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    Conversion and Syncretism in the Gebusi

    Number of Pages: 5


    Summary of the research paper:

    This is a 5 page paper that provides an overview of religious syncretism in the Gebusi tribe. A research proposal is presented for a study of Gebusi conception of sorcery and animism before and after Catholic intervention in the 1990s. Bibliography lists 0 sources.

    Name of Research Paper File: KW60_KFgebusi.doc

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    however, does not mean that those values are static. Indeed, religious values are often in flux, and nowhere is this more true than in tribal societies such as the Gebusi  in Papua New Guinea. Studies of the Gebusi tribe have revealed a polar fluctuation of religious sentiment, moving back and forth between Christian and animistic sentiments as the result of  government influence on tribal customs through the vehicle of the Nomad Station and the introduction of the Catholic Church into the area. However, this are real questions to be asked  about whether this fluctuation represents an act of cultural religious conversion initiated by Catholicisms rising and waning influence, or a form of syncretism in which the sorcery-oriented religion of the  Gebusi has melded with Christianity, as well as what this signifies for cultural diversity in the modern world. This paragraph provides the student with assistance in presenting a summary  overview of Knaufts three studies of the Gebusi. Bruce Knaufts various forays into researching the Gebusi tribe of Papua New Guinea represent one of the best overall studies of indigenous  peoples and their relationship with the spread of modern culture. This is because the studies carried out by Knauft have had the benefit of being conducted over a broad expanse  of time, with Knaufts first visit to the tribe occurring in 1981, followed by a second in 1998, and a third, most recently, in 2008. Each of these visits was  a markedly different experience, based upon the literature presented by Knauft. The 1980s visit revealed a tribe still very much in the throes of cultural tradition and insulation from modern  society. Cultural practices included a dependence upon hunting-gathering techniques, animistic religious traditions centering on the practice of sorcery, and a high rate of violent behavior, including intra-tribal murder. By the 

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