Gender and Religion

The introduction of the Anglican religion to the island technically gives women the right to read the lesson or take Sunday School classes. However, as most are illiterate, this is not possible. Furthermore, the Tikopia have introduced some indigenous practices to Christian religion, such as banning menstruating women from attending church. In the traditional religion women took no formal part in the rituals.

There are two main creation myths. In one, the island rises from the sea and on it are a man making rope and a woman beating barkcloth, the archetypal male and female occupations. In the other the origins of the hierarchy are described. Four brothers were born to the Female Goddess and the Chief God. They are the origin of the four clans. The Female Goddess also plays a role in molding the semen into a child inside the woman. However, many of the evil spirit entities are female. For instance, a man should not go alone into bush areas because he may encounter a desirable woman who will seduce him. She will be a spirit woman and if she conceives his child, she will then cause him to become sick and die so that he can complete her family in the spirit world.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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