How did the Nazis treat the Polynesians

Mythical forms: Vegetative cosmogonies “Die and Become” - These words outline one of the great universal themes of human and cosmic existence, which is implemented in different ways in the various cultural regions and under the different conditions of the way of life of the individual peoples. Myth has also taken it up. A theme that is widespread worldwide is, for example, the idea of ​​the origin of the cosmos or even just certain things, beings and institutions from the body of a numinous being - a mythical guiding idea that we already got to know in connection with the killing of the python Taiyundika (see Chapter 2) . Life and death, or at least blossoming and retreat, are related to one another, one is conditioned by the other. Life is used up to make new life possible. The original Australians, with their wild-hunting way of life, designed this topic in a typical way. The peoples of Oceania gave it a different expression in their stories, because the cultivation of tropical tubers is one of their livelihoods. It is certainly immediately understandable that this mythical topic makes sense to people who plant tuberous fruits, since tuberous fruits reproduce from parts of the old plant - vegetatively. The new plant emerges from the body of the old plant. However, its power of interpretation is not limited to specific cultural contexts, because the motif also plays a major role in primarily wild-preying peoples, as the example of the native inhabitants of Australia shows. The dreamtime hero Karora among the Central Australians Karora is a holy person of the Northern Aranda39 in Central Australia. He is the Gurra ancestor. 40 The myths surrounding his person show in an exemplary way how nature and culture are intertwined in the mythical worldview, so that it is not possible to draw a clear dividing line. Karora lives in a place on the 7 7.1 39 Other spellings are: Arunta, Arrernte. 40 nasal bags: engl. bandicoot (Peramelemorphia). 101 Burt Plain, which is now called Ilbalintja Soak (Ilbalintja water point). This place is also a center of the Aranda sun cult. One of the myths about the person of Karora was published by Theodor G. H. Strehlow (1908–1978). It is reproduced here in an abbreviated form, since it is only important to illustrate the aspect “Land as a real present superhuman dreamtime person”. In the beginning everything was in constant darkness. Karora slept on the bottom of the Ilbalintja waterhole. At that time, however, there was no water there, everything was covered with earth. Right from the start, the roots of a huge ceremonial stake, Tnatantja, were where his head lay. This stake was a living being that had broken through the earth's crust and reached the heights of the heavens. Karora thought and had wishes. Bandicoots emerged from Karora's navel and under the crook of his arm, breaking the surface of the earth. The sun rose and Karora also broke through the earth's crust. The gaping hole he left filled with the sweet dark juice of the honeysuckle buds and became the Ilbalintja watering hole.41 Karora is hungry and reaches for two young bandicoots, which he fries in the sunlight. Karora wants someone to help, but now the evening is approaching. While Karora sleeps, something that looks like a buzzing wood grows out of the crook of his arm.42 It takes on human form, and in just one night it becomes a full-grown young man. This is his firstborn son. At daybreak, Karora utters a loud cry and gives his son life. Father and son perform the first ceremony. Then Karora sends the son on the hunt for more bandicoots, which the father roasts again in the scorching sunlight. During the night, two more sons are born from the crooks of Karora's arm, and these are also born the following morning. It goes on for many days and nights. Some nights up to fifty sons are born. Soon Karora 41. The botanical classification is difficult because the occurrence of honeysuckle (honeysuckle) is limited to the northern hemisphere. On the other hand, there is also the "Australian honeysuckle" (Banksia integrifolia), which occurs on the Australian east coast, but not in central Australia. For the sake of simplicity, I have therefore adopted Strehlow's designation (T.B). 42 A buzzing stick is an oval-elongated cult device, mostly made of wood in Australia, with a hole at one end so that a rope can be pulled through, on which the device can be thrown, producing a humming sound that is used in the ritual as the voice of the ancestors is interpreted. 7 Myths Forms: Vegetative Cosmogonies 102 and his sons all Bandicoots killed and consumed, which were originally also from Karora's body. Karora sends his sons on a three-day hunt on the Ilbalintja plain. However, they fail and on the third day they return tired and hungry. Suddenly they hear a noise like the humming of a buzzing wood. With their Tjurunga sticks they scare off a wallaby, throw the sticks at him and break his leg with them. The injured wallaby starts a song and announces that it is Tjenterama, a person “just like you”. Then it limps away. On the way home, Karora meets the brothers. He leads them back to the Ilbalintja waterhole. They sit around the edge in ever wider concentric circles. Then the great flood of the sweet honey of the honeysuckle buds comes from the east and washes them into the watering hole. Old Karora stayed there, but his sons were carried underground by the flood to a place in a thicket some three miles away. There they met again with the great Tjenterama, whose leg they had broken while hunting. At the Ilbalintja waterhole, the locals showed Strehlow, who grew up with them, the stones that they imagined to be the immortal bodies of Tjenterama and the sons of Karora. Their new leader is Tjenterama. In all bandicoot ceremonies he is represented by the great bandicoot ceremonial master from Ilbalintja. At the bottom of the watering hole, in its original home, Karora remains sunk in eternal sleep. If the people want to quench their thirst at this ceremonial site, then they should lay down certain green branches at the edge of the waterhole. Then, it is said, Karora is delighted when she comes and smiles in his sleep.43 From today's perspective it is not easy to decide whether the Karora myth also contains elements of fable or whether it belongs to the class of sacred texts that only may be told in a precisely defined cultic context. In the