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"Myths Of Matriarchy" And The Sacred Flute Complex Of The Papua New Guinea Highlands
Faculty Publications
  • Terence E Hays, Rhode Island College
Document Type
Department (Manual Entry)
Anthropology Department
Date of Original Version

In Hays study of the "Myths of Matriarchy" in the Papua New Guinea Highlands, he draws upon Joan Bamberger's "Myths of Matriarchy" from 1974. He seeks to address whether Bamberger's analysis of South American objects can illuminate those from the area he is studying, that of the Highlands of New Guinea. Hays notes that there is a long argued idea that the "sacred flute complex" was manifested from and contributed to the mutually antagonistic gender relations of the societies in which that area is known for and that once upon a time women brandished the flute and bullroarer instruments and were given power. Hays also suggests that the flutes and bullroarers that denote "symbols of male power" in this culture were not only used in dramatizations of their hegemony, but kept their cult and deception concealed. The use of these instruments were not only for protection, but for physical force so that women wouldn't try to recapture that in which once gave them power in the mythological past that may suggest they once did.

Citation Information
Terence E Hays. ""Myths Of Matriarchy" And The Sacred Flute Complex Of The Papua New Guinea Highlands" (1988)
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