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Summoning the Powers BeyondTraditional Religions in Micronesia$
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Jay Dobbin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832032

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832032.001.0001

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Overview of the Micronesian Religions

Overview of the Micronesian Religions

Chapter:
(p.14) Chapter 2 Overview of the Micronesian Religions
Source:
Summoning the Powers Beyond
Author(s):

Jay Dobbin

Francis X. Hezel

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824832032.003.0002

This chapter provides an overview of the Micronesian religions. Early visitors to Micronesia spoke about the region as having no religion or temples, although the earliest records did describe gods and worship. Micronesians regularly divided their spirits first into a family of the sky gods—often Anulap, Luuk, and Olofat—then another class of gods, categorized according to a genealogy of brothers and sisters, who live in the sky, sea, or under the sea but are thought of as patrons. They could be patrons of breadfruit, pandanus, fishing, navigation, or any of many other things as well. This second category of gods often comprises the culture heroes who bring technology to humans. Indeed, sky and patron gods are mostly beneficial to humans, bringing an abundance of food and practical knowledge.

Keywords:   Micronesian religions, sky gods, patron gods, culture heroes, technology, practical knowledge

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