A district in Southern Malekula, famously studied by Bernard Deacon in the 1920s.

Show Map of Location

Traditional Culture(1895)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 44-46, 547-552
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 44-45, 547-552
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Deacon (1934)
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Deacon (1934)
God(s) Absent (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 44-45, 547-552

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 45

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 552-558
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 552-558
Myth of humanity’s creation Absent (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 44-46, 617
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 44-46
Culture hero(es) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 44-46, 617

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 663

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 273-274
Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 641
Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 85

Mana

Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008)
Mana as a personal quality Present (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008)
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Present (Source)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Deacon (1934)
Costly sacrifices and offerings Absent (Source)
Deacon (1934)
Largest religious community Whole society or larger (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 640
Political and religious differentiation No overlap (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 47-48, 272-273, 693-694

Rites

Tooth pulling Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 145
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Deacon (1934)
Piercing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 243
Tattooing Absent from culture (Source)
Deacon (1934)
Genital cutting Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 244
Social Environment +
Population of largest political community 99 or fewer (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 47-48, 53, 71
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 52
Importance of Matrilateral descent Low (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 52
Kinship system Crow (Source)
Larcom (1991), pp. 165
Polygamy Limited polygyny (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 233
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 52

Conflict

(No) external warfare Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 212-230
Conflict within community Low (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 165, 212
(No) internal warfare Common, at least every five years (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 212-213
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 5-6
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 5-6
Distance to nearest continent 1793.0 (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 11
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Absent: No evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Larcom (1991), pp. 164
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 16-17
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 16, 192
Land-based gathering Minor (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 16-17, 172-211
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 16, 192
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 16

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 16, 189-191
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 16, 189-191
Water-based gathering Minor (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 16

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Minor (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 199-211
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 172-211
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 11

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
'Malakula' (2013)
Island Size (km²) 2041.0 (Source)
Clark & Bedford (2008), pp. 64
Maximum elevation (meters) 879.0 (Source)
Clark & Bedford (2008), pp. 64

Location

Latitude -16.5 (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 11
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 167.4 (Source)
Deacon (1934), pp. 11
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1895-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Larcom (1991), pp. 164
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Larcom (1991), pp. 164, 166
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Larcom (1991), pp. 164
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Larcom (1991), pp. 166
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Larcom (1991), pp. 165
Adams & Foster (2021)

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely voluntary (Source)
Larcom (1991), pp. 164
Loss of political autonoomy Medium (Source)
Larcom (1991), pp. 164, 166
External Links
References
Adams, R. & Foster, S. (2021). Vanuatu. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. .. Accessed 18 May 2021.

Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Clark, G.R. & Bedford, S. (2008). Friction Zones in Lapita Colonisation. In G.R. Clark, G.R, S. O'Connor & B.F. Leach, Islands of Inquiry: Colonisation, Seafaring and the Archaeology of Maritime Landscapes (pp 59-73). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Deacon, A. B. (1934). Malekula: A Vanishing People in the New Hebrides. London, England: George Routledge and Sons.

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Larcom, J.C. (1991). "Malekula". In T.E. Hays (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of World Cultures (Volume II: Oceania) (pp 164-166). New York: G.K. Hall & Co.

Malakula (2013). Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Malakula.

Weiss, K. M. (1973). Demographic models for anthropology. Memoirs of the society for American Archaeology, (27), i-186. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/25146719