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    Author(s): Cynthia T. Fowler
    Date: 2003
    Source: Worldviews Environment Culture Religion 7(3): 304-329
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (1,605 KB)


    This article tells the story of the sacred place named Mata Loko ("River's Source") in Karendi on the western end of the islands of sumba. This ethnographic case of an eastern Indonesian society where the traditional religion of Marapu persists sheds light on questions of how local belief systems are part of environmental adaptions. the use of sacred resources is restricted by the belief that marapu, the ancestors are guardians of the forest and is enforced by supernatural sanctions. The ecological religous processes that are described in this article illustrate that in experimenting with their indigenous religion, Karendi people are simultaenously experimenting with traditional resource managment. The Mata Loko case illustrates the ritual management of sacrce resources such as water and culturally/historically valuable such as bamboo is a form of conservation planning. Together cultural history, reciporocal exchange, and ancestral religion provide a framework for protecting valuable natural resources.

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    Fowler, Cynthia T. 2003. The ecological implications of ancestral religion and reciprocal exchange in a sacred forest in Karendi. Worldviews Environment Culture Religion 7(3): 304-329

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