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Monday, December 26, 2011

Episode One: Australasia and the Pacific Ring of Fire

Episode One: Australasia and the Pacific Ring of Fire

Directed & Produced by Sian Salt, Camera Graham Veevers
  • Faith 1: Islam and Spirit Worship: Attends a sword-stabbing ritual performed by the Bugis people of SulawesiIndonesia.
  • Faith 2: Christianity and Ancestor worship - Attends a funeral rite performed by the Tana Toraja people of SulawesiIndonesia and reflects on their relationship with the dead.
  • Faith 3: Catholic Carabao festival: Visits the Carabao festival of Pulilan, BulacanPhilippines in honour of the town's patron saintSan Isidro Labrador.
  • Faith 4: Catholic fertility ritual: Attends the Obando Fertility Rites in Obando, BulacanPhilippines, a pagan fertility festival now held in reverence to three Catholic saints. Locals dance during the festival for fertility, out of tradition for past successful dances, and just to be a part of the festival. A priest delivers prayers before directing a large dance in the Church. Peter reflects on the cross-fertilization betweenCatholicism and animism and suggests that instead of the Catholics simply incorporating the dance into a prayer to the saints the festival may instead be a mutual coupling of fertility and creation.
  • Faith 5: Aboriginal Dreaming: Visits Alice Springs to meet with the Indigenous Australian people, the Aborigines, to witness a baby smoking ritual. Peter accompanies a group of locals on a trip to find the bush used in the ritual. A baby is then held in a small sand pit containing smoldering leaves for a few seconds at a time. A local tells him that the ritual is done so that the baby will be healthy and strong. Peter hoped to witness some of the Aboriginal Dreaming rituals, however, a local tells him that baby smoking is not related toDreamtime. Peter reflects that the ritual seems to have lost its meaning as the locals are sparse in their explanation of the spiritual aspects of the event. The women of the group then removes their shirts and paints their chest and arms. With feathers in their hair, they dance around a fire. The women tell Peter they are Christian and do not know of the old Aboriginal religion.
  • Faith 6: Attends a regular baptism service inspired by John the Baptist and performed by the persecuted Mandaeans of Iraq in a park inSydneyAustralia.
  • Faith 7: Urban witchcraft: Visits a group of witches who have established their coven, led by Tim Hartridge, within SydneyAustralia.
  • Faith 8: Indigenous Kastom: Meets practitioners of the tribal faith of Kastomism on the South Pacific island of TannaVanuatu.
  • Faith 9: John Frum cult - Meets practitioners of the new religion of John Frum of Tanna, inspired by the American presence on the island after the World War II.
  • Faith 10: Prophet Fred and Unity: Witnesses the religion of Unity and interviews their prophet, Fred from Tanna and Killian.