course of the British conquest, the social and cultic foundations of the original Australians have been so shattered up to the present day that it is often not possible to determine exactly what is pre-European in a liturgical commandment, taboo, etc. and what is not. The research interest in the traditions of the original Australians also comes up against a limit that is difficult to overcome, that a new protective and preserving interest of the “Abori- 43 Strehlow 1947: 7-10. Translation and abstract T.B. 7.1 The dream time hero Karora brings out new traditions from the ruins of the old ones among the Central Australians, sometimes almost “reinventing” them .44 In the course of reconsidering attempts to reconstruct the old culture, women, for example, are now also the sight of such Forbidden things that they were once allowed to see. The new protective attitude towards the remnants of the old culture and especially towards everything religious does not, of course, meet the interests of outside researchers (Schlatter 1988). For these reasons we have to put the question aside whether the Karora myth also contains elements of fable or whether it is a sacred text that must not be handled frivolously and negligently. We have to accept it as Strehlow has conveyed to us. This is worthwhile in any case, because this myth not only shows peculiarities that reflect the culture of the original Australians and also find an echo in the cultural areas on the other side of the Australian continent. General, recurring structures of mythical ontology can also be read from this myth. The investigation of the Karora myth will therefore also be of use to us in the development of vegetative myths in Oceania and this in two ways: on the one hand, it opens up a view of commonalities that are specifically culturally determined in Australia and Oceania, on the other hand it serves as a contrast model for the completely different myth structure of the generative cosmogonies of Oceania. Features of the Karora myth The Karora myth contains a number of motifs that we also encounter in the traditions and images of the indigenous peoples of other continents. Thus, through Karora's perpetual sleep, the Ilbalintja watering place becomes a sacred place of origin, indicated by myth, i.e. a dreamtime place. The brothers sit in concentric circles around this place of origin. In this seating arrangement we find the motif of the circle, which occurs all over the world. It goes back to the more recent Paleolithic and appears in the world of images on all continents. The connection between the circle and the place of origin established by myth could be a key for the 44 On the problem of "invented traditions", see Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983. The case of the "invented traditions" of the original Australians is not considered there, those presented in this anthology However, cases also shed light on these recent developments in the descendants of the Australian Aborigines. 7 Myths Forms: Vegetative Cosmogonies 104 understanding other circular motifs (cf. Karow 1989). The theme of the world axis or world tree, known to many from Germanic mythology as the world ash Yggdrasil, is also a mythical motif with worldwide distribution (cf. Holmberg (Harva) 1922). In Strehlow's version of the Karora myth, we encounter it in the form of the (living!) Ceremonial stake Tnatantja, which extends from Karora's head to the sky. We encounter another worldwide mythical motif in the form of the number three. Here it is related to change, the dawn of the new: The brothers are on the road for three days before they have the decisive encounter with the wallaby, who is identical to Tjenterama, their new leader, for the establishment of the world. Through this encounter the world is set in its present, binding and perfect state. The number three often stands for perfection, wholeness, as in the case of the Trinity and its archetype, the kingdom triad of the great gods of Egypt: Ptah, Amun and Re (cf. Görg 1998: 72 ff.). In the mythology of the North American Indians, on the other hand, we usually encounter the number four as a sign of completion and the beginning of the new. Karora is a cultural hero. The sons of Karora and their animal food, the bandicoots, come from his body, as does the buzzing wood, the important elongated cult device, mostly made of wood that is pierced at one end so that a cord can be pulled through. During cult acts it is waved through the air by men so that a humming sound can be heard through which the voices of the dream ancestors are cultically set in the present. Man and cult device are parts of a person, just as the cult device, taken by itself, has a personal being. The Karora myth gives us a fundamental conviction in any mythical worldview: the divine, the natural and the human have a common substrate at their disposal. The numinous is therefore inherent in the world. For the world, which is reflected in the Karora myth, stones, bandicoots, wooden beams, tjurunga and people are all real representational figures of the numinous presence of the dream time ancestor Karora. There is no separation between nature and culture, which appears to western thought as a natural starting point for thinking about the world and man. Theodor Strehlow leaves no doubt that so-called “natural phenomena” and things like the sacred objects Schwirrholz and Tjurunga are the bodies of superhuman people for the local people (Strehlow 1947: 28). Since he was accepted into a clan of the Aranda as a child, he is more than anyone else in a position to provide competent information about the worldview of the ancient Australians. 