- Sep 2022
It could also have been a center of some religious cult, where rites of passage or rituals connected to the time of year were performed.”
There's an irony here in that this "cult" may have actually been a cult of teachers and students. Should the broader thesis bear out, we're going to have lots of references to these cults of teachers lingering in the literature....
- Mar 2022
The sky is a textbook. The sky is a lawbook. The sky is a science book. —Duane Hamacher, (1:24)
Hamacher uses the Western description "method of loci" rather than an Indigenous word or translated word.
The words "myth", "legend", "magic", "ritual", and "religion" in both colloquial English and even anthropology are highly loaded terms.
Words like "narrative" and "story" are better used instead for describing portions of the Indigenous cultures which we have long ignored and written off for their seeming simplicity.
- Dec 2021
But the stelae were also symbols of power and status, and were used for ancestor worship and rituals.
This is a good example of the default "ancestor worship" and "rituals" label on archeological finds of ancient peoples
What is the actual basis for assigning these labels? Is there any real evidence or is it just become the default in the literature.
Personally I'm building evidence towards a more comprehensive thesis for what these practices may have been used for.
- Nov 2021
Our elders say that ceremonies are the way we “remember to remember,”
The Western word "ceremony" is certainly not the best word for describing these traditions. It has too much baggage and hidden meaning with religious overtones. It's a close-enough word to convey some meaning to those who don't have the cultural background to understand the underlying orality and memory culture. It is one of those words that gets "lost in translation" because of the dramatic differences in culture and contextual collapse.
Most Western-based anthropology presumes a Western idea of "religion" and impinges it upon oral cultures. I would maintain that what we would call their "religion" is really an oral-based mnemonic tradition that creates the power of their culture through knowledge. The West mistakes this for superstitious religious practices, but primarily because we can't see (or have never been shown) the larger structures behind what is going on. Our hubris and lack of respect (the evils of the scala naturae) has prevented us from listening and gaining entrance to this knowledge.
I think that the archaeological ideas of cultish practices or ritual and religion are all more likely better viewed as oral practices of mnemonic tradition. To see this more easily compare the Western idea of the memory palace with the Australian indigenous idea of songline.
- remember to remember
- ritual and religion
- evils of the scala naturae
- context collapse
- cultish practices
- indigenous "religion"
- lost in translation