RELIGION LIBRARY

Oceania

Indigenous Oceania Religion encompasses the various beliefs and practices of the people of the South Pacific including Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Despite the great variety among these traditions due to language and culture, some commonalities can be found among them. Oceanic traditions tend to be polytheistic, with a worldview that encompasses both the spiritual and natural worlds, with little or no distinction between the natural and the supernatural. Rituals and ceremonies are not seen to be just "religious" matters in the western sense of religion, but are also thought to have specific consequences in the natural world. For example, war, agriculture, and pregnancy are all believed to be influenced and caused by spiritual beings. Many of these traditions also believe that spirits inhabit objects such as rocks, sticks, tools, buildings, etc.  It is also believed that individuals have supernatural power that can be added to or taken away. This belief determines many of the rituals involved in social interaction. Many indigenous Oceanic traditions place great importance in the veneration of ancestors, who often become spirits who can positively (or negatively) influence life. Many Oceanic religious hold certain buildings and spaces as sacred, including burial grounds and battlefields, sacred spaces that are connected to various objects, relics, and symbols.

Quick Facts

Formed Ancient
Adherents Unknown
Deity Various deities, usually associated wiht elements of nature
Sacred Text Oral
Origin Oceanic cultures
Headquarters None
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