7.1 The dreamtime hero Karora among the Central Australians 105 The topical Karora myth shows the typical pattern of explaining the world with the means of mythical speech: Archái, the primordial acts of numinous beings, transform the world from its original, unformed state into its present-day state converted into valid and therefore binding. The transformation of something that already existed before means that it is not correct to call such narratives “creation myths”, since against the background of Christian ideas the term creation is associated with the creatio ex nihilo, the creation of the world out of nothing. It would be more appropriate to refer to them as "world-shaping myths". Through the archái, the original acts of foundation, the world is not only established as it is today, but at the same time they establish a normative order: the way this world is made, it is good, therefore it is the task of people to transform it to maintain this state. People do this “work of the gods” primarily by practicing the cult, but also by observing the norms in everyday life. The Karora myth is also such a world-shaping myth, because according to its reading the world was not created by a transcendent creator deity of free choice, but it has always existed, but was in an undifferentiated, as it were chaotic state. Animals, cult objects and people arise from the body substance of a numinous being. This mythology, which is widespread throughout the world, has numerous varieties, for example the motif of resuscitation from body relics such as bones (Chelius 1962). We also encounter it in the myths of the peoples of Oceania, who live under completely different social and environmental conditions than the original Australians. This is extremely remarkable, because for the peoples of Oceania the cultivation of tropical tubers provides the plant-based food basis, which was by far not of the same importance for the ancient Australians, despite the references to the role of the yam tuber (see Chapter 4.2 above). To the planters of tropical tuberous fruits, the myth of the origin of the world from body substance may be more immediately evident than peoples who are predominantly hunters and gatherers, but the cosmological significance that this mythologist also has for the ancient Australians shows that we are dealing here with one of the fundamental ideas humanity have to do. It is meaningful in very different milieus and is not exclusively associated with the culture of tuber planters. In connection with the problem of the inculturation of Christianity in traditional culture, I will come back to this (Section 9.2). “This is my flesh and blood” - this message is immediately evident to a fundamentally mythical thinking. 7 Myths Forms: Vegetative Cosmogonies 106 Another characteristic feature of deities like Karora and other dreamtime heroes is that they are not people who can be approached within the framework of a cult. You are not a personal counterpart in the context of a cult. After the accomplishment of their founding deeds, they withdraw. They are still present as “mythical substance” (Kurt Hübner) in the institutions, the rock carvings, the cult celebrations and certain conditions of what we call “nature”, but no longer as people who can be addressed, to whom one prays . Like Tjenterama in the Karora myth, they are not only real present in certain “natural things”, but also in the cult acts of which they are the subject. This also applies to other Dreamtime ancestors of the original Australians, e.g. Krantjirinja, the kangaroo master of the Krantji clan (Strehlow 1947: 30). In this context, too, we can refer to Strehlow's testimony. His accounts show that the locals are convinced of the presence of an ancestor who is both revered and feared at the same time, whenever and wherever ceremonies are carried out on which these people are the subject. These dreamtime ancestors share these characteristics with many other otiosis, i.e. no longer active deities in other parts of the world. In anticipation, it should be said at this point that in the aristocratic, stratified or hierarchical societies of Oceania, in addition to the otious, there are also non-otiose, active, personal deities with a cult directed at them in holy places. These deities and their cult are of immediate importance for human life. The myth components that surround the original creator do not play a role in “normal”, even cultic life. God becomes animal, animal becomes human, human becomes cult object, and vice versa.In the Australian dream time myth of Karora, a motif emerges clearly that we also encounter worldwide in other mythical tales of the original foundation: the changeability of shape. The people of the original founding period do not yet have a fixed form, they can transform themselves into one another. Referring to the Wampar (Lae Womba) from the middle of the Markham River in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea, Hans Fischer writes: "The difference between humans and spirits and animals is fluid, one merges into the other" (Fischer 1994: 43 ). If we apply the cultural-historical rule “the more widespread, the older”, then we are probably dealing with one of the oldest motifs. The buzzing wood emerges from the crook of Karora's arm and it becomes his son. In myth, objects have a personal character and people, in turn, have the numinous quality of cult objects. The cult brings this "perspective 7.1 The dreamtime hero Karora with the Central Australians 107 of the origin" world-renewing and thus healing in the here and now, because this shapelessness of the origin gives the world and people the chance to again enter a level of existence in which the normative order of the original foundation acts can unfold anew. The human being “commits” the original deeds, as it were, and can thereby bring things back on track. It is no coincidence that the image of the “path” has been preserved in many religions - including Christianity. The term way can almost be used as a synonym for the term religion (see Bargatzky 2007). When talking about Australia and the myths of its natives, the "educated layman" usually immediately thinks of one word: "totemism". Therefore, some readers may have been a little impatient to wonder when totemism will finally be dealt with in this chapter. To this one would have to say: this has already happened since the report was made here about Australia. The word “totemism” has not yet been used, and with good reason: a term must be with the word, but this term - at least a clear term - does not exist. The problems start with the word itself, which does not come from any Australian language, but a word in the language of the North American Ojibwa Indians from the Upper Lake. The word “totem” still exists in the Ojibwa language today, but has different meanings in the various sub-languages. For example, at Round Lake Ojibwa in northwestern Ontario, the word nintotam means “my friend” or, more precisely, “my relative of my spouse”. Elsewhere among the Ojibwa, this is used to describe the kinship groups with animal names (Feest 1998: 69 ff.). According to the Danish ethnologist Kaj Birket-Smith, this