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Yamada, Hitoshi (2003): Religiös-mythologische Vorstellungen bei den austronesischen Völkern Taiwans: Ein Beitrag zur Ethnologie Ost- und Südostasiens. Dissertation, LMU München: Fakultät für Kulturwissenschaften



The present dissertation focuses on religious and mythological beliefs, customs and traditions of the Austronesian peoples in Taiwan. The peoples in question have been studied in such various fields as anthropology (including ethnology or ethnography), linguistics, archaeology and so on since the 17th century. Chapter 1 is a brief survey of its research history. Chapter 2 discusses religious notions and practices like supernatural beings, deities and spirits, soul, right and left, and shamanism. Some mythological themes are treated also in this chapter. In chapter 3 “Notions and rituals concerning subsistence economy” is the core of the thesis, which relates religion and mythology of these peoples to subsistence activities of them. As regards hunting: “master of animals,” hunting rituals, religious treatment of bones, and similarity between hunting and headhunting; fishing and livestock keeping; in relation to horticulture: myths of the origin of crops, great rituals, the role of miscanthus and alder, distinction of inner and outer parts of the village, ritual hunting, rain making, ritual plays (swing, top spinning, ball games, stone fights, tug-of-war, running, wrestling, archery and ritual coitus), and headhunting. The 4th chapter describes briefly the rites of passage among the Taiwan aborigines. Finally the appendices include a list of village names in vernacular, Chinese and Japanese languages, and a type index of myths and folktales.