Totemism

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 477
  • Published : August 8, 2007
Open Document
Text Preview
Totemism, Animism, Stigma – What is the relationship?

Totemism is a religious belief in a group or clan kinship with an animal, plant, or an object while animism the belief in personalized, supernatural beings (or souls) that often inhabit ordinary animals and objects, governing their existence. We talked about Durkheim's view in where the sacred is far from being synonymous with the divine. Meaning that not only spirits or gods can be sacred but also things that we see in front of our eyes. A thing such as rocks, trees, a piece of wood, yet almost anything. For what makes something sacred is not that it is somehow connected to the divine but it is the subject of a prohibition that sets it radically apart from something else, which is itself thereby made profane. As we discussed in our week four discussions, the Hawaiian culture and the Catholic religion are two examples that I'm familiar with. The Catholic religion believes in the rosary, the statue of the Blessed Mother, the bible, the holy spirit, the holy water, and many more. These are the beliefs that we, as Catholics, taught, practiced and have used to guide us through our daily lives. The Hawaiian culture, on the other hand, has their own ‘mana' as they say. It's a concept of spirituality and religion. In our discussion, we discussed rocks as being sacred to the Hawaiian people. Some of these rocks were used to build the platform or the surroundings of the Hawaiian temple, also known as ‘heiau.' Rocks among other Hawaiian artifacts are sacred in this culture, and therefore, it should be respected even to the non-believers. If its not respected, someone taking a lava rock out of its boundaries without permission from Pele or the Hawaiian gods will in return receive bad luck. Its known to have happened. People may even cherish an object in where they consider it to be sacred. It can be kept separate from the profane even when it's not in use, it can be hidden in special locations and...
tracking img