The Poetic Power of Place

Comparative Perspectives on Austronesian Ideas of Locality

Table of Contents

1. Place and Landscape in Comparative Austronesian Perspective
Current Interest in Place and Landscape
Distinguishing and Valorizing Austronesian Spaces
Situating Place in a Narrated Landscape
Topogeny: Social Knowledge in an Ordering of Places
Varieties, Forms and Functions of Topogeny
Ambiguities and Indeterminacy of Place
2. The Water That Blesses, The River That Flows: Place And The Ritual Imagination Among The Temanambondro Of Southeast Madagascar
The Place-Ness of Water
Temanambondro: A Riverain People
Life, Death and the River
The River and the Polity
The “Roots” of Place
3. Remembering Origins: Ancestors And Places In The Gumai Society Of South Sumatra
The Ethnographic Setting
The Generation of Origin Points
Genealogical Idioms by Which Relationships to Places are Expressed
Origin Rituals, Ritual Specialists and Ritual Places
Origin Rituals, Ritual Specialists and Ritual Places
Origin Rituals and the Ritual Specialist for a Village
4. The Contested Landscapes of Myth and History in Tana Toraja
Houses, Myths and Genealogies in the Toraja Landscape
Houses and Their Myths: Connections With Lowland Kingdoms
Sky Men and Water Women: The to Manurun Ancestors
The “Ancestors of the Same Dream”: Memories of Bugis Incursions
Conclusion: Ancestors, Precedence and the Division of Meat
5. Genealogy and Topogeny: Towards an ethnography of Rotinese ritual place names
The Rotinese Context
Names and the Cosmology of Place
The Names of Roti and the Symbolic Co-ordinates of Place
The Ritual Names of the Domain of Termanu
Narrative Topogeny: The Chant of the Origin of Rice and Millet
Mapping the Path of Rice and Millet onto the Body of the Island
The Creation of Ritual Space
6. Mapping With Metaphor: Cultural topographies in West Timor
Named Place
Agnatic Paths
Affinal Paths
7. Knowing Your Place: Representing relations of precedence and origin on the Buru landscape
Origin Places
Taboo Places
8. Speaking of Places: Spatial poesis and localized identity in Buli
The Spatial Conditions of Subjectivity in Buli
Basic Orientation in Buli
Relative Distance and Movement in Deixis
Placing Things and Using Space
Space, Subject, Body
Seeing the World From Buli
The Political History of Moral Space
Tradition, Modernity and Spatial Involutions
9. From the Poetics of Place to the Politics of Space: Redefining Cultural Landscapes on Damer, Maluku Tenggara
The Poetics of Place: Constructing Maps
The Politics of Space
10. Seating the Place: Tropes of body, movement and space for the people of Lelet Plateau, New Ireland (Papua New Guinea)
Beyond Cartesian Dichotomies: Conceptualizing Space and Body
Larada: Delineating and Demarcating Space
Larada Spirits: The Attachment of People to Their Place
Seating the Place
The Mobile Body and Place

List of Figures

3.1. Map 1. Ethnic groups of South Sumatra
3.2. Figure 1. Genealogies of Jurai Kebali’an and of Mandi Angin village
4.1. Map of Tana Toraja
5.1. Map 1. The path of rice and millet
7.1. Figure 1. A hierarchy of precedence (from Fox 1989:52)
7.2. Map 1. The island of Buru
8.1. Map 1. Halmahera, showing the Bay of Buli
8.2. Map 2. The central orientational axis, Buli
8.3. Figure 1. Matrix of spatial location in the village of Waiflí
8.4. Figure 2. Movement, distance and direction in Buli deixis
8.5. Figure 3. Bühler’s deictic “origo”
8.6. Figure 4. The spatial extensions on the Buli cultural horizon

List of Tables

3.1. Table 1. Population in the settlement of Gumai Talang