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A Consideration of Totemism in Late-Latest Jomon Age Based upon Archaeological Records

Author(s): Ryuzaburo Takahashi

Year: 2017

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Summary

Recent advance in anthropology have resurrected the term totemism from earlier the theories developed by such scholars as Robertson Smith and E, Durkheim at the beginning of 20th century. The crucial features of totemism are: 1) it represents total emblems of the descent groups; 2) it functions to support solidarity of the group; 3) it has as exogamic function; 4) it invokes taboos against killing certain animals and eating them; 5) it constitutes intimate relationships between human being and specific animals and plants; and 6) It strengthens the special bound human groups and their ancestors by means of ceremonial feasts and rituals. From an archaeological perspective, some elements of totemism are present in the Late to Latest Jomon age culture in Japan, including evidence of zoomorphic clay figures and ceremonial feasts and rites, animal sacrifice, polite attitude for special animals, identification animals for human. Those features were diagnostic in northern Japan in Late Jomon age.


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A Consideration of Totemism in Late-Latest Jomon Age Based upon Archaeological Records. Ryuzaburo Takahashi. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430762)


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Abstract Id(s): 16727

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