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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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The Old Religion of Yap

The Old Religion of Yap

Chapter:
(p.139) Chapter 7 The Old Religion of Yap
Source:
Summoning the Powers Beyond
Author(s):

Jay Dobbin

Francis X. Hezel

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824832032.003.0007

This chapter examines the old religion of Yap. Although Yap proper is linguistically not closely related to other Micronesian languages, its old religion shows both unique and Micronesian-wide features. Within a familiar structure of the cosmos and its spirits is a class of gods and goddesses not well documented elsewhere in Micronesia: the crop or vegetation deities. Each of these deities was bound to a shrine, and these shrines were served by their own hierarchies of priests. A second feature worthy of attention was the Yap emphasis on rituals of taboo or ritual purity, and although taboo-conscious religion was common in Polynesia, it was not strong elsewhere in Micronesia.

Keywords:   old religion, Yap religion, crop deities, vegetation deities, ritual taboo, ritual purity

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