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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

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

Jay Dobbin

Francis X. Hezel

University of Hawai'i Press

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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