1992 Fiscal Year Final Research Report Summary
Kinship, Gender and Birth Customs in Melanesia
Grant-in-Aid for international Scientific Research
|Allocation Type||Single-year Grants |
|Research Institution||Kwansei Gakuin University |
YAMAJI Katsuhiko Prof. School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin Univ., 社会学部, 教授 (30090731)
SHIOTA Mitsuki Research Assoc. Institute of Developing Economies., 地域研究部, 研究員
KURITA Hiroyuki Assoc. Prof. Faculty of Liberal Arts. Tohoku Gakuinn Univ., 教養学部, 助教授 (30186506)
NARITA Hironari Lecturer. Dept. of Human Relations. Junior College of Toyota., 人間関係学科, 専任講師 (40189212)
YOSHIOKA Masanori Assoc. Prof. Faculty of Cross-Cultural Studies. Kobe Univ., 教養部, 助教授 (40128583)
ISHII Masao Assoc. Prof. Faculty of Liberal Arts. Saga Univ., 教養部, 助教合 (20136576)
KAWAI Toshimitsu Assoc. Prof. Faculty of Literature. Sonoda Women's Univ., 文学部, 助教授 (90161265)
|Project Period (FY)
1991 – 1992
|Keywords||Birth Customs / View of Life / Initiation / Gender / Pollution / Symbol / Kinship / Taboo|
We conducted field research on this subject in 1991. This survey is the second one.
In this project, we have carried out the comparative social anthropological studies on birth customs and related kinship behaviors among the Melanesian peoples. The birth of life is not only biological. It is also a cultural phenomenon related to the traditional idea with which each society represents its own cosmic order.
We have so far been involved in field research on Melanesia and related areas and are deeply interested in the folk beliefs and symbolic meanings inherent in the customs associated with giving birth, Many social anthropological studies have been done on the kinship systems and gender ideologies among the melanesian peoples. However, the study of the social reproduction and acceptance of human life within each society is still important for comprehending the ethos of Melanesian peoples.
Furthermore, we intended to catty out field research paying attention to social changes in these few decades by which the traditional idea of fertility has undergone drastically, Thus, investigation concerning the nurturance of children, the infant mortality rate and sanitary facilities for mothers have been done in this project.
This research project concerns the comparative study of the subject mentioned above, including the ethnic groups of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji. Such a middle ranged cultural area has been chosen because it seems to us to wide enough for a fruitful comparison of different societies. Since these peoples share fundamentally similar cultural traits within the region, this comparatative study can provide us with a prospect of Melanesian culture, so that we may find out the essential meanings of folk cognition on human life and kinship behaviors among the Melanesian peoples.