In Far New Guinea

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General Books LLC, 2009 - Literary Collections - 214 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1914. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XVIII DEATH AND DEATH-FEASTS There is no doubt that our people believe that the life of man persists through and after death, though their ideas as to the nature of the life of the spirit after death are hazy, and tend to a mere repetition or continuation of life as it is known here on earth, except that it is non-material. We have seen that there are strong indications of an idea that the spirit and the body are distinct the one from the other, though the life of the body no doubt depends on the indwelling spirit, but at first the connection is loose and may easily be broken. As time goes on the connection becomes stronger and stronger, and perhaps the body attains from long and close connection some of the virtues of the spirit, as seems to be evidenced by the suggested rationale of cannibal feasts, from one point of view. About Wedau and Wamira the spirits of the dead go eventually to some place to the eastward of Cape Frere, in a valley in the mountains called Ioloa, the approach to the abode of the spirits being through a hole in the ground. When the spirit arrives it is questioned at once, "Where have you come from?." " What have you come for?" just as every time you go into a village every one you meet asks you, "Where are you going?" "What are you after?" The newly arrived one says, "I have come from Wedau," or "Wamira," as the case may be, or the answer may state more explicitly the section of the village, and "Where else should I go except to my own people?" Then the question is asked, "Who sent you?" and for answer the name of some sorcerer or witch is given, the one responsible for the death. The spirit is admitted to its new home, where it finds feasting and dancing, plenty of food, and apparently also some fighting, and should the spirit be...

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