word can best be translated as "his sibling relationship". The word “totem” has become a technical term in ethnology and religious studies: “As the word is used today in ethnology, it expresses the view that there is a mystical connection between a group of people on the one hand and an animal , more rarely a plant or a natural phenomenon such as sun, wind or the like on the other hand. But it is not about a connection with an animal or plant individual, but with the species as such, not a specific wolf, but the wolf or 'all-who-are-wolves-that-are', as Kipling would say "(Birket-Smith 1956: 290). Stephan Krines was able to add a few more to the list of totemic relatives: “There are also reports of totems that may be strange to our ears, such as that of the genitals, sexual intercourse and breast milk. Many people seem even stranger to assume the following totems: that of serious illness, vomit, upset stomach, that of the beloved or the totem of the unfaithful woman ”(Krines 1999: 9). However, the list is far from complete, 45 but it is all about completeness, and even if it is even approximate, it cannot go here. The relationships between the individual, the group and the totem are mostly regulated by taboo regulations, which can vary greatly from tribe to tribe and clan to clan. In some groups it is strictly forbidden to kill or harvest and consume the totem animal or plant, while in others these prohibitions are less strict. Other groups, on the other hand, have to show their respect for the totem animal precisely by eating it in a ceremonious manner (Herrmann 1967: 140). The term totemism gave rise to all kinds of totemism theories in ethnology and religious studies, to a back and forth scientific disputes and much-described paper. Totemism had to serve for these, sometimes for those theories (or prejudices!). For a long time it was considered a prime example of the “primitiveness” of the “natives”, then again as evidence of the specific logic of “wild thinking” (Lévi-Strauss 1968). Totemism was seen by some as evidence of the non-religion of the "primitive peoples", for others as the origin of religion, yet others did not want to perceive anything religious in it at all, only a classification process of "primitive science". Claude Lévi-Strauss, on the other hand, recognized an illusion in totemism, caused by the prejudices of scholars at the end of the 19th century (Lévi-Strauss 1965). It is actually astonishing that the phenomena summarized under the term totemism have given science such a headache. With the help of the concepts of mythical substance and iconicity, we are able to open up the much-vaunted phenomenon of totemism without exotic scientific terminology caprioles. Wherever totemism is mentioned, we are dealing with the presentation of mythical substance, i.e. with the sacramental interpretation of a process in the world of gods through visible signs in nature and the human world, which are used to position a group in comparison with other groups 45 If you want to know more, you can read about it in Ashley Montagu 1974: 172, for example. 7.1 The dreamtime hero Karora among the Central Australians 109 this process acquires a meaningful and normative meaning through his visualization (see above chapter 2). In the context of mythical ontology, the bundle of ideas about the relationship between a group and the totem, which is hidden behind our technical term “totemism”, is the rhetorically appropriate tool to express the unity of the group and its separation from other groups. From a totemic perspective, these social facts are also located in the original period, when the boundaries between people were still fluid. Totemic kinship means that belonging to a group is more than membership in a party or an association, in which one can join and leave again, or from which one can be excluded if one does not make the contributions paid or otherwise violates the statutes. Belonging to the totem also includes things that we visualize as "nature" in the modern-western way of thinking. The totem covenant is ontologically anchored, it is indissoluble, since it is ultimately traced back to the original acts of the dreamtime heroes. And what gods have established, man should preserve. Hainuwele, the divine girl During his research with the Wemale in West Ceram, the largest Molucca island in East Indonesia, Adolf Ellegard Jensen came across the myth of a virgin deity, a girl named Hainuwele, "coconut palm branch". Although she had a father named Ameta, it was made from the fruit of the first coconut palm, because the people living on earth then were completely different from people as they are made today. For example, they did not know the process of procreation. They were also immortal and did not need any food. However, with the killing of the Hainuwele everything changes: death and procreation came into the world, as well as food plants and human institutions. In short, through this death the world was brought into the state it is in today, and it is the task of the people, through the cultic visualization of the sacrificial death, to bring the world into this exemplary state again and again, that is to say, to restore it renew. Jensen was able to show that the Hainuwele myth is not a special feature of the Wemale myths. Comparable mythologemes of slain deities, whose death triggered a series of dramatic events, through which primeval times came to an end and human life took its present-day form, occur in a number of other peoples The food base is based, among other things, on the cultivation of tropical tubers, for example among the people of the Marindanim in southern West New Guinea (today: Irian Yaya). Deities of this kind are called "Dema" by the Marind-anim. Jensen generalized these god names as "Dema deities", devoted a number of publications to the Hainuwele myth and the Dema deities and documented the myth of Hainuwele in detail (including Jensen 1950, 1966). In ethnology, the Hainuwele myth was considered the ultimate example of vegetative cosmogonies. For our purposes it may suffice to present the essentials of these sometimes long narratives in Jensen's own summary. Hainuwele, the slain deity, and the end of primeval times “Those human-like Dema celebrate a festival. This festival is identical both in its name and in the individual events with the festival that the representatives of these peoples today celebrate as their great