Dialogue on the Threshold

Диалог на пороге

Monday, 9 July 2012

Universality of the belief in hell (6)

According to Jochelson (1), among the Koryak there exist two conceptions of the abode of the departed. One soul of the deceased may rise to the Supreme Being, this idea being very indefinite, but another one goes to the underground world, that of ‘people of the ancient times’, peninelau, and the description of the future life of the departed is based on their life in this world. The peninelau live in the underground world in similar villages and in a similar way to their manner of life on earth, and the new-comer at once finds his place among his relatives. At the entrance to this underworld are found dogs as guardians, and a person who used to beat his dog during his life on earth will be stopped by them, though, in order to propitiate the guardians, he can carry in his mittens the fins of fishes, of which they are very fond.

M. A. Czaplicka, Aboriginal Siberia: A Study in Social Anthropology, Oxford, 1914.

(1) Memoir of the Jessup North Pacific Expedition

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