as they have developed in Britain, France, and North America since approximately 1900, see the relevant sections under Anthropology.
Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics, or Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics, is a 1913 book by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, in which the author applies his work to the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and the study of religion. It is a collection of four essays inspired by the work of Wilhelm Wundt and Carl Jung and first published in the journal Imago (1912–13): "The Horror of Incest", "Taboo and Emotional Ambivalence", "Animism, Magic and the Omnipotence of Thoughts", and "The Return of Totemism in Childhood".
The sociology of culture, and the related cultural sociology, concerns the systematic analysis of culture, usually understood as the ensemble of symbolic codes used by a member of a society, as it is manifested in the society. For Georg Simmel, culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been objectified in the course of history". Culture in the sociological field is analyzed as the ways of thinking and describing, acting, and the material objects that together shape a group of people's way of life.
Robert Ranulph Marett was a British ethnologist. He was an exponent of what is sometimes called the Evolutionary School or more precisely the British Evolutionary School of Cultural anthropology. Founded by Marett's older colleague, Edward Burnett Tylor, it asserted that modern primitive societies evidence remnants of phases in the evolution of culture, which it attempted to recapture by comparative and historical methods. Marett focused primarily on the anthropology of religion. Asserting with Tylor the evolutionary origin of religions he modified Tylor's animistic theory to include the concept of mana. His anthropological teaching and writing career at Oxford University spanned the earlier 20th century prior to the Second World War. He trained many notable anthropologists. He was a colleague of John Myres and through him connected to the world of Aegean archaeology.
Māori religion encompasses the various religious beliefs and practices of the Māori, the Polynesian indigenous people of New Zealand.
Spiritualism is a metaphysical belief that the world is made up of at least two fundamental substances, matter and spirit. This very broad metaphysical distinction is further developed into many and various forms by the inclusion of details about what spiritual entities exist such as a soul, the afterlife, spirits of the dead, deities and mediums; as well as details about the nature of the relationship between spirit and matter. It may also refer to the philosophy, doctrine, or religion pertaining to a spiritual aspect of existence.
Sociological and anthropological theories about religion generally attempt to explain the origin and function of religion. These theories define what they present as universal characteristics of religious belief and practice.
"Gifting remittances" describes a range of scholarly approaches relating remittances to anthropological literature on gift giving. The terms draws on Lisa Cliggett’s “gift remitting,” but is used to describe a wider body of work. Broadly speaking, remittances are the money, goods, services, and knowledge that migrants send back to their home communities or families. Remittances are typically considered as the economic transactions from migrants to those at home. While remittances are also a subject of international development and policy debate and sociological and economic literature, this article focuses on ties with literature on gifting and reciprocity or gift economy founded largely in the work of Marcel Mauss and Marshall Sahlins. While this entry focuses on remittances of money or goods, remittances also take the form of ideas and knowledge. For more on these, see Peggy Levitt's work on "social remittances" which she defines as “the ideas, behaviors, identities, and social capital that flow from receiving to sending country communities.”
Inalienable possessions are things such as land or objects that are symbolically identified with the groups that own them and so cannot be permanently severed from them. Landed estates in the Middle Ages, for example, had to remain intact and even if sold, they could be reclaimed by blood kin. As a legal classification, inalienable possessions date back to Roman times. According to Barbara Mills, "Inalienable possessions are objects made to be kept, have symbolic and economic power that cannot be transferred, and are often used to authenticate the ritual authority of corporate groups".
Social anthropology is the dominant constituent of anthropology throughout the United Kingdom and Commonwealth and much of Europe, where it is distinguished from cultural anthropology. In the United States, social anthropology is commonly subsumed within cultural anthropology.
This bibliography of anthropology lists some notable publications in the field of anthropology, including its various subfields. It is not comprehensive and continues to be developed. It also includes a number of works that are not by anthropologists but are relevant to the field, such as literary theory, sociology, psychology, and philosophical anthropology.