cult festival, and which they see as a repetition of the festival celebrated by the Dema in prehistoric times. In the course of the festival, the dominant female or male figure, i.e. the Dema deity, is killed. A motive for this killing is almost always missing; occasionally the deity himself asks them to kill. With this act the primeval existence comes to an end. The Dema beings become mortal people through them, provided they are able to solve a special task that the deity sets them. If they fail, they become animals or ghosts. The body of the slain deity is cut into pieces and buried. From the parts of the body grow the trees and the other fruits from which the dema, transformed into human beings, receive their nourishment. In other versions, the deity wanders into the realm of the dead, where it transforms itself into a house that represents the realm of the dead, and which has an exact equivalent in the cult house that people still build in their villages today. With mortality, the Dema humans also received the organs of generation, and the deity teaches them the act of procreation. According to another version, which is found next to these mostly with the same peoples, the slain deity goes to the sky as the moon and shows the people on his own 7.2 Hainuwele, the divine girl 111 change, that now every individual has to suffer death, but in the following generation life is constantly being reborn. The myth also occasionally reports that after the killing, the Dema people consume the corpse of the deity, with exactly the same meaning as humanity from that point on enjoyed the fruits as food that arose from the parts of the corpse. Finally, another trait is the deity's identity with certain animals, particularly pronounced in the Pacific region as an identity with pigs. Since all these events have to be repeated over and over again in ceremonial acts, the killing of pigs is identical to the killing of people in headhunting or so-called human sacrifice, and cannibalism is a reminder of the eating of the divine corpse. Maturity ceremonies, secret society and funeral ceremonies, birth, fertility and rain ceremonies show largely related features within this cultural layer and, according to their deepest essence, are a dramatic repetition of one and the same mythical prehistoric events ”(Jensen 1950: 428 f.). Jensen advocates the thesis that the complex of ideas and cult activities associated with the Dema deities represents the originally oldest religion of the planting peoples, since the cultivation of tropical tubers preceded the cultivation of grains such as cereals or maize, on which the food supply of the ancient and modern civilizations. Today this thesis is controversial, if not disproved. In any case, the cultivation of grains is regarded with a rather great degree of certainty as the oldest cultivation regime, whereas the tropical cultivation of tubers is probably more recent. A Jensen critic, Jonathan Zittel Smith, even goes as far as saying that the Hainuwele myth was not created until the 16th to 17th centuries at the earliest. Century and at the latest for the beginning of the 20th century, since it reflects the experience of encountering trade and capitalism (1982: 90-101). It would go beyond the scope of this chapter to go into Smith's sometimes astute remarks. From a cross-cultural perspective, what matters today is not so much the absolute or relative age of myths, but the understanding of their meaningfulness against the background of the production and reproduction of a people's livelihoods. It certainly makes sense that the Hainuwele mythologists directly understand people whose food plants reproduce vegetatively, i.e. in each of which a new part is created from a part of the old plant. Should the mythologist actually, as Smith 7 Mythenformen: Vegetative Cosmogonies 112 assert, also process historical experiences of recent times or even emerge from them in the first place, proof of the interpretative power, flexibility and indestructibility of the meaningful logic of mythical thought would even be provided once more . In this context, the myths about the python from the Kare mountain should also be remembered (see above chapter 2). As part of the snake cult, they are probably very old; The fact that they also reflect the situation after the discovery and mining of gold does not mean that they were not created until 1988, but that, like all orientational myths, they are also able to interpret the present. Smith's mistake is to misunderstand the recent content of a mythical tale as evidence of the age of this myth. The age of the subject of a mythical tale is not an indication of the age of the narrative. The anthropologist Rose Schubert takes a more realistic view of the problem of the age of mythical narratives than Smith, drawing on her extensive study of oceanic myths: “The older a narrative is, the more time it has had to spread, but the more opportunity it has also to change oneself, to absorb foreign elements, to lose one's own or to disintegrate completely into fragments ”(1970: 207). Jensen's contribution to the elaboration of the phenomenology of the dema complex, its widespread distribution and its obvious connection with the cultural and social living conditions of plant cultures, i.e. the view of myth as a reflection of everyday reality, remains unaffected by Smith's criticism. In particular, the connection between killing and living, elaborated by Jensen and found to be offensive by some German ethnologists born in the post-war period, which one assiduously whispered to brown ideas, 46 is used by the non-German 1960s came to the universities to no longer identify with Jensen's point of view ", as Karl-Heinz Kohl writes (1992: 123), probably because it was and is still opportune, for the purpose of profiling an author of his generation" Braunes “To assume. And this although Jensen did not want to divorce his "non-Aryan" wife, which is why his teaching qualification was revoked in 1940 and he was drafted a little later for military service, as Kohl himself clarifies (op. Cit. 121). The charge is almost always the same as the verdict when a Nazi suspect is suspected. There is no longer a hearing between the indictment and the verdict. Nothing more needs to be said about this. 7.2 Hainuwele, the divine girl 113 according to ethnology or religious studies, today Jensen is once again awarded quite unideologically as a