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Reply To: The Fires of Love-Death, with Mythologist Norland Téllez


Robert – intriguing questions, as is Norland’s response.

Best as I can tell from J. Van Baal’s exhaustive volume Dema, there are several mythic elements represented (as well as different versions of this rite, some less lethal, depending on which branch of the Marind-anim one belongs), one of which relates to Yawi, whose head is cut off and buried – from which sprouts the coconut tree (the head about the size of a coconut), a central myth. But there are many other layers to this ceremony as well; seems to be about way more than just one thing.