Ethnography

In the drop-down menus you’ll find the articles that were labelled ‘Ethnographic Particulars’ on the old site. Although this information is becoming dated, there is still a lot of it that applies today—culture does not change all that quickly.

Still, many of the the details will have. Given the rapid trajectory into life and on into death for most of the local people, a whole new generation has grown up with many of them disappearing way before their time: this is the Mentawai way, a danse macabre where if you dodge the bullet of lethal disease before the age of ten, then it’s likely you’ll be around to be in with a chance to raise your own family.

It’s not surprising then that so much ritual practice is focused on the relationship between life and death. That is the essence of what is investigated and discussed in the eight articles.

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