scientific merit in the sense of a synopsis of ideatic and practical culture (Mack 1987: 2f., 40ff.). Therefore, a treatment of the Hainuwele mythologem in the context of a representation of mythical thought is still indispensable. Eastern Polynesia: Papa and Vatea The pre-European peoples of the various societies of Oceania have world models, some of which are very similar. For example, the earth was thought of as a disk. Above this disk, with the sea and the islands, the nine or ten spheres of the heavenly worlds curve hemispherically. The underworld is also made up of several layers. The vault of heaven rests with its edge on the earth. On the horizon line, the celestial vault and the earth disk touch each other.A world model of this kind is of course not limited to Australia and Oceania, but its basic structure is spread worldwide and has been adapted to the living environments of the respective peoples. For example, some East Polynesian peoples, e.g. on the Cook Islands, have the idea that their own island or group of islands is on the surface of a giant coconut. In the early days of the foundation, numinous people had brought these islands up from the bottom of the sea by "fishing in the ground" with fish hooks. Not only do several celestial shells arch over this "cosmic coconut", but it also has various underworlds. This interior is called Awaiki. This type of world model could be described as an oceanic variant of the theory of “space inside”. - The sun, moon and planets move their orbits over the coconut, and beyond these celestial bodies the different skies arch.47 The different areas of this universe are assigned to certain divine lords and mistresses, whose deeds are reported in the various mythical stories. Vegetative explanatory patterns also play a role here. 7.3 47 Gill 1876: 1ff. - These ideas are reminiscent of the universally widespread mythical motif of the “world egg” or the “cosmogonic egg” (Eliade 1986: 477-480). 7 Myths Forms: Vegetative Cosmogonies 114 Native Polynesian specialists of the Cook Islands in the 19th century believed that inside the “cosmic coconut”, in the confines of its deepest ground, was a goddess named Vari-ma-te-takere, (Der- actual beginning or the very beginning). One day she plucked a piece out of her right side and it became a living divine being: a man named Vatea or Avatea, half human and half fish. One of Vatea's eyes became the sun, the other the moon. Vatea is the actual progenitor of gods and humans. His "mother", Vari-ma-te-takere, created other deities from her body substance, from her right as well as from her left side. The idea of ​​gods arising from the body of a primordial deity also immediately made sense to the Polynesians of the Cook Islands, since their staple vegetable foods taro and yams are propagated in exactly this way: from pieces of the old tuber that become new tubers. The first mother Vari-ma-te-takere created her children asexually, from pieces of her body, and in various variants of the original myths of Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands, the god Tangaroa sprang from the arm or head of his mother Papa. According to other accounts, Vatea and his wife Papa are the parents of the great Polynesian gods Rongo, Tangaroa and Tane and thus also the ancestors of mankind. Rongo and Tangaroa were considered twin brothers. The children of Vatea and Papa were conceived and born; With them the transition from the vegetative to the generative myth code takes place. Tangaroa taught his brother Rongo the art of growing food crops. The political order, the ritual ritual and the peace drum became the domain of the god Rongo, as well as the main part of food. So there wasn't much left for Tangaroa. So he decided to look for a country of his own. After a long journey he settled on the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki, Rongo stayed on Mangaia (Gill 1876: Chapter I). In Tahiti he was worshiped as the highest deity. Meanwhile, the primordial mother Vari-ma-te-takere created many more numinous beings from pieces of her body. These include the girl Tu-metua or Tu. Tu or Ku became the great male god of war, fishing and canoe building in other East Polynesian societies, e.g. in Hawaii. Vatea had other sons. These include Tangiia and Tane-papa-kai (Tane-the-breadwinner). The quartet Tangaroa, Tu / Ku, Tane / Kane and Rongo / Longo represent the four great gods of Eastern Polynesia. Vateas Söh- 7.3 East Polynesia: Papa and Vatea 115 ne Tangiia and Tane became main gods in Rarotonga and Mangaia. In Hawaii, Vatea became Wakea. In New Zealand it was replaced by Rangi (West Polynesian: Lani or Langi). In Eastern Polynesia he was imagined as an original, male, procreative force. Rangi's domains are the upper regions of the sky, from where the sun shines on the earth and the rain falls on the earth to develop its fertilizing power. Papa was thought of in Hawaii as the warm upper layer of the earth that contains the fertilized seeds that await the time of maturity to come to life. This representation of the Polynesian doctrine of gods must not be misunderstood as an undisputed, uniform theology, because the ideas of the role of these deities could differ from one island group to another and from clan to clan. In Hawaii, Wakea and Papa, Heavenly Father and Earth Mother, were considered the first parents of plants, animals and people, both aristocrats and commoners. At the time of their first contact with Europeans, they were considered the great parents of the great aristocratic Hawaiian families. But in the great Hawaiian mythical cosmogonic genealogy "Kumulipo", the first datable Hawaiian theory of the origins of the world, the manuscript version of which was in the Hawaiian language in the possession of King David Kalakaua (1836-1891), Papa and Wakea play a less prominent role (Beckwith 1971: 119; Charlot 2014). In addition, most ethnologists who have dealt with ancient Hawaii probably agree that at least at the time of their contact with Europe, the simple country people (maka'ainana) did not have genealogies of a length that would allow them to be linked to aristocratic family trees that they were even forbidden from owning such genealogies, so that no competitors for rank and power could emerge from their ranks (e.g. Earle 1978: 13; Kirch 1984: 357 f.). Hawaii falls outside the framework of the general Polynesian model, according to which there are genealogical