By Mircea Eliade
Publish 12 months note: initially released in French below the
title Histoire des croyances et des idees religieuses. Vol. 1: De [,age de l. a. pierre
aux mysteres d'Eleusis Payot, Paris, 1976.
"No one has performed lots as Mr. Eliade to notify literature scholars within the West approximately 'primitive' and Oriental religions. . . . everybody who cares concerning the human experience will locate new info and new angles of vision."— Martin E. Marty, ny occasions e-book Review
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Additional resources for A History of Religious Ideas, Volume 1: From the Stone Age to the Eleusinian Mysteries
But an examination of burial as practiced by an archaic people of our own time is enough to demonstrate the richness and depth of the religious symbolism implied in a ceremony that appears to be so simple. Reichel-Dolmatoff has given a detailed description of a contemporary (1966) burial of a girl among the Kogi Indians, a tribe speaking the Chibcha language and inhabiting the Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria in Colombia. 12 After choosing the site for the grave, the shaman (mama) performs a series of ritual gestures and declares: "Here is the village of Death; here is the ceremonial house of Death; here is the womb.
Are also found in eastern Siberia, among the Eskimos, in America (among the Ojibways, the Pueblos, and others), but also in India, Malaysia, New Guinea, and northwestern Australia. 27 It is an art specifically characteristic of hunting cultures, but the religious ideology with which it is saturated is shamanic. " 28 In other words, he is able to penetrate even into the source of animal life, the bony element. That we here have an experience fundamental for a certain type of mystic is proved, among other things, by the fact that it is still cultivated in Tibetan Buddhism.
Koby, according to whom many" deposits" of skulls result from chance and from the bears themselves moving and scratching among the bones. Leroi-Gourhan has declared that he is in complete agreement with this radical critique: the skulls contained in stone "coffers," grouped along the walls, or suspended in niches and surrounded by long bones are explained by geological facts and by the behavior of the bears themselves (Les religions de fa prehistoire, pp. ). This critique of the intentionality of the deposits appears to be convincing, all the more so since the earliest excavations of the caves left much to be desired; nevertheless, it is surprising that the same type of deposit should be found in a number of caves, especially in niches more than a meter above the cave floor.
A History of Religious Ideas, Volume 1: From the Stone Age to the Eleusinian Mysteries by Mircea Eliade