Islam and Spirit Worship (04:53)
Peter Owen-Jones attends a stabbing ritual in Sulawesi; the festival is run by transgender mediums. They awaken spirits and are possessed by them; they stab themselves with sacred knives, not drawing blood, a sign of good to come in the next year.
Christianity and Ancestor Worship (10:35)
Tuna Toraja natives have converted to Protestantism, but maintain ancient death traditions; the dead are treated as though living until funerals are complete. Owen-Jones attends a ceremony for a woman twenty years deceased; a journey through the jungle to her crypt concludes four days of rituals.
Catholic Carabao Festival (03:40)
Roman Catholicism is the Philippines' dominant religion; native rituals have been integrated into celebrations. In Pulilan, Owen-Jones attends a harvest festival honoring Saint Isidore; parades feature decorated bulls made to kneel, representing old faiths bowing to new.
Catholic Fertility Ritual (03:13)
Owen-Jones observes an Abango fertility dance festival; it has been integrated into a feast honoring Catholic Saints. Women believe the ritual parade boosts chances of pregnancy; the festivities temporarily halt at a church, where attendants pray and take communion.
Aboriginal Dreaming (08:47)
Owen-Jones attends an Aborigine baby smoking ritual; natives pick herbs, burn them, and briefly set infants over smoldering leaves. Most identify as Christians, forgetting the tradition's spiritual significance; their indigenous faith is tied to now inaccessible lands.
The Iraqi Mandaeans (02:35)
In Sydney, a sect of persecuted Iraqis performs an ancient purification ritual every Sunday. The practice is inspired by John the Baptist, more important than Jesus Christ to the devotees.
Urban Witchcraft (07:13)
Owen-Jones discusses the perceived symbolism of ritual objects used in Pagan ceremonies; he participates in a ceremony wherein participates sing and dance naked to generate spiritual energies. Devotees are historically persecuted and accused of devil worship.
Indigenous Kastom (06:37)
In Tanna, Owen-Jones witnesses a new tribal religion's kava making ceremony; the herb and nearby active volcano, are central to the faith. After gathering roots, children chew them up and brew into a hallucinogenic drink; making noise during the ritual is sacrilegious.
John Frum Cult (03:56)
Emerging in the 1930s, the Lamakara Village's religion is inspired by a vision of a deity predicting America would save them; during World War II, the sect became popular, and is now the pervading religion. Every Friday night, they sing until dawn, waiting for their Messiah's return.
Prophet Fred and Unity (04:51)
When a Christian's geological prophecy actualizes, many John Frum followers leave to join his movement; he explains another vision inspiring him to integrate Tanna's religions. Owen-Jones witnesses a rival villages' unification ritual using Kastom traditions.
Credits: Australasia And The Pacific Ring Of Fire (00:29)
Credits: Australasia And The Pacific Ring Of Fire
For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or email@example.com.