connections between high-ranking members of a clan group and their lower-ranking members. This genealogical separation between ali’i and maka’ainana can be understood as an expression of the approach to the development of a class society in ancient Hawaii. Certain gods are connected across Polynesia with the end of the primeval period and the development of today's world. The anthropomorphic and mostly male gods Rongo / Lono, Tu / Ku, Tangaloa / Tangaroa, Tane / Kane arose from the connection of a male with a female primordial deity, the world parents, whose names vary. In Sa- 7 Myth Forms: Vegetative Cosmogonies 116 moa, only Tangaloa had the rank of supreme deity. Tangaloa and Maui, the divine rogue, are the most widespread gods in Polynesia. Tangaloa, however, does not have any of the characteristics that gave Maui its popularity. On the contrary, in western Polynesia Tangaloa is even a powerful and active, non-otious god who is both honored and feared and who intervenes in human affairs. In some traditions, these two appear as cultural heroes, i.e. as the actual original deities who transform the cosmos into its current state. To do this, for example, they use the technique of earth fishing: They throw a fish hook into the sea and use it to bring the islands from the depths to the surface of the sea. Tangaloa sends maggots and worms that later become people. According to other traditions, Maui is the first human or the father of the first human being on an island. Maui lifts up the heavens, brings fire to people; and so that people can grow food crops, the sun slows its course, which until then had been moving at great speed on its orbit. In the cosmogony of the Maori of New Zealand, Rangi (heaven) was the male, Papa (earth) the female part of the World Parents. This cosmogonic variant was once regarded as the original model of Polynesian cosmogonies and, in the form of the Heavenly Father, a connection to Indian myths was sought (Handy 1927: 312, 330). Today, however, this assumption is more likely to be met with skepticism and similar considerations regarding a relationship between the mythology of the Society Islands and Indian models are viewed with similar skepticism (Marck 1996). At this point only an approximate idea can be given of the extensive and complex East Polynesian cosmogonies and the equally complex social and political conditions. To retell the long and intricate myths of origin and to name all the names that appear in them cannot be the aim of this chapter. It is sufficient to hold on to the essentials: As in the other cosmogonies of pre- and perimodern peoples, there is also in the East Polynesian treasure of myths the one and only creator god who creates the world out of free will, but there has always been a substrate, a “world substance “, Which was formed by the original deities Vari, Vatea and Papa. Furthermore, these deities have no cult, no marae, no images. In contrast to the land grab myths about Tangiia and Karika (see section 8.3 below), they do not play a role in the Cook Islands today that is comparable to the charter myths there, which 7.3 Eastern Polynesia: Papa and Vatea 117, for example, establish rights to land ( see chapter 6.3) .48 It could well be that this was already the case in pre-European times, because stories of this kind are typical esoteric knowledge of religious specialists, which arises from the desire to understand “what the world is about Holds together innermost ". However, such “world knowledge” can offer little or no help in coping with everyday life in the family, community, war and production. The following example from Vanuatu, on the other hand, shows that vegetative cosmogonies in other parts of Oceania, e.g. in Melanesia, can very well be of practical importance, insofar as activities in the area of ​​plant cultivation and the associated necessity of timing are traced back to a mythical charter. The origin of yam on Pentecost, Vanuatu (Melanesia) Thorolf Lipp, who carried out ethnological field research in Vanuatu in 1997, 2002 and 2004, especially on the island of Pentecost with the Sa people, can explain the connection between myth, cult and handicraft with rich ethnographic material document. As in all indigenous societies in Oceania, pigs are by far the most important livestock and yam (Dioscorea species) is the most important tuber. Taro (Colocasia) is consumed in larger quantities than yams, but yams are valued for their long shelf life. In addition, yams serve as a "clock generator" of the rhythm of life in the course of the year, because the ritual annual calendar is based on its growth phases. In addition, the months are named after these phases. The myth of the origin of the yam also follows the “Hainuwele pattern”. The focus is not on a divine girl, but on a deity who is called "old man" or "the old man" in the myth and, according to various traditions, bears the name Singit, among other things. Singit orders that his body be dismembered and the pieces buried. This self-sacrifice Singits brings people with the different types of yam. A variant of the myth is given by Élie Tattevin: 7.4 48 Marianne Hartan and Arno Pascht, personal communication March 2013. 7 Myths: Vegetative Cosmogonies 118 “In the beginning there was no food. There was an old man there, very old, so he didn't go out, stayed at home. One day he cut his fingernails and toenails and threw them away. He saw that they were germinating. He said: what is it? He remembered cutting off his fingernails and toenails. He pulled out (the seedlings), tried them and found that they were good. He called his children over and said to them: Go and clear a piece of land from the bushes ... They went and removed the bushes from a piece of land and burned the branches. They went back to the old man and said to him: The land is ready. And the old man said: That's good. Kill me and cut me into pieces and plant those pieces. And they killed him, cut him into pieces, and planted the pieces on the piece of land that had been freed from the bushes. He gave them a bone of his leg as a talisman to bury it with the yams, that way the yams would become enormous. And the tendrils (les tiges) came out (from the ground) and they hoisted them on stakes in the middle of the reeds and cleaned them. When they were ripe, they tore up (the yams) and ate them. ”49 Singit,“ the old man ”, also instructed his children to hold his likeness in