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By Julian Baldick

Austronesia is the huge oceanic quarter which stretches from Madagascar to Taiwan to New Zealand. Encompassing either scattered archipelagos and significant landmasses, Austronesia – derived from the Latin australis, 'southern', and Greek nesos, 'island' – is used basically as a linguistic time period, designating a kin of languages spoken via peoples with a shared background. Julian Baldick, a celebrated historian of old faith, the following argues that the varied population of the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, New Guinea and Oceania convey a standard inheritance that extends past language. This commonality is located particularly in mythology and formality, which succeed in again to an historic, prehistoric prior. From round 1250 BCE the unique proto-Oceanic audio system migrated eastwards from southeast Asia. Navigating through the sunlight, the celebrities, chicken flight, the swells of the ocean and cloud-swathed mountain islands, Austronesian voyagers used canoes and outriggers to decide on new territories. They constructed a unified development of faith characterized by way of mortuary rites, headhunting and agrarian rituals of the once a year calendar, culminating in a post-harvest competition usually sexual in nature. This specified evaluation of Austronesian trust and culture might be crucial interpreting for college students of faith, prehistory and anthropology.

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During the first five days after the burial the whole community would live in seclusion, and it was forbidden for anyone to work outside the house, to fish in the river, to hunt in the mountains or to go to the fields. In this period it was also forbidden to consume beer or to wear fine clothes or jewellery. On the fifth day the kinship group gathered in the house of the deceased. The local sorcerer was invited, and he, while the relatives prepared sticky rice for the dead person, sprinkled beer as a libation over the grave.

This leads one to wonder to what extent dualism is 46 ANCIENT RELIGIONS OF THE AUSTRONESIAN WORLD prevalent in Taiwanese religion. Ami myths give us male–female pairs, but, as we have observed, may be of foreign origin. The number two does not occur often in the materials that we have surveyed. Among the Tsou one festival lasts for two days, and another is divided into two parts, while the Saisiyat have festivals every two years. Two is found more often among the Puyuma. They have a two-day interval between burial and purification, and a Puyuma village is divided into two halves.

In this, on the first day, the ‘virile warriors’ repair the men’s and boys’ houses. On the second day two diviners ‘clean the village’, going to the ancestral cult houses and removing the forces of evil contained there. On the third day two groups of men make offerings to the protecting ancestors of the two halves of the village at the latter’s entrance. Later they put bows and arrows at the village’s gates, to frighten restless spirits away. On the third day the ‘virile warriors’ prepare the area in which the effigy of a monkey is sacrificed on the fifth.

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