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Anthropological Knowledge, Secrecy and Bolivip, Papua New GuineaExchanging Skin$
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Tony Crook

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264003

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264003.001.0001

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Methodology After the Event: Weiner, Symbolic Obviation, and the Foi and Strathern, Gender of the Gift, and the Hagen moka

Methodology After the Event: Weiner, Symbolic Obviation, and the Foi and Strathern, Gender of the Gift, and the Hagen moka

Chapter:
(p.67) 2 Methodology After the Event: Weiner, Symbolic Obviation, and the Foi and Strathern, Gender of the Gift, and the Hagen moka
Source:
Anthropological Knowledge, Secrecy and Bolivip, Papua New Guinea
Author(s):

Tony Crook

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264003.003.0003

This chapter provides two ethnographic examples of anthropologists reflexively incorporating Melanesian aesthetics and energetics into their interpretations by making distinctive borrowings from Melanesian practices. In James F. Weiner's portrayal, Foi perceive the world as constituted by various forms of ‘a flow of vital energies, forces and relationships’. He suggests that men and women engage flow in distinctive ways. Foi takes human sociality, its ‘rules’, as ‘given’ or ‘innate’. Marilyn Strathern's The Gender of the Gift: Problems with Women and Problems with Society in Melanesia presents an original line of theoretical reasoning prompted by an ‘impasse in [the] comparative anthropology of Melanesia’. Mt Hagen is the ground by which The Gender of the Gift is figured. Strathern shares Ongka's awareness that exchanges are dependent upon producers: a husband with moka ambitions has to be an equally enthusiastic sweet-potato gardener, helping his wife to provide fodder for the pigs she will grow into prestigious gifts. An effect of The Gender of the Gift has been that much of what it has to teach has been incorporated by Melanesianists.

Keywords:   Melanesian aesthetics, energetics, James F. Weiner, Foi, Marilyn Strathern, Mt Hagen, moka

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