the form of a wooden mask. The memory of his victim and the resulting creation of the yam should never be forgotten. After an interruption of about five decades, these masks have actually been brought out regularly since 2001 as part of the juban festival for a ritual dance dedicated to the celebration of fertility. This keeps Singit's memory alive. The start of the yam harvest is also indicated with the juban festival in March or April. A “time of silence”, which begins after the yam bulbs have been planted and which is necessary for the crop to flourish, is now followed by a “time of festivities” up to the period November-December. With the Koran as the last feast after the fields have been tilled and the yam bulbs planted, the “time of silence” begins (Lipp 2008: 92, 144–148). The fact that the memory of Singit, the founder of the yam, is celebrated again today through the appearance of the masks is more than just a revival of the past. It is also an important proof of the vitality of mythical memory and world interpretation, especially under 49 Élie Tattevin: Mythes et légend du Sud de l’île Pentecôte. Anthropos 24 (1929): 987, Lipp 2008: 92. Translation T.B. 7.4 The origin of the yam on Pentecost, Vanuatu (Melanesia) 119 the conditions of modernization, which does not stop at the culture of the Sa, a situation that is described in detail by Lipp. The following example from Samoa represents another variant of the Hainuwele motif, which, however, does not deal with the origin of the bulbous plants, but that of the coconut palm. In addition, the myth about the shape of the eel makes a connection with the snake shapes, which in mythology usually have positive connotations with ideas of life-enhancing properties.50 Death, new life and useful plants in Samoan myths Sina and her eel. The emergence of the coconut palm “In Matafagatele there was a married couple Pai and Pai. Their child was a girl and was called Sina. Sina found a very small young eel, which she put in a coconut bowl and fed here. As the eel grew, she put it in a kava bowl ... When the kava bowl was full, as the fish got bigger and bigger, she put it in a spring inland ... When the spring was filled with the bigger and bigger fish, it did Sina him to another source nearby ”(Stuebel 1896: 67 f.). So it went on. Again and again Sina had to move the eel into a larger body of water. In the last body of water Sina took a bath and swam around, the eel kicked out with its tail fin and "perforated" Sina. Sina got very angry and went to the neighboring island of Savai’i. But the eel followed her on her way through the various districts there. Finally she fled to her home island Upolu again to her family, but the eel followed her there as well. Eventually, the Matafagatele family heads made the decision to kill the eel. The leaves of the poisonous Lalango tree were collected and made into a drink: “When the fish saw that the poison would be brought to it so that it would die from it, it gave Sina its last will as follows: 'I know that you can will bring me the poison to drink; Therefore, oh Sina, if you love me, you will have your share (when dividing the death- 7.5 50 See the comparative work of Balaji Mundkur 1983. 7 Myths Forms: Vegetative Cosmogonies 120 th eels for the purpose of eating them), my head Plant a Tonga stone wall and coconut palms will emerge for you. Oh Sina, you will have my leaves to weave mats and fans, to catch the Passat and to return my love to me with them. Then the fish drank the drink and died ”(Stuebel 1896: 68). This myth is still alive today in Samoa and is told in different variations by Samoans of different ages. It is said, among other things, that the "eyes" of the coconut are the eyes of the eel, with which it could look at Sina even after its death. The connection, via the shape of the eel, with the emergence of the coconut palm in this myth shows an amazing parallel to the Hainuwele mythologist from Ceram (Indonesia). The snake and evidently also the eel as an externally related being is there mediator between death and new life, as Jensen reports: “The eel appears in a very similar role to the girl Hainuwele. A large tree emerges from his eyes, the leaves of which become gongs and Chinese plates, just as an earth fruit and certain ear ornaments emerge from the eyes of an old woman ... All the stories about the eel ...clearly show that this animal plays a very prominent role in the mythical worldview that we are dealing with here. This special relationship between the eel and the mythical prehistoric occurrence of the emergence of plants is also widespread in the South Seas, whereby the relationship to the moon is often clearly given ”(1938–40: 207). This fact - the astonishing similarity of two myths separated by the vastness of space - should give rise to a rethinking of the criticism of Jensen with regard to the presumed age of the Hainuwele mythologem, as expressed, for example, by Jonathan Zittel Smith (Smith 1982; see chapter 7.2). The old cultural-historical rule “The wider the distribution, the older the cultural element” should also be confirmed by this case. The Hainuwele motif also occurs in the Samoan myth of the introduction of the kava plant (Piper methysticum). Kava, in Samoa: ’ava, is a plant that is widespread throughout the Pacific and whose dried root tubers are used to prepare a drink with a slightly narcotic effect. In Tahiti it was mainly used for enjoyment at socializing, in Samoa the ritual consumption of this drink is the culmination of the council meetings of the titled heads of families (matai). A myth explains the origin of the kava plant as follows: Suasamiavaava was the son of Tuifiti, the highest dignitary of the Fiji Islands, and a Samoan woman. Suasamiavaava was born in Fiji. When he got sick, he told his mother and siblings before his death that they should not uproot and throw away the plants that will grow on his grave, but rather bring these plants to Samoa to their family, for these plants that are himself. Kava and sugar cane grew out of his grave (Stuebel 1896: 69). In Polynesia, in addition to myths of the vegetative variety, the great cosmogonic, generative cosmogonies with a genealogical structure, through which the myths claiming the origin and origin, are significant. Myths of origin can be connected (see Section 6.3 above). We will deal with them in the next chapter. 7 Myths Forms: Vegetative Cosmogonies 122