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ON LOSING ONE’S HEAD IN NEW GUINEA: HEAD RITUALS AMONG NEW GUINEA HUNTER-GATHERERS AND FISHER-FORAGERS

Author(s): Paul Roscoe

Year: 2016

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Summary

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.


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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)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Oceania


Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America