Anthropology of religion Essay. This anthropological paper is an attempt to review the article by Breibert, Rosenfeld, and McClain () which is a research study investigating the effect of spiritual health (or well-being) on “end-of-life despair in terminally- ill cancer patients” (). Daoism is a prominent religion in China that began during the 6th century BCE. The founder of Daoism, Lao-Tse was born to a shooting star about years before Jesus Christ, who was born to a virgin. 20 Topics on Applied Anthropology in Real Life for a Research Essay. By We are one of professional essay writing services whose goal is to help students with writing research essays on any anthropology topics. avg. rating Economics Papers Psychology Papers Religion Papers Sociology Papers Art Papers Management Papers Marketing. For your anthropology paper topic needs, writeanessayforme.pw’s staff can be reached by email for placing an order through our secure server or for questions regarding potential topics. 40+ Interesting Anthropology Research Paper Topics. One of the most complicated elements of anthropological exploration is the need for objectivity. The main parts of religion that anthropologists look at are cults which are forms of religions that have heir own set of beliefs, rituals, and goals (Ferraro) which vary from Individualistic, which have no religious specialists but rather each person has a personal calling/relationship with the spirit.
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Religion The Peaceful Warriors, Heider described the characteristics and features of the religious beliefs as well as the rituals practiced by the Dani of Papua New guinea.
Anthropology and Religion Essay
Through his observations, it was made apparent that religion was not the significant feature that represents the Dani and its culture. Although it exists, the rituals were the main factors that build the cultural aspects of these people.
Religion in the Dani culture revolves around the belief of Animism and animatism. Dani rituals on the other hand, mainly incorporate with the ghost of their recent dead. We will write a custom essay sample on Anthropology of religion or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not Waste HIRE WRITER The Dani people take importance in placating the restless souls of their former members, thus many of their rituals and practices are done for the sake of calming these spirits.
However, beyond the appeasement of the ghosts, there are also other rituals that are done for the purpose of developing and regulating the social and economic life of the Dani. Weddings, political election and initiations are the on-going rituals that the Dani practices during the Great pig feast.
This paper will explain and describe the characteristics of the beliefs and rituals that are celebrated and practiced by Grand Valley Dani.
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In terms of religion, the Dani people did not have a certain deity that they are committed to in worship. However, the Dani greatly believes that there is a kind of spiritual power that manifest through many natural objects that can either be advancement or a threat to their community if not handled properly.
This spiritual phenomenon is called Wusa; it describes the religious form of animatism. There is a myth in the Dani culture that foretells the story of the snake and the birds.
The birds are associated with man because they both mourn for the dead. The snake argued that men are cremated and then they returned back to life. On the other hand, the bird claimed that the people stay dead thus they mourn. Now the theme of man and birds are used in ceremonies such as edai and funerals where we can see individuals, decorated in feathers, paints and also act in such a way that represents the movement of a bird.
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The birds are also used as totems by the people in order to distinguish the different sibs. Just like other religions that uses totenism, the Dani were also forbidden to consume the certain birds they represent. Since the Dani people go through constant war and many people lose their lives, the Dani had to arrange funerals and ceremonies to placate the ghost of their recent dead.
However, beyond the casual ceremonies, there is a big ceremony that is celebrated by the Dani which involves all of their rituals and practices and this ceremony is called the great Pig Feast.
This celebration was supposedly celebrated every six years, enough time for girls and boys to grow up and participate in weddings and initiations. After adolescence, Dani girls become eligible for marriage and are partnered with young bachelors from other moieties. This is done to progress the social system of the alliance and to further populate the community.
An initiation on the other hand, is a process of separating young boys to their proper moieties. However, the boys from the Waija moiety are the only ones who practice this ritual since everyone is born in the Waida moiety and those who are already a part of that group stays. Then soon as Waija boys experience mock battles, they are being isolated to a sacred place, then lastly they are thrown in a pit of fire.
After the ritual, the boys can now join their fathers and become a member of the Waija moiety. Furthermore, the most important ritual that is done in the Pig feast is the mollification of the ghosts of the dead warriors. Even though funerals are held every so often, the main purpose of the pig feast is to further appease all of the ghosts of the dead from the entire alliance one last time.
When the Indonesians came, some practices such as finger mutilation and violent acts in mock battles were halt. This was not a big issue to the Dani community, the Pig feast still progressed without the presence of these rituals.
From this, it was made obvious that the Dani people only use this celebration mainly for the purpose of strengthening the relationship between alliances by bringing everyone together to participate in the one celebration they are accustomed and grew up with.
Anthropology of religion
Also, Dani religion and rituals can also be perceived as an economic approach due to the relationship between the people and the natural environment. As said above, the Dani believed in Wusa which is a powerful spiritual phenomenon that is connected with the natural environment. In order to live a life free from misfortunes and danger, there has to be a certain balance between the people and nature.
The Dani people had to do certain practices such as purification and prohibitions to neutralize the dangers they impose. Overall, the Dani religion and beliefs is not something that is done for the benefit of a certain deity, it is done to further develop and tighten the relationship of the Dani culture.