Weblog since 2004 on books, films, art and travel.
Subscribe to the RSS feed.

eternal youth

According to the mythology of the Trobriand Islands, human beings used to be immortal, by simply shedding their skin when it grew old. At some point, however, they lost the power to remain youthful forever in a rather trivial incident...

Once upon a time there lived in the village of Bwadela an old woman who dwelt with her daughter and granddaughter; three generations of genuine matrilineal descent. The grandmother and granddaughter went out one day to bathe in the tidal creek. The girl remained on the shore, while the old woman went away some distance out of sight. She took off her skin, which, carried by the tidal current, floated along the creek until it stuck on a bush. Transformed into a young girl, she came back to her granddaughter. The latter did not recognize her; she was afraid of her, and bade her begone. The old woman, mortified and angry, went back to her bathing place, searched for her old skin, put it on again, and returned to her granddaughter. This time she was recognized and thus greeted: "A young girl came here; I was afraid; I chased her away." Said the grandmother: "No, you didn't want to recognize me. Well, you will become old -- I shall die." They went home to where the daughter was preparing the meal. The old woman spoke to her daughter: "I went to bathe; the tide carried my skin away; your daughter did not recognize me; she chased me away. I shall not slough my skin. We shall all become old. We shall all die."

From: 'Magic, Science and Religion' (1948) by Bronislaw Malinowski.


time, pt. 2

What time is for the nonreligious man of modern society would be more difficult to put into a few words. We do not intend to discuss the modern philosophies of time nor the concepts that modern science uses in its own investigations. Our … Read the full post »

No comments

Leave a comment

(optional field)
(optional field)

To prevent automated commentspam you need to answer this question...
Remember personal info?
Hide email
Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.