The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.


Shirakawa, Chihiro
The Titular System of Tongoa, Vanuatu
Fukao, Yoko
"Miaohui" as Self-Organization in Northwestern China in the post-Mao Era
Mori, Masahide
Tantric Buddhist Art from Cuttack District, Orissa


The Titular System of Tongoa, Vanuatu
Chihiro Shirakawa

The traditional political system of the islands of central Vanuatu is Based on title. Those who have titles are able to become leaders of the Society. Anthropologists have argued that the titles are hereditary. Because of this, and Sahlins’well-known concepts of big-man and chief, the titular system of the region has been analyzed as a chieftainship (Sahlins 1963.) However, because of poor ethnographical information about the system, the above analysis was not fully supported by empirical data. This article first provides sufficient ethnographical data about the titular system of Tongoa, and then examines anthropological arguments about the system. As foci of the primary ethnographical description, the article presents data on natangarasa, the supernatural power attached to titles, and the succession process of titles. It is concluded that the system is not a typical chieftainship and should not be categorized as hereditary.
Key Words:Tongoa, titular system, succession of titles, natangarasa


"Miaohui" as Self-Organization in Northwestern China
in the post-Mao Era
Yoko Fukao

After the collapse of the people’s communes ( Renmin Gongshe ) in China’s rural areas, we can observe many kinds of self-organization throughout the country. In Northern Shaanxi Province, the most prominent way of self-organization by local people was to establish Miaohui ( Temple Associations) , which used to be very common in Chinese rural society before the Cultural Revolution.
At the beginning of this article, different types of Miaohui are introduced in order to show that Miaohui does not merely function on the Village level, it operates on various levels and with various sizes of community or social networks. Some Miaohui are maintained by donations and voluntary work contributed by patients who had medical treatment or took medicine from each Miao. Others are famous for their effectiveness in fertility or producing rain. It is important to note that the size of a Miaohui is not stable but changing all the time through the reputation it earns from local people and also by the ability of the Huizhang -chairman-of each Miaohui. To be a good chairman, fairness and generosity are needed. The people’s continuous talk about each Miaohui and its management is critical to the growth and longevity of each Miao. In the most prominent case of Heilong Temple, because of the emergence of talented Huizhang, the scale of the Miaohui changed drastically from a small inter-village one into the central one of Northern Shaanxi province. This phenomenon can be explained as the emergence of a dynamic structure in this area after the release from domination during the Mao era.
Looking back on the former studies on Miao in other Han-Chinese areas like Taiwan or Hong Kong, continuous discussions are observed regarding the relatiohships between the size of local community and the range of the influentilal area of each Miao. In the earlier studies on this subject, spatial phases of Miao activities were rather stressed, but in later works it is pointed out that such spatial ranges are not always very clear and it is rather hard to set some boundaries on religious activities. Later studies try to watch Miao activities more functionally and dynamically, which means that the range of Miao activities are considered to be more changeable and multileveled. In the case of present day Miao in Northern Shaanxi, the same characters can be observed, maybe even ac-celerated because of the decline of Miao activity during the cultural revolution. In this article, analytical individualism is adopted in order to avoid treating Miao activities statically. Activities of Miao are seen as integrated results of each personal exchange between local people and Miao. I have not only analyzed the implications of personal exchange between Miao and these supporters, but also the process of integration of such exchanges into collective ones. Then the meaning of the annual Miao festivals, which are ordinarily held along with local operas, are ex-amined. Then we fihd that the Miao festivals are functioning as communitas for the local people who are participating in them.
Key Words: self-organization, dynamic structure, complimentary social exchange, communitas, swirl of cohesive power


Tantric Buddhist Art from Cuttack District, Orissa
Masahide Mori

Tantric Buddhism flourished in Orissa from the eighth to the tenth centuries. Numerous sculptures representing Buddhist deities have been excavated from this area, especially from Cuttack District, located on the east side of Orissa. Three archaeological sites in Cuttack, i.e. Ratnagiri, Lalitagirl and Udayagiri, deserve special mention. In the first part of this paper, I report the latest information on these sites based upon a field survey in Cuttack in March, 1995 and January, 1996. I also clarify the iconographic characteristics of the sculptured deities excavated from Cuttack with reference to contemporary Buddhist art in Bengal and Bihar. In the second part, I present a list of the Iconographical data of 571 sculptured works from Orissa with 160 plates.
Key Words: Tantric Buddhism art, Cuttack District, Orissa, Pāla dynasty