Colonialism In Melanesi The Impact Of Revitalization Movements

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Human life and culture is characterized as being dynamical in nature, mostly due to the fact that it is a by-product of beings that are also never truly stagnant in terms of evolution and life. One of the more rapid modes of change for a culture is via revitalization movements, which are changes to the structure of a culture due to stressors, and events that cause "widespread social disruption and collective feelings of great stress and despair," that often lead to a decreased sense of faith in one 's current culture/religion, and thus a need to undergo cultural reform to better address and resolve the stressors (Robbins et al. 2015:120). Revitalization movements, can also feature cultural appropriation and syncretism, as the inspiration for…show more content…
Cargo cults were a new ideology that was introduced to Melanesians, and involved placing religious meaning and value to the cargo/supplies received from the European colonialist; it was spread with the aid of Christian missionaries (Kempf 1992). The impact of colonialism across Melanesia is observable in the changes in indigenous populations ' attitudes towards race, religion, and economic success. In terms of race, in some groups a discrepancy among Melanesians over racial superiority in favour of white skinned people/Europeans, and any traits that were reminiscent of what Melanesians thought were inherent in Europeans due to their race (Inglis 1957). Acts to destroy the indigenous culture, and to advocate for Christianity were illicited by European missionaries. In the particular case of Sibog, Papua New Guinea, there was an instance of publicly destroying culturally integral, ceremonial instruments, backed by the organization of large-scale baptisms, and other church services (Kempf 1992). The assimilation also included the attempt of missionaries to eradicate Melanesian traditions such as "polygyny, sorcery, male cult and secret initiations," by deeming them sinful, and the means in which…show more content…
From a preservation stand-point revitalizations can be seen as beneficial in increasing the abundance of cultures, but it can also be seen in a negative light by observing how revitalizations can be characterized by syncretism. Thus revitalizations are seen as a form of cultural destruction rather than cultural reform, as cultures become more globalized, taking inspiration from each other. The context of revitalizations are also unfavourable, as acts of colonialism, disaster, and stress are not ideal to any society. Regardless of the consequence, and theoretical 'authenticity ' of a culture, and the idea of ownership over one 's culture, revitalizations are a fundamental part of cultural development, and continues to shape human lifestyle, and due to the unpredictable nature of life and societal movements, they will continue to occur and spark new cultural

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