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Mary, the Devil, and TaroCatholicism and Women's Work in a Micronesian Society$
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Juliana Flinn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833749

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833749.001.0001

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Who’s in Charge and Are Any of Them Women?

Who’s in Charge and Are Any of Them Women?

(p.83) Chapter 5 Who’s in Charge and Are Any of Them Women?
Mary, the Devil, and Taro

Juliana Flinn

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter investigates the roles of women in various domains, or institutions, perceived as governing Pollapese lives. Pollapese cite three domains that govern the lives: religion, tradition, and government. These are not simply anthropological, analytic categories applied by outsiders; Pollapese themselves explicitly speak of these forces as shaping, governing, and guiding their lives. Within each of these domains, the roles and statuses of women differ. The possibilities for women to maneuver, shape the course of events, influence the behavior of others, and participate in decision making vary, depending on the domain. And obviously, there are often differences between the conventional wisdom about the role of women and the reality of their situation. The celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is one event that almost seamlessly incorporates elements of all three domains. The day of December 8 asserts commitment to both tradition and to Catholicism, it highlights women's productive and nurturing capacities, and it incorporates some of the new opportunities for public speaking and consequent influence.

Keywords:   Pollapese women, Pollap, religion, tradition, government, women's role, Mary, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Catholicism

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