ON LOSING ONE’S HEAD IN NEW GUINEA: HEAD RITUALS AMONG NEW GUINEA HUNTER-GATHERERS AND FISHER-FORAGERS
Author(s): Paul Roscoe
Although commonly thought of as a land of horticulturalists, contact-era New Guinea was home to a number of ‘simple’ hunter-gatherer and complex fisher-forager groups. This paper surveys what we know of how these communities treated the human head in mortuary and other rituals and the cosmological contexts in which these rites were embedded. The fisher-forager cases are of special interest because at contact they were all head-hunters, an activity that generated elaborate ritual complexes associated with growth, initiation, fertility, and entropic fluctuations in the local universe.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016) •
- "Skull Cults" amongst Hunter-Gatherers?
Cite this Record
ON LOSING ONE’S HEAD IN NEW GUINEA: HEAD RITUALS AMONG NEW GUINEA HUNTER-GATHERERS AND FISHER-FORAGERS. Paul Roscoe. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403810)
min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;