Inis Beag Summary

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Inis Beag: Isles of Ireland
The ethnography, Inis Beag: Isles of Ireland, was written by John C. Messenger in May 1969 and expresses in detail the culture of Inis Beag island. John C. Messenger was a “Professor in the Department of Anthropology the Folklore Institution in the program of African Studies at Indiana University. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Publishes numerous articles, chapters in books and monographs concerning the cultures of the Anang, the Irish, and the Montserrat islanders of the West Indies, whom he studied in 1965 and 1967” (Messenger v). Through the essay, we will look at the history, settlement, religion, and social structures of Inis Beag.
“Map of Inis Beag”
History and Setting:
In the book, Inis Beag: Isles of Ireland, John C. Messenger researches the culture of the people on the small island located off the coast of the Connemara in Ireland. In order to protect the
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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. Between 1951 and 1960 the average age of marriage for men was 35.5 years and women 24.8 years of age (Messenger 67). Under the Catholic religion in Ireland, divorce is not an option. Often matches are arranged by the parents and after the agreement is made a party seals the commitment which might last several days. A factor in the timing of marriage is the rules of inheritance. To receive an inheritance, the son must wait to marry until his father dies or his father agrees to give him the land. Adding to the confusion as to whether a male is ready for marriage is the fact men are called a boy or lad until they reach the age of 40 years old, an adult until he is 60 years then middle aged through 80 years of

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