In Kwaio Religion, Roger Keesing examines how the Kwaio, challenged by 110 years of European colonialism and now by the militant Christianity of their own rapidly Westernizing nation, have managed to continue their ancestral ways. Drawing on fieldwork carried out over a lost 20 years, Keesing explores the phenomenological reality of world where one's group includes the living and the dead, where conversations with the spirits, and the sing of their presence and acts, are very much a part of everyday life. He describes conceptions of mana and tabu that shed revealing light on old issues regarding Oceanic religion. Keesing situates the elegant though largely implicit structures of Kwaio cosmology within a framework of the "political economy of knowledge," examining the distribution of expertise in the community and the uses of religion as ideology, and asking how symbolic systems are perpetuated and changed. Questioning some currently fashionable anthropological approaches to symbolism, myth, ritual, and cosmology--approaches Keesing characterizes as "cultural cryptography"--Kwaio Religion challenges common assumptions about cultural symbols and shared meanings.