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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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Honoring Mary

Honoring Mary

(p.141) Chapter 7 Honoring Mary
Mary, the Devil, and Taro

Juliana Flinn

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on the imagery of Mary herself and connections with Pollapese notions of motherhood. Mary serves as a model for women on Pollap, yet hers is not a model of simple meekness or passivity. Mary is not presented as a woman who is at the whims and mercies of other people, meekly accepting what happens for lack of any other options. Nor does she resort to tears or hysterics. In much the same way that chiefly people are expected to remain quiet, calm, and patient in the face of complaints and problems, Mary exhibited patience in bearing the problems of her life. There are also more statues of Mary than of anyone else in people's homes throughout the island. One of the all-female church associations is specifically devoted to emulating Mary's virtues, takes responsibility for the rosaries, and ceremoniously carries a particular statue of Mary from one household to another each Saturday during the year. Pollapese notions of beauty permeate these practices. Statues themselves have beauty, as do the words of prayers and speeches, the lyrics and music of hymns, the smell and appearance of flowers, and the colors of cloth.

Keywords:   Mary, Pollapese women, motherhood, beauty, religious statues

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