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The Thread of Life

Toraja Reflections on the Life Cycle

Douglas Hollan

Publication Year: 1996

"This is an enjoyably readable and generally illuminating look at the more intimate side of Toraja life and relationships.... [It is] an innovative approach to ethnography, valuable in its attempt to deal with aspects of life that are often passed over in more conventional ethnographic writing." --Journal of Asian Studies

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page

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Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-

We are grateful to the many Toraja people who have so generously shared their lives with us. We thank especially our eleven respondents whose thoughts and words play such a prominent part in this book. As in our first book, we would also like to acknowledge...

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Chapter 1: Introduction

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pp. 1-29

All humans are alike in some respects. All people remain dependent on their parents or other caretakers for an extended period of time after birth. All people enter the world without language or knowledge of culturally appropriate behavior...

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Chapter 2: Birth, Infancy, and Early Childhood

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pp. 30-49

When we first mentioned our desire to conduct "lifehistory" interviews to To Minaa Sattu, he remarked knowingly that we meant how one's parents suffered during pregnancy. The notion that one's life history begins in the womb,...

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Chapter 3: Later Childhood and Adolescence

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pp. 50-95

One of the more important tasks assigned to relatively small children, and one that demands a great deal of initiative and independent action, is the herding of water buffalo. Herding involves moving buffalo from nighttime holding areas to small, open fields...

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Chapter 4: Marriage and Parenting

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pp. 96-159

The Toraja assume that young people will want to marry eventually and have children, for it is only by so doing that one becomes a truly "adult" member of the community and that one can..

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Chapter 5: Adulthood, Aging, and Death

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pp. 160-190

Adulthood—for our purposes, the period of life that begins with marriage and parenting but precedes old age—provides the Toraja with a number of valued experiences, including the challenges of building a household, the opportunity to validate and enhance one's...

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Chapter 6: The Cycle of Life in Toraja

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pp. 191-204

Edward Bruner has noted that we must not confuse life as lived with either life as experienced or life as told. According to Bruner (1984, 7): "A life as lived is what actually happens. A life...

Appendix 1: Checklist of Open Interview Topics

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pp. 205-206

Appendix 2: Respondents

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pp. 207-208

Notes

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pp. 209-220

Glossary

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pp. 221-226

References

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pp. 227-234

Index

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pp. 235-239


E-ISBN-13: 9780824865108
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824817718

Publication Year: 1996

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Toraja (Indonesian people) -- Social life and customs.
  • Toraja (Indonesian people) -- Funeral customs and rites.
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