Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Russell, Susan D.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


Fishing villages--Philippines--Batangas (Province)--Religious aspects; Rites and ceremonies--Philippines--Batangas (Province); Batangas (Philippines : Province)--Religious life and customs


Anthropological studies of belief systems in maritime communities have typically considered the beliefs and rituals of fishermen in isolation of their wider religious and cultural contexts. The result has been psychologically and socially reductionistic models for the persistence of fishing ideologies and associated ritual acts. These theories, most of which have been based on studies of offshore, deep-sea fishermen, have adhered to the common assumption in the maritime anthropological literature that fishermen are a "race apart," socially and culturally isolated from the wider communities in which they live. For this reason, fishing ideologies have not been examined with reference to their relationships with the official religions in their communities, nor with attention to gender differences in religious expression. This thesis aims to address these and other shortcomings by examining gender differences in religious and supernatural acts and beliefs in a small inshore fishing village in Batangas, Philippines, and the implications these differences have on the articulation between animistic and Roman Catholic-based belief systems. Based on short-term fieldwork in a Tagalog village, this thesis explores the ways in which fishing luck in this village is believed to be obtained and lost, and describes and analyzes these occupational beliefs as part of a wider belief system, especially as they relate to gender constructions, Roman Catholicism, and fishing beliefs in other regions of the world. Roman Catholic-based traditions are largely the domain of women and are seen as forming an interdependent yet at times antagonistic relationship with animistic traditions, especially luck rituals, which are the primary source of fishermen's supernatural power and involvement.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [105]-109)


vi, 109 pages




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