Stanyukovich M. V. Dog in the Culture of the Filipinos and Other Austronesians: Ethnography, Linguistics, Mythology and Ritual
M. Stanyukovich - Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
ABSTRACT. The paper treats about the role of the dog in the Austronesian culture, with a focus on the Philippines, and examines the position of this animal in everyday life, folk beliefs, ritual, and mythology. The dog was one of the domesticated animals that accompanied Austronesians on their journey to Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Its functions included help in hunting, guarding, being a sacrificial animal and a source of protein. Hunting with dogs in the forests that surrounded their taro and rice fields provided Austronesians with the much-needed meat. The paper introduces the notion of a ‘regular sacrificial pyramid’ and argues that the dog is not part of it. While other animals are regarded as donations and messengers to the spirits, the dog, even once being sacrificed, retains its functions of a protector and guardian. Emotional bonding between humans and dogs engaged together in hunting activities was the closest one. Mythology reflects the same pivotal points: dog is regarded to be responsible for creating the present-day landscape, to have caused the flood, to supply the first humans with fire, even to be the ancestor of all the humanity or of a particular ethnic group.
KEYWORDS: human-animal relations, Philippines, Southeast Asia, Oceania, dog, mythology, Austronesians
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