Inis Beag Analysis

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John C. Messenger is the author of the ethnography Inis Beag, isle of Ireland. as written in May 1969 and expresses in detail the culture of Inis Beag. The author is “Professor in the department of anthropology the fork Lord institution in the program of African studies at Indiana University. He received his PhD from Northwestern University. Publishes numerous articles chapters and books and monographs concerning the cultures of the Anang, the Irish, and the Montserrat islanders of the West indies whom you studied in 1965 and 1967” (Messenger v).
The island of Inis Beag as referred to in the book by John C. Messenger is located off the coast of the Connemara in Ireland where the people are Irish Catholics who traditionally speak the Gaelic
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At times they are critical of their priest but hold the belief the priest brings protection for the island. Their religion has a strong foundation of fear passed down through the ages. For this reason the practice of confessing their sins to the priest has been less effective because they do not confess any sins which might bring punishment such as a sexual sin. Alongside the Catholic influence on Inis Beag is the Celtic and medieval Christians religious beliefs that have been passed down through the generations. Pagan ideas of the supernatural beings such as demons, witches, ghosts, and even phantom ships, along with fortune telling, wearing charms for protection and the use of folk medicines all infiltrate the beliefs of the islanders (Messenger 88). Salvation is less about faith and more about staying away from Hell, having a short stay in Purgatory and finally arriving in Heaven (Messenger 89). The Irish are identified with their belief in fairies both in stories written about them or in their imaginations where the “little people”, “good people,” or “gentry” are concerned (Messenger 98). These imaginary beings are joined by mermaids who have a perfectly formed female upper body which is nude causing embarrassment for the men who believe in purity, also the water horse, which is the demon counterpart of the mermaid, and the sea spirit who is referred to as “the headless body” (Messenger 100). An obsession of sexual puritanism has evolved by the curate wanting control over the islanders, the teachings from the missionaries who visited, and the teachings in their homes against having sex. While openly they were very modest for fear of committing a sin, in private or when they felt no one was watching, they still faced the desire for sex. Masterbation was accepted but other sexual acts were committed just never talked about because the

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