The Nuaulu are subsistence farmers who live on the south coast of the island of Ceram in Eastern Indonesia. They are one of the few peoples in Indonesia who have retained their indigenous religion, which largely involves the worship of ancestral spirits, to the present day.

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Traditional Culture(1880-1970)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 68-72
Nature god(s) Absent (Source)
Ellen (1986), pp. 68-72
Ancestral spirits Present, and the principal focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 22, 68-70
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 70-71
God(s) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 68-72, 72

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 69-70

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 180-182
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 180-182
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 70-72

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 70

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008)
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 261
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Present (Source)
Ellen (2002)
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 179
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 25
Ellen (1977), pp. 51-52
Political and religious differentiation Considerable overlap between religious and political leaders (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 73

Rites

Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 55, 59, 82, 91, 94, 110, 137, 142
Tattooing Absent from culture (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 55, 59, 82, 91, 94, 110, 137, 142
Social Environment +
Population 500 (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 52
Population of largest political community 99 or fewer (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 51-52, 53 (table 53)
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Ellen (1977), pp. 51-52
Importance of Matrilateral descent Low (Source)
Ellen (1977), pp. 51-52
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 294
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Central Maluku) (2014)
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 2750.5 (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 4, 18 (figs 1.1. & 1.2)
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief Evidence of influence (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Ellen (1983), pp. 3-4
Islamic influence on supernatural belief Evidence of influence (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 289
Ellen (2012), pp. 72
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 72
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Ellen (1977), pp. 52
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Ellen (1977), pp. 52, 65
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Major (Source)
Ellen (1977), pp. 52-53
Land-based gathering Major (Source)
Ellen (1977), pp. 52, 65
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Ellen (1977), pp. 52-53

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Ellen (1977), pp. 52-53
Water-based gathering Absent (Source)
Ellen (1977)
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Ellen (1977), pp. 52-53

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Absent (Source)
Ellen (1977)
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. xviv

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -3.3 (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 4, 8 (figs 1.1 & 1.2)
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 129.0 (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 4, 8 (figs 1.1 & 1.2)
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Continental island (Source)
De Jong (1998), pp. 317-318
Island Size (km²) 17148.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Ceram) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 3019.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Ceram) (2014)
Post Contact History(1970-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 3
Adoption of a world religion Present and major (Source)
Ellen (2012), pp. 3, 26
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, but of low importance (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 284, 295
Language shift Low (Source)
Ethnologue (Nuaulu, South) (2014)
Foreign education systems Low (Source)
Ethnologue (Nuaulu, South) (2014)

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 282
Sea port Present (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 166
Ellen (2002), pp. 282

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely voluntary (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 293-297
Loss of political autonoomy Medium (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 284, 293-297

Economic Changes

Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Ellen (2002), pp. 282
External Links
References
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

Brunton, R. (1989). The Abandoned Narcotic: Kava and Cultural Instability in Melanesia. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University 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.

De Jong, R. (1998). Halmahera and Seram: Different Histories, but Similar Butterfly Faunas. In Hall, R. & Holloway, J.D. (Eds.) Biogeography and Geological Evolution of Southeast Asia, 315-325. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers.

Ellen, R. F. (1977). "Resource and Commodity: Problems in the Analysis of the Social Relations of Nuaulu Land Use". Journal of Anthropological Research, 33 (1), 50-72. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629485.

Ellen, R. F. (2012). Nuaulu Religious Practices. Leiden, Netherlands: KITLV Press.

Ellen, R.F. (1983). The Centre on the Periphery: Moluccan culture in an Indonesian state, Indonesia Circle. School of Oriental & African Studies Newsletter (11) 31, 3-15. DOI: 10.1080/03062848308729551

Ellen, R.F. (1986). Conjundrums about Panjandrums: On the Use of Titles in Relations of Political Subordination in the Moluccas and along the Papuan Coast. Indonesia, 41, 46-62. Retrieved from http://jstor.org/stable/3351035

Ellen, R.F. (2002). "Nuaulu head-taking. Negotiating the Twin Dangers of Presentist and Essentialist Reconstructions". Social Anthropology, 10 (3), 281–301. DOI: 10.1017/S0964028202000198

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Ceram). (2014). "Ceram". Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/EBchecked/topic/103118/Ceram

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Indonesia). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/286480/Indonesia

Ethnologue (Map of Central Maluku). (2014). "Map of Indonesia, Central Maluku". Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/map/ID_mc_

Ethnologue (Nuaulu, South). (2014). Ethnologue Entry for Nuaulu, South. Retrieved from https://www.ethnologue.com/language/nxl.

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.

Kennedy, R. (1943). Islands and Peoples of the Indies. Washington DC: The Smithsonian.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency