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The Kula and Generalised Exchange: Considering Some Unconsidered Aspects of the Elementary Structures of Kinship

The Kula and Generalised Exchange: Considering Some Unconsidered Aspects of the Elementary Structures of Kinship Author(s): Frederick H. Damon Source: Man, New Series, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun., 1980), pp. 267-292 Published by: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland

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THE

KULA

CONSIDERING

AND

SOME

THE

ELEMENTARY

GENERALISED

UNCONSIDERED

OF

STRUCTURES

FREDERICK H. DAMON

UniversityofVirginia

EXCHANGE:

ASPECTS

OF KINSHIP

As anthropologistsare reading Marx, sociologistsare beginning to read Levi-Strauss. Based on an analysisoftheKula, thisarticleattemptsto place Levi-Strauss'sfirstmajorwork in lightof neomarxistthought.It is suggestedthat'kinship'forLevi-Straussoccupiesa place in some kindsofsocietiesanalogousto thatof'capital'in capitalistsocietyaccordingto Marx. But usingdata fromtheKula itis shown thatsucha perspectiveignoresthequestionofhow 'production' articulateswith 'circulation'.Although certain aspectsof the Kula may be comprehendedin termsofgeneralisedand restrictedexchange,thepostulatedcontradiction in generalisedexchangedoes notaccountfortheKula's dynamics.'Ownership',derivedfrom thesphereofproduction,not 'reciprocity',accountsfortheKula's dynamics.

We live ina societywherethereisa markeddistinction

realand personallaw, betweenthingsand persons.This distinction is fundamental;it is the veryconditionof part of our systemof property,alienation,and exchange.Yet it is foreignto thecustoms

we have beenstudying(Mauss I967: 46).

The victoryof rationalismand mercantilismwas requiredbefore the notionsof profitand the individualwere given currencyand raised to the level of principles.One can date roughly-after Mandevilleand hisFabledesAbeilles-the triumphofthenotionof individualinterest(ibid.,p. 74).

datesthemomentof Europeantechnological

and industrialadvantageoverChina onlyat I450 A.D. (Wallerstein

between

JosephNeedham

I974:

53).

Ever sincethe languageof The elementarystructuresofkinshipwas translated into Englishit has been noted,not always in print,thatthe Kula exchange systemresemblestheformofreciprocitywhichLevi-Strausscalls'generalised exchange'.IndeedLevi-Straussseemsto have assimilatedwhat he knewofthe

Kula to this form of exchange (i969:

259, n.2). More recently Kelly (i968)

notedtheaffinitybetweenthetwo exchangeforms,and Ekeh (I974) devotes

Man(N.S.) 15, 267-92.

268

FREDERICK H. DAMON

considerableattentionto the analogy. Ekeh, moreover,observesthatsince Kula valuables, mwals ('armshells') and veiguns('necklaces', Malinowski's soulava),circulatein contrarydirections,theinstitutionresembles'restricted' as well as generalisedexchange.Itistheintentofthisarticle,basedon myown researchin thenortheastcorneroftheKula Ring,Woodlark Island,to discuss thewaysin whichtheKula maybe viewedasa systemofgeneralisedexchange, and to show thelimitationsofthisperspective. This effortwould havelittlevalueifitwereconfinedtoshowingmerelythe correspondence,or lack thereof,of Levi-Strauss'smodel and thestructureof theKula. ConsequentlyI usethisspecificcomparisonto tryto re-contextualise The elementarystructuresof kinshipin the light of recentchangesin social anthropology.For it is somethingof a paradox thatjust as sociologists,and some economists(e.g. Heath I976), are beginningto use anthropological exchangetheory,many anthropologiststhemselvesare undergoinga minor paradigm shift.I mean by thisthe gradual incorporationof marxisminto contemporaryanthropology(e.g. Bloch I975). For many people, myself included,marxismseemed to be a way to returnto some of the broader questionsabout societythatwere,also paradoxically,somewhatobscuredby theverysuccessofstructuralismor symbolism.And as isperhapsthecasewith all paradigmshiftsthe movementis or was accompaniedby an attemptto undermineitsmainpredecessor.Thus Levi-Straussis accusedofbeing,among other things,ahistorical.But it is time for a sympatheticreadingof Levi- Strauss'sfirstmajorwork in lightof theapparentadvancescomingfromthe incorporationof marxismintoanthropology. Evaluating Levi-Straussas a marxistinvolves a major undertaking.Just listing,much less discussing,the works in which he claims to be operating withinthemarxisttraditionis a majorbibliographicchore(e.g. I966; I967:

ch. VIII, XII, XV, XVI; I976: ch. VI, XVII). There are,moreover,broader questions. What, for example, is the relationshipof the whole French

sociologicaltraditionto marxism(seeFirthI975;

SahlinsI972:

ch.4)? If

Levi-Straussis going to be evaluatedas a marxisthow shouldthisevaluation proceed in lightof othertheoreticaltraditionswhich flourishin his work?

And how should it proceed given the more importantempiricaladvances betweenMarx's timeand hisown? This pointis important.For unlikesome ofhiscontemporaries(e.g.Althusser),Levi-Strausshassoughtto makemostof his theoreticalcontributionswith referenceto specificethnographicrealities. Finally,irrespectiveofLevi-Strauss,how is an updatedanthropologygoingto relateto recenttheoreticalandethnographicadvancesin marxism(e.g.Ollman I976; WallersteinI974)? While some anthropologistsareaddressingsome of thesequestions(e.g. Godelier I977; I978), thisarticleis confinedto themore limitedonesalreadyposed.

I repeatthemhere.First,it hasbeensuggestedthattheKula is likea system

of generalisedexchange.I intendto show how farthisanalogycan be pushed and to show itsmajorlimitations.Second,it is my intentto place Elementary structuresin the contextof neo-marxistthoughtin anthropology.Since this questionfollowsthefirstthereare manyaspectsof neo-marxistthoughtthat I do not address.Marx situateshis analysisof capitalismwith the social

FREDERICK H. DAMON

269

category'commodity',thethingthatis producedin thiskindofsociety.1The contradictionshe discussesin capitalismfollow fromhis examinationof this category.To the extentthatone remainsfaithfulto Marx, an analysisof a differentkindofsocietyshouldbe situatedinlightofwhatitproduces.I claim

to have done thisfortheKula and forWoodlark societyelsewhere(Damon I978; in press a). To the extent to which Levi-Strausshas followed an analogousprocedurein Elementarystructureshisanalysisbeginswith'incest'.I am notsuggesting,and Levi-Straussdoes notsuggest,thatas capitalistsocieties produce commoditiesnon-capitalistsocietiesproduce incest.The point is ratherthatas capitalismmoves withreferenceto thecategorycommodityso, accordingto Levi-Strauss,do non-capitalistsocietiesmove in relationshipto incest.The importantquestion as to whetheror not thisis correctis not addressedhere.More obviousparallelsbetweentheLevi-StraussofElementary structuresandMarx relateto thelatterpartsofCapital,Vol. I,and Capital,Vols.

II and III and thelocusofmajorcontradictionsin society.This articleconcerns

thisissuein connexionwiththeKula. In thefirstsectionI considertheoverallthesisofElementarystructures.Over thelastfifteenyearsthiswork hasoccasionedmuchargument.I do notrepeat herewhatothershave said.Neverthelessthereis a structureto thebook which

is very much to the point of neo-marxistthought,and which has not been

adequatedlydiscussed.By interpreting,and criticising,the book fromthis perspectiveI am arguingas muchforhow itcanbe usednow asforhow itwas originallywritten.The second section reviews Levi-Strauss'smodel of a generalised(continuous)exchange.I show thatthismodel is more complex than merely a circular exchange system.The third is a point-by-point comparisonof the Kula with Levi-Strauss'smodel. The fourthsubjectsthe Kula generalisedexchange equation to a critiquebased on informationnot describedin the earlyworks on the institution(Malinowski I96I; Fortune

I963).2

Theelementarystructuresofkinship

Long ago Leach criticisedLevi-Strauss'swork forattempting'fartoo much'

(i 96I: 77). The book seemedto wanderacrossall of theAsianmainlandand

even speculatedon the rise of the Indian caste system,complained Leach (i96I: 8o). While it may have been necessaryto dismiss this aspect of Elementarystructuresas social anthropologywas becomingmore empirically

orientedafterthesecondworld war,forour presentevaluationitisimportant to tryto figureout what Levi-Strausswas tryingto do with these'extreme speculations'.To do so it is necessaryto reflectupon thetotalstructureof the book. As iswell known,thebook isdesignedtoextendMauss'sessayon reciprocity

in a morerigorousfashion.ForMauss'sprinciplesofreciprocityaresubstituted

threedifferentformsof exchange,restrictedexchangeand the two kindsof generalisedexchange,'continuous'and 'discontinuous',articulatedin termsof matrilateraland patrilateralcross-cousinmarriage.The main argumentsfor

270

FREDERICK H. DAMON

theseformsarepresentedconsecutivelyin chaptersXI-XXVIII. The way this progressiondevelops is importantforit clearlysuggeststhattheseformsare not to be perceivedas institutions,ratheras principlesseveralof which any

particularsocietymay illustrate.Thus restrictedexchangeis illustratedwith the Australiandata until it is shown, vis-a-visthe Murngin, that another principle is necessary,namely, generalisedexchange. This form is then illustrated'empirically'untiltheGilyakmaterial(ch.XVIII) presentscertain anomaliesand theformis eventuallyarticulatedinto two kinds,matrilateral andpatrilateralcross-cousinmarriage.Mostoftheseargumentsarewell known so itisnotnecessaryto reviewthemmoreextensivelyhere.However I do not thinkthe whole thesiscan be appreciatedunless the opening and closing chaptersofthebook have been considered.

The

main argumentsof thebook are bounded in verypreciseways.Much

of the firstten chapters,forexample,is designedto seduce the readerinto consentingthat'reciprocity'is a, ifnot the,centralactivityin (some) human societies.Itisbeingpresentedas a heuristicdevice,a pointofdeparture.As such itcan notbe provedtrueor false,onlyacceptedor rejectedon thebasisofthat illusive generatorof social inquiry,experience.Thus incestbecomes not a

psychologicalentitybetweenhuman beingsbiologicallyconceived,but one side of an 'internalrelation',thenegativecomponentof a positiveinjunction to exchange.But once thispointis made theargumentnarrows.In chapterV, forexample,Levi-Straussintroducesthenotion,takenfromFirth(I939: 44), of therebeing ranked'spheresof exchange' in society.On the one hand he shows how a marriage,an exchangeof a woman, articulatesthe mannerin which otherexchangesare to proceedunderit.And on theotherhe suggests how circulationin theselower level spheres'resultsin' a marriage(ESK: 63- 68). There is thus a dialectical relationshipbetween these spheres; they reproduceeach other.Having establishedthispoint Levi-Straussbegins to abstractthe circulationof women away fromthe otherspheresthroughout most(not all) of thebook. It is clearthatthecase could,and perhapsstillcan, be made thatin a greatmanysocietiesthespherepertainingto thecirculation ofmenor women encompassesor isotherwisemoreimportantthanthelower

level spheres(e.g. BohannanI955;

TerrayI97i).

This heuristicdevice,

however, is not designedto discountthe lower exchange spheres;it is to simplifythediscussionforcomparativepurposes. But Levi-Strauss'spoint here is not just that of a heuristicdevice, a momentary reduction the purpose of which is a more comprehensive understandingat some latertime.It is ratherto isolateand featurethe most importantsocial movementin the societieshe studies.In thiscontextLevi-

Strauss'sargumentis analogousto Marx's in Capital(vols. I-III). Althoughof courseMarx eventuallylocatessurplusvalue,i.e.a fundamentallyasymmetrical relationship,at thecentreof capitalistsociety,he discussesitsmetamorphosis and circulationin a mannerwhich Levi-Straussalmostreplicatescompletely.

I referspecificallyto thediscussionof generalisedexchange,and theKachin,

where once the initialprinciplesof the systemare laid out (chapterXV),

derivativesand movement in time are discussed(chapterXVI). Time, or history,is thusa propertyofthissystem,and nottheotherway around.Marx,

its

FREDERICK H. DAMON

27I

who also neverthelessparticipatedin mid-nineteenthcenturynotions of history,was clearlyaware ofthisbasicethnographicpoint(e.g. Capital,vol. II, chapterXIV; vol. III, chapterIV), as was Mauss (I967: 34). As forMarx,

where particularpersons,categoriesand thingsare merely moments or

elementsofa systemofrelationships,so forLevi-Straussapparententitiessuch as 'genealogicalpositions'are elementsor aspectsof a systemof relationships. 'Kinship' seemsto occupythesameplacein theElementarystructuresas 'capital'

occupiesin Capital(seealsoGodelier I970).3

Confirmationfor this suggestioncomes from where it might be least expected: Levi-Strauss'srebuttalof Frazer's'economic' explanationforcross- cousin marriagein chapterX, 'MatrimonialExchange'. Frazeris quoted by Levi-Straussto indicatethathe, Frazer,thinksthat"'economic forcesare as constantand uniformin theirnatureas theforcesofnature"'(ESK: I 38), and thenLevi-StraussnotesthatwhatFrazerhasdone isto 'give hisprimitiveman thementalityoftheHomocEconomicusas conceivedofby nineteenth-century philosophers'(ESK: I 38). What constitutesthe'economic' herehoweverisan isolatedindividualmakingchoices,nota complexsystemofsocialrelationships; 'Frazerpicturesan abstractindividualwithan economicawarenessandhe then takeshim back throughthe ages to a distanttime where therewere neither richesnor meansofpayment'(ESK: I 39). Now whatis particularlystriking about thispassageis thatit is virtuallyidenticalto Marx's own criticismof eighteenthcenturyphilosophers:

thiseighteenth-centuryindividual-theproducton theonesideofthedissolutionofthe feudalformsofsociety,ontheothersideofthenewforcesofproductiondevelopedsincethe sixteenthcentury-appearsas an ideal,whoseexistencetheyprojectintothepast.Not as a historicresultbutas history'spointofdeparture.As theNaturalIndividualappropriateto theirnotionofhumannature,notarisinghistorically,butpositedbynature.Thisillusionhas beencommontoeachnewepochtothisday(I973: 83).

Forthis'economic',isolatedindividual,Marx in hisown day,and Levi-Strauss almosta centurylater,substitutessociety.4 This argumentmakesLevi-Strauss'swork,as was Marx's own, 'historically' specific.Sahlinshas recentlypointed to the historicalspecificityof Mauss's theoriesofreciprocity(I 972: chapter4). Levi-Straussfollowedthesametactic:

atissuenow is themeaningoftheclosingpagesofthefirstconcludingchapter, 'The transitionto complexstructures'.By thispointin thebook reciprocityas Levi-Strausstook it fromMauss is no longerthe subjectof inquiry.Instead Levi-Straussdiscussestheimplicationsofcontradiction.Both China and India havebeendiscussedintermsofhow eachdealtwiththecontradictionsinherent in generalisedexchange,China optingforvariationson restrictedexchange and India evolving the caste system.And in the closing pages of chapter

XXVII (47I-7) it is suggestedthataspectsof a generalisedexchangesystem

mayhave alsooperatedinEurope.Ifthisisso thenitwould followthatEurope too would have had to deal with the structuralcontradictionsof thisform. WhereasChina and India playout certainoptionswhich resultin preserving thesignificanceof'kinship',Europe optsfora differentsolution.Levi-Strauss drawsparallelsbetweentheswayamvaramarriageoftheMahabharata,and the

272

FREDERICK H. DAMON

Scandinavian legend of Skadhi as discussedby Dumezil. Neverthelessthe conclusionis clear:

It remainsno lessthecase that,with theswayamvaramarriage,thethreebasic characteristics of modern European marriage were introduced in, to borrow the Welsh expression,a 'furtive,secret',and almostfraudulentmanner.These characteristicsare: freedomto choose thespouse withinthe limitof theprohibiteddegrees;equalityof the sexes in the matterof marriage vows; and finally,emancipationfrom relativesand the individualizationof the contract(ESK: 477, my emphasis).

The Europeansolutionto theproblemsinherentin generalisedexchangeis to make marriageas exchange insignificant.This is no less than a theoryof transitionto capitalism.Thus at one end of his book Levi-Strausscastigates Frazer,ashad Marx almosta centuryearlier,forprojectingan epiphenomenon ofhisown societyontoothersremovedin timeor space,whileattheotherend he offersa theoryforhow thepastofhisown societygeneratedtheconditions necessaryfor'capital' in Marx's senseof the word to replace'kinship'in his senseoftheword.5 Perhapsit may be suggestedthatwhen Lowie said of this work thatitwas "'in thegrandstyle"'(ESK: xxvi), he was notjust referring to Durkheim.

Generalisedexchange

I now outlineLevi-Strauss'smodel of generalisedexchange.Throughouthis

book Levi-Strausstriestoshow thata numberofdifferentkindsofsociological factsaretiedto thisform.Thus thereistheargumentaboutitbeingcompatible only with harmonicregimes; about it being formallycongruentwith the ideologicaldistinctionbetween'bone' and 'flesh'(ESK: 393); about general- ised exchange being relatedto generationalrestrictionson exogamy (296). Althoughthesesuggestionsgive proofof the complex ways in which Levi- Straussimaginedthisformofreciprocityto existin specificsocieties,I am not concernedwiththesecontingenthypotheseshere,but ratherwiththeformal logic ofthesystem,largelyportrayedinchaptersXV, XVI, andXVIII. Itisnot

myintentionto enterintothewell-knowncontroversiesover theKachin (e.g.

LeachI969; LehmanI970)

So I willmerelylist,anddiscusswhennecessary,

themajorfeaturesofthemodel as presentedin ESK.

i. A systemof generalisedexchangerelatesgiverand receiverasymmetri- cally.The exchangeis,in respectofitsmajoritem,unidirectional.

2. But thesystemis also circularbecausea woman givenmustbe returned.

3. Points i and 2 are contradictory.The system is founded on an

asymmetricalrelationship,butitalso presupposesequivalence.This contradic- tionis themotiveforcein Levi-Strauss'stheory.Thus thesystemoflong term

debt,or trust,upon whichthesystemis built,generates'speculation'.

4. Dialecticallyrelatedto point3 is themovementofvaluablesbeneath,in

the Kachin case, the exchange of women. These are the 'complex rulesof purchase', providing'securities'forthetransferofa woman, butallowingfor theexactionof more and more goods fortheprivilegeof gainingaccessto a particularexchange circuit.(It is in thiscontextthatLevi-Strausspointsto

FREDERICK

H. DAMON

273

parallelsbetweenhismodel ofgeneralisedexchangeand theKula (ESK: 259,

n. 2).)

5. On a formallevel,at least,themodel requiresfiveinterrelatedpositions (ESK: 296-30 i). Thisiswhatdistinguishestheformfromrestrictedexchange.

6. Ifthissystemstrainstowardstheever wideningof theexchangecycles

one ofthewaysitdealswiththecontradictioninherentinthismovementisby

a contrarytendencytowardsrestrictedexchange(ESK: 3o5-9).

TheKula

The purposeof theprevioussectionis obvious: pointingout thattheKula is apparentlycircularinform,thatgeneralisedexchangeiscircular,andtherefore the formeris like the latter,hardlydoes creditto Levi-Strauss'sargument.I now discusstheextentto which his model adequatelyaccountsfortheKula and itsdynamicsas I understandthemfromthepointof view of Woodlark Islandpeople. Over theKula (unlikeothercustoms)Woodlark people think thattheirunderstandingof theinstitutionis correctforthewhole Ring. The truthofthisperspectiveis notconsideredin thisarticle.

The indigenousnameforWoodlark Island,itsculturalsurroundings,and its people, is Muyuw. Elsewhere I have discussedother aspects of Muyuw interpretationsoftheKula and therestoftheirculture(Damon I978; in press a; in pressb). Here I noteonlyfactsthatbeardirectlyon thequestionsat issue. The firstquestionpertainsto the asymmetryin the system,thusroughly correspondingto the Kachin distinctionbetween 'wife givers' and 'wife receivers'as Levi-Straussformulatesit.It is complicatedto someextentby the factthattwo valuablescirculateagainstone another.Neverthelessasymmetry is clearly articulatedin referenceto the conceptsvag ('opening gift') and gulugwal('closing gift':Trobriand,yotile).The glosseson theseterms,taken fromMalinowski,aresomewhatinexactbutsufficeforthepresent.Malinowski describestheopeninggiftas 'spontaneous'and theclosinggiftas 'obligatory' (Malinowski I 96 I: 35 2-7). Mauss acceptsthesedefinitions,butimplicitlyand correctlycriticisesthemin hisimportantfootnoteon Malinowki's use of the word 'currency'(Mauss I967: 93, n. 25). Opening giftsare not spontaneous, theyareforced.Regardlessofwhathasprecededthegivingofan openinggift, giverandreceivermostofthetimefallintoa clearlyasymmetricalrelationship. The giver oftenstandsabove and shoutsdown to the recipient.The latter remainssilent,oftenlooking away. Later when the returngiftis given this patternmaybe inverted,butifso itis muchreducedin magnitude.The giver of thereturngift,theclosinggift,ifhe does not have anotheropeninggiftto give,isnotina positiontomarkhissuperiorityoverthereceiver.Furthermore, althoughbad etiquette,thepersonwho gave the firstgiftcan takeitsreturn withoutit being formallyoffered.This cannothappenwithan openinggift.

It mustbe formallypresented. The identityofa valuableas an openingor returngiftis independentofits

identityas a mwal(armshell)or veigun(necklace).If,however,theopeninggift

is a mwaltheclosinggiftmustbe a veigun.But it is notthecasethatone gives

away an openinggiftto receivea closinggift.One givesaway an openinggift

274

FREDERICK

H. DAMON

so thatone maygive,afterreceiving,moreopeninggifts.Sincethispointseems

almost counter-intuitive,and since it is rare to providea specificcase:

see it illustratedin action,I

Sometime in the late I950's or early i 960's Takumboub (actuallyhis predecessorin Boagis village in westernMuyuw) received and passed on to his major partnera large armshell, Mantasop. Very quickly thisvaluable was senttowardstheTrobriandsin returnforwhich

a totalof threeveigunswere to come back. By the late I960's however nothingin facthad come back for Mantasop while it had already nearlycircled the Ring, being in Du'au'a (Normanby Island). Because of this Takumboub was in trouble,and not likely to get anythingworthyof his rankwhen he went southforKula. Hence by theuse of pigs,other smaller Kula valuables,and promisesfor bigger ones, he went straightto Du'au'a to get Mantasop. He got it.6

Althoughit is correctto say thatTakumboub was in troublebecausehe did notgetanyveigunsforthemwalMantasop,theissuewas hisabilityto getmore mwals,more openinggifts,not the returngifts.One gives away an opening gift,whethermwalor veigun,to give moreopeninggifts. Among otherthingsthispointleads immediatelyinto thequestionof the circularityof the system.Unlike the Matupi Chin, Muyuw do not give roostersto theirKula partners,tellthesepartnersto passthemto theirpartners, and thenmarvel at the factthatthe roosterseventuallycome back to their

owners(LehmanI970:

II9).

Muyuwknowthatthesystemis circularand

describeitassuchinvariousways.The mostcommonislistingtheparticipating communities'(ven). At the highestlevel of abstractioninformantslistfive:

Muyuw; Ugawag (fromGaw west to theTrobriands);Dobu; Du'au'a; and Lolomon (thesetofsmallislandseastofNormanby,westofPaneate,southof Alcester,and northof but includingWari). Not surprisinglyMuyuw know farmoreaboutthoseplacesand personscloseto themthanthosefaraway. But I nevermetanyonewho didnotknowthemajorcircuitsandplacesoftheKula (see fig.I).7 What of more detailedinformationabout theflowof thevaluables?Here the questionbeginsto get complicated.Kula valuablesare ranked,and Kula relationships(keds:path,way),by virtueofthekindsofvaluablesthatflowon them,become ranked.Thus while people do not much concernthemselves withhow smallervaluablesmove aroundthewhole Ring,thereis a tendency to follow the larger ones as much as possible.And people in the highest relationshipsalso tend to know all of theirpartnerson theirmajor routes. Below is one example of a largeKula relationshipwhich entirelycirclesthe Ring.

Molotaw's relationship

Person

Community

Clan

Molotaw

Yemga (Muyuw)

Leydoga

Tamdak

Yemga

Malas

Toleyin

Yanaba (Ugwawag)

Kwasis

Takasoyas

Iw

Kwasis

Vineyaw

Kitava

Kwasis

Makalay

Sinaketa

?

Andil

Dobu

Kubay

Mwalubeyay

Gaboyin (Lolomon)

Kubay

Molotaw

Yemga (Muyuw)

FREDERICK

H. DAMON

275

Not countingTamdak, Molotaw's son and thepersonmarkedto takeover therelationshipupon hisdeath(d. I978), onlysevenpeople are on thisroute. This is an exceptionallysmallnumbergiven thatit encirclesthewhole ring, but is about average for most relationships.None of my informantsknew more than about fifteenpeople on any given route,and theselistsusually compriselessthantwo-thirdsto one-halfoftheringfroma geographicalpoint of view. More importantthan thesequantitativedimensionsis the kind of closureeffectedon thisrelationship.Accordingtoinformants,inapproximately I930 what theybelieve to be the largestmwal,Klibulouboul, and veigun, Senubet,were pegged togetherto circulateon thisrelationship.These two valuableswill not alwaystraveltogether.But barringanydramaticactionby someone outsidethe route-action which neverthelessmany people dream about-these two valuablesmuststayon thisroute,sinceover thelasttento fifteenyears the veigunSenubet has moved twice around the ring while Klibulouboul has only moved once. Travellingas Senubet'sgulugwal,return gift,Klibulouboul will have to remainon thispathfora decadeor moreeven ifSenubetwere to remainstationary,and evenifthesevaluablesweremoving in isolationfromall others.But valuablessuch as thesetwo do not travelin isolation.Their movementis alwayscouchedin or hedgedby themovement ofother,usuallylarge,valuables.Thus more valuablesand personsare drawn into large relationshipslike Molotaw's. For example,in I973 Toleyin from Yanaba was holdingSenubetand wantedMolotaw (reallyTamdak) to come forit. Molotaw refused,however,since Senubethad reachedToleyin other than by this route. Molotaw located the problem somewhere between Makalay (Sinaketa)and Vineyaw,a Kitavan woman. He said thatVineyaw owed him fivelargemwals,and he was afraidthatifshedid notformallypass Senubet on to Takasoyas (1w), and then to Toleyin, she, Vineyaw, would refuseto returnthosefivemwals(i.e. returnfiveveiguns).Molotaw did not know where all thosemwalswent afterVineyaw, but presumablysome of themwentto someoneotherthanMakalay as Vineyawwas makingplaysfor

othervaluables.8

A number of pointscan be drawn fromthisexample. First,while it is

obviouslythecasethatMuyuw conceiveoftheRing as a circlethereis at least a tendency,realisedhere,to makethecirclesclosewithparticularpersons,and sometimesvaluables.One can also understandthatotherpartialrelationships constantlymove off of and onto the larger ones. A relationshipsuch as Molotaw's representsa setofdebtlinesformedby themovementofparticular valuables,but not all thesedebtsstayon any particularcircle(see fig.2). As

Levi-Strausssuggested,a systemlike thisresultsin an accumulationof more and more valuablesmovingtowardsthetop. There aremanydimensionsto thisaccumulation.On theone handitrelates to the number of Kula valuables on any relationship.Muyuw say that everybodyparticipatesin theKula. But itis also knownthata relativelysmall number of people handle most of the Kula valuables. The Muyuw men Takumboub and Molotaw are consideredto be two of the threebiggest people,on two ofthethreebiggestrelationships.Consideredas a setthesethree men probablyaccountforwell over so per cent.of all thevaluablescoming

276

FREDERICK H. DAMON

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R

FIGURE2. A relationshipanditsappendages.

intoand outofMuyuw. When thenextsevenor so personsareconsidered,the numberofvaluablesthesepeoplecontrolprobablymovestowards go percent. This controllookseven moreimpressiveifone considersonlythetop fortyor fiftyKula valuables.In thiscontext,thecontrolin thehandsofthetop tenor so people moves towardsI 00 percent.,and themovementofthesevaluables, and the relationshipsbuiltup-and destroyed-to supportthem,effectively determinesmostofMuyuw's 'political' realities.

FREDERICK

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277

Summaries of the kind made above are consistentwith Levi-Strauss's deductionsbut theydo not prove the truthof the structureswhich he says determinethem.To make the argumentforLevi-Strauss'smodel strongerI now turnto thetravelsofthemwalNonowan. Althoughitisconsidereda very large mwal(in thetop fiveaccordingto my lists)Nonowan is not as highas Klibulouboul. Neverthelessitis significantenoughformyinformantsto keep trackofitsmovementsfornearlythirtyyears9(seetable i).

TABLE I. Nonowan'stravels.

Veigun

Person

Community

Mwal

Mikdulan

Dikwayas(Muyuw)

NONOWAN,

Biwbiwkasenay

Vekwaya

Gaw (Ugwawag)

ca. I938

8/75

Yowan

Kitava

Takavatay

Sinaketa

Andul

Dobu (Doba)

Alisaka

Dobu

Kabalan

Du'au'a

Eliesa

Du'au'a

Gavigav

Tewatewa(Lolomon)

Kampeyn

Boagis(Muyuw)'

Manuwat

Boagis

Mesiaw

Moniveyova

Gumyoweil

Gaw (Ugwawag)

Bokuwous

Iw

Aleka

lw

Alekdumdum

Mwagoul

Kitava

t 8/75

Samon

Gelieb (Trobriands)

Bwadibwad

Dobu

Takumbwalan

Andul

Dobu

8/75

Wayluba

Du'au'a

Wayabum

Tasabweigay Yemga,Muyuw

Wol (Wari Is.)(Lolomon)

asofI/76

(Sources:Molotaw,Kampeyn,Mesiaw,Tasabweigay.I leftMuyuwin August,I975, but heardby letterinJanuary,I976, thatTasabweigaygot,as he andotherstoldme he would, Nonowan.NonowanwasinYemgabeforeitwasinDikwayasinca. I93 8, butthecycleonly beginsfromDikwayas.Tasabweigay,a classificatorysonandcloseassociateofMolotaw's,put TakumbwalanonNonowan'spath,undera plandeterminedlongago.I do notknowwhoput AlekdumdumandBiwbiwkasenayonNonowan'scircuit,butthelattermustgotoYemgaafter itgetstoDikwayas.)

The firstpointtobe madeheremerelyrestatesthecircularconceptionofthe Kula. Kampeyn, my major informantfor thisaccount,paused and said,'it finishes',at the dividersnoted in the list. Note, however, thatunlike the apparentsituationwith Klibulouboul Nonowan does not stayon the same course.It got to Dikwayas in approximatelyI938 fromYemga, but when it came back to Muyuw again it went to Boagis (a communitypositionally

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FREDERICK H. DAMON

equivalentto Yemga), and onto a completelydifferentcircuit.This is thecase with most valuables,But merelyswitchingcircuitsdoes not cancel the debt relationscreatedwithinanyone circuit.Nonowan effectivelybeganthisflow in Dikwayas, and I was told thatMikdulan (actually,since he is dead, his replacement,hisyoungerbrother,Aygeol)could claimor takebackNonowan ifhe wanted.This meansthatthedebtnetworkis transitive.In so faras this valuable is concerned 'Mikdulan' is 'above' Tasabweigay. But there was almost'0 no desireto claim Nonowan because as it went out of Dikwayas originallythreevaluables,veiguns,were setup to constituteitsreturns.This situationis quite complicated,and veryprecarious,but is supposedto work somethinglike this:

In August of I975 the firstreturn(Biwbiwkasenay,a veigun)forNonowan was located in Gaw (Vekwaya). This articlewas not supposedto be the'returngift'forNonowan, but as a conditionforitsfirstleavingmore thantwenty-fiveyearsearliera new 'opening gift'.At the same timeanothervaluable,Alekdumdum,a veigun,was with Mwagoul in Kitava, which is to go as thesecondnew openinggifton topofNonowan. Note howeverthatthisveigunmust completepartof Nonowan's second cycleand thengo onto the first.Finallythereis a third

This article must

valuable, Takumbwalan, with Andul, supposedly,in August of 1975. completethesecond Nonowan cyclebeforeitcan get onto thefirst.11

The one point thiscase clearlyillustratesis how theexchangerulesof the Kula resultin theaccumulationofmorevaluables'on' particularrelationships. Formally,Nonowan was exchanged such that three valuables would be returnedforit. Informallyeach of theselatterthreearticleswill occasionand have done so,theexchangeofother,oftenlarge,valuables.At theleastone can appreciatethatthereare verysound'practical'reasonsforknowinghow and why some articlesare movingaroundthewhole Kula Ring.'2

I now raiseone ofthemore innovativeaspectsofLevi-Strauss'stheory,the oppositionor contradictionbetween'exchange' and 'purchase'.It maybe best to beginwiththisobservation:Malinowskinotedthatonce one entersa Kula

relationshipit lastsforlife (i96I:

thattheKula relationshipswere veryfragile,and predicatedupon all kindsof

manipulationand deceit (i 963: 2I4-I8).

right,or whetherthereis some way offindinga happygroundbetweeneach of thesepositions.It is ratherwhat theseapparentlycontradictorypositions illustrate.Muyuw, for example, can speak eloquently about relationships existing beyond the lives of the individuals who firststartthem, then, practicallyin thesamebreathofair,saythattheonlyway to getahead in the Kula is'to lie'. They accuseeveryoneelseoflyingand saythatbecauseofother people'sdeceitsKula relationshipsconstantlyfallapart.I suggestthissituation is preciselythatwhich Levi-Straussdescribesbetweenthesimpleand almost mechanicalrulesof preferentialunion and the complex and tentativeways theseunionsareeffectedby purchases(ESK: 259-60).

Empirically,in so faras Muyuw is concerned,theKula sphereis explicitly relatedto a whole set of lower spheres.Activatingtheselower spheresis conceivedto be theway to entertheKula. One thusto a largedegree'buys' one's way into the Kula. And it is explicitthatthe greaterthe value of the lower level articlegiven,or thegreaterthe numbersof valuablesgiven,the

83). Fortune,on the contrary,emphasised

The question here is not who is

FREDERICK

H. DAMON

279

larger the Kula relationshipengendered,or the larger the specificarticle given.13 I distinguishbetween'relationship'and 'article' heresinceMuyuw themselvesformallymakethisdistinction.Ifone makesa siwayoub,in reference to which thethingsgiven must,eventually,be reciprocated,one is tryingto make a relationship.If,however,one makesa pok (Trobriandpokala) one is tryingto get a specificKula valuable. This lattertactic may resultin a relationshipbutpoksareformallyannouncedwhen made,and theintentionis clearthatwhatis primarilywantedis a specificvaluable,and notnecessarilya long-termrelationship.

More

to thepoint of the questionof trustand speculationis a

transaction

Muyuw

call a logit.A logitis made by giving a personwith a large Kula

valuablea smallKula valuableto informhim thatthelargeone is wantedand one is workingforit.The articleis givento helpconvincethepossessorofthe

large valuable thatone's desiresare supportable.Logitsare frequentlymade,

and I could give examplesof themvis-a-visall of thecasesI

this point. The most interesting,however, concerns the first,involving Takumboub: becauseTakumboub'spartnerhad,so far,failedto getanything

back forthelargemwal,Mantasop,hispartneron theothersidelostfaith,or soTakumboub thought,inTakumboub'sKula abilities.ThereforeTakumboub

went to otherpeople to get smallerKula valuables to provide proofof his

have discussedto

strength'.4

At leastwith the Kula, then,Levi-Strauss'stheoreticalconjectureson this pointare largelysubstantiated.What is interestingabout thisfroma broader perspectiveis thatit suggestshow contradictionsin one particularsphereof exchangestructureother,and lower,spheres.15The hesitancyengenderedby thelongtimeneededfora turnoverresultsin a demandofarticlesofa different kind, either qualitatively (e.g. pigs) or quantitatively(e.g. smaller Kula valuablesas logits)which can be usedimmediatelyforsome otherproductive activity. Levi-Strauss'stheory,appliedto theKula, explainshow differentexchange circuitsare interrelated.Although making logitsto entera specificcircuit involves no structuralrulesdifferentfromstandardKula rules,otherlower level spheresoperateon differentprinciples.Exchangesof mwalsand veiguns are alwaystriadicin formwhereaslower level spheresare dyadic.In so faras

a comparativeunderstandingof exchangeis concernedthesedistinctionsare crucial,and lead us intoa considerationofthe'fivegroups'. I notedearlierthatMuyuw describe,on themostabstractlevel,thecircular nature of the Kula in termsof five major communities(ven): Muyuw, Ugwawag, Dobu, Du'au'a, and Lolomon. I do not know whether this abstractionisformallyrelatedto theKula exchangestructure,butI know that otherpeoplesin theKuala Ring do notnecessarilydivide theareain thesame way (personalcommunication,Nancy D. Munn). Muyuw are clearlyaware thatmanyotherlikesocialgroupsrelateto theKula indirectly. More to thepointis theway in which people connectedby exchangeare conceptualised,andhow transactionsareactuallythoughttooperate.First,two termsare used to defineexchange relationsin the Kula. These are veiyou-, which ego appliesto his immediatepartnerson eitherside of him; and -mul

280

FREDERICK H. DAMON

(cf. Mauss I967: 22, Trobriand murimuri),used with referenceto all the partnersofone'spartners.Bothtermsarereciprocals,buttheyeffectivelyarray the categoriesof exchange into five units (fig. 3). Although it might be objectedthatreallyonlytwo,or three,categoriesare describedhere,since,for example, B and D are identicalas are A and E, these two identitiesare distinguishedby the flow of the two Kula valuables: A gives mwalsbut receivesveigunfromC, while E receivesmwalsand givesveigunsto C.

ego --n----A- - - -W----

-D ----E ---- -

-mul

-mul

FIGURE 3.

This structureis representedin two more ways. First,Muyuw oftentalk about specificarticlesby mentioninga specificperson'sname to which is appended'his hand' (naman;e.g. Vekwayanaman).But thisidiom hasa formal

structureto it.IfB and C are talkingabout a specificarticlethatE sentto C, throughD, it will be referredto as 'E's hand'. When B getsthearticlehe and

A will referto it as D's hand.I heardseveralcaseswherenot thethirdperson

down theline butthefourthor fifthwas referredto vis-a-visthishandidiom.

The reasonforsuchusageseemedto be thatthethirdpersonwas ofrelatively littlestatureso thespeakersweretryingtoemphasisethemostpowerfulperson associatedwith theparticularvaluable.In anycase I was specificallytold that the correctreferenceis the firstmul.And what thismeansis thatthe direct exchange between any two partnersis always conceived as an exchange betweenthepeople on eithersideofthem. Confirmationon thispoint,and henceanotherway in whichthisstructure

is represented,comesfroma morecarefuldescriptionofwhatexactlyis being

exchanged.Muyuw use theKula valuablesto 'build' or 'make' their'names'. These namesare producedby exchangingthevaluables.But when one gives away a valuableitis saidthatone'sname'goes down', and one'spartner's'goes up'. Only whenthearticleisgivenagainto a thirdpersondoesthefirstperson's name go up, thedesiredresultofKula action.It is by virtueof thisstructure, and its repetition,thatone's name 'goes around' (touvin)the Kula Ring, it becomes'known' (literally,'seen'). A personthrowsaway partofhimself,his 'hand', and thisselfis onlyreconstitutedas itis usedto makeotherselves. Lower-levelexchangespheresused to gain entryinto theKula are similar butnotidenticaltothosejustdescribed.They aresimilarto theextentthatthey areconceivedasproductiveactivities,thegiver 'making'the'intentions'ofthe receiver,or allowing the receiverto make his own intentions.But theyare differentin thattheydo not formallyneed to go to or throughsome third person.Whereas in the Kula a given ego, C in theabove diagram,has both formalcontroland practicalinfluence-to theextentthathe can retrievehis article-over what his partners,B and D, and his partnersof partners,e.g.

FREDERICK H. DAMON

28I

E-n and A-n, do with his valuables,thisis not the case with lower-level articles.In Muyuw, pigs oftencirculatealong ratherlong linesofpeople,but thesechainsare not like theKula chainstheyare used to setup. Each specific transactionisindependentoftherest.All thatisrequiredisthatfora pig given, forexample,anotherof thesamesize and sex be returned,and by theperson who firstreceivedit. Althoughthe formalplacementof the thirdpersonshows thatthe Kula does,again,closelyresembleLevi-Strauss'smodel ofgeneralisedexchange,the more importantpoint forthe comparativeunderstandingof exchangeis its demonstrationthatthe institutionis not predicatedupon alienatedlabour.

Although Levi-Strauss,so faras I know, never soughtto

Mauss seemsto have been consciouslydrawingattentionto it (i967: 46, 74). Moreover it is not unreasonableto assume that Mauss derived this point straightfromMarx. In thefirsttwo partsofCapital,vol. I, Marx goesto great painsto presenthow themostobvious aspectsof capitalistlifeare conceived, andbyvirtueofthisconception,heshowswhattheymisconstrue.He describes how individualsmeetinpairsvis-a-viscontractualrelationships(e.g. I967: 84- 5), but thatthesepairingsare located in larger,and triadic,movements(e.g. I967: I46-8). Thus,althoughin thecapitalistexchangesystemtheconscious model is dyadic,the 'unconscious' model is more complex. Mauss, on the contrary,triedto showthatinthesocietiesheanalysedin Thegifttheconscious model was triadic.This means that transactorsmaintainliens over their 'products',theyremainconnectedto them. Althoughlower-levelexchangespheresare dyadicratherthantriadicit is notthecase thattheysignifyalienatedlabour.Of theseveralreasonsforthisI noteone here.Suchexchangesareexplicitlymade to gainentryintotheKula, and ifthisdoesnothappen,eventhoughthethinggiveniseventuallyreturned as it shouldbe, no furthertransactionswill occur.16 There is a secondreason, which meansgoing into the finalissueof the relationshipbetweenthe Kula and generalisedexchange. Althoughtheparallelsdrawnup to now betweentheKula and generalised exchangearebasedon myown data,itremainsneverthelessthecasethatI have saidlittlethatisnotin or can be inferredfromMalinowski,Fortuneor Austen (I945). The issueof thecontaminationof generalisedexchangeby restricted exchange requires,however, that I discussfurthersomethingnone of the formermen discoveredor wrote about. This is the conceptkitoum.I discuss kitoumsheremainlyin termsoftheirformsofcirculation,i.e. how theyseem to resemblerestrictedratherthangeneralisedexchange. Unlike mwalsand veiguns,kitoumsareindividuallyowned. Exactlywhat- individualor group-owns a kitoumis sometimesambiguouslyphrased,but theownershipis alwayspractisedin termsofa specificindividual(gamag).A numberofpointsneedto be untangledfromthisassertion,butat leastsomeof thembecome clarifiedby thenextpoint.Muyuw claim thateverymwaland veigunis somebody'skitoum.Thus at one level theconcepts'mwal'or 'veigun', and 'kitoum'all referto the same materialobject,but theymean different things.For somepersonsa givenvaluableisjust a mwal,or a veigun,while for thepersonwho owns it as a kitoum,it is a mwal,or veigun,and a kitoum.We

make thispoint,

282

FREDERICK H. DAMON

maynow go backto ownershipissue.Ifsomebodyowns a valuableas a kitoum theymay do anythingtheywantwithit,destroyit,sellit,or hold it forfifty years.It is theirs,and nobody elsehas anythingbut influenceover what they do withit.This is not trueof mwalsand veiguns.Ifa persondestroysor sellsa valuable thatis not his kitoumhe mustgive to the personwho owns it as a kitouma replacement.Phrased differently,and in respectto the 'opening gift/closinggift'(vag/gulugwat)distinctionby which all mwalsand veigunsare defined,kitoumsare neutral.They are not opening gifts,but theybecome openinggiftswhen put intocirculationas mwalsor veiguns;and theyare not closinggifts,but,as is perhapsevident,theyare the reasonforclosinggifts. Kitoumsmediatebetweenmwals,which Muyuw consider'male', and veiguns, whichcorrelatively,are considered'female'.17 Who ownsanyparticularvaluableasa kitoumisoftennotknown.Although one or two importantMuyuw menown no kitoumsatall,mostown between threeand seven.But withina givencycleofKula activity,wherethevaluables tendto move in one big wave, each going in oppositedirections,with some precedingand othersfollowingthemajorwave, men probablyhandletenor moretimesthenumberofmwalsand veigunsthattheyown as kitoums.And of thepeoplewho own anyoftheseaskitoumsfewwillbe known.Thatsomebody owns themis known,and thishas greatbearingon how thesevaluablesare handled.For no matterwherea kitoumis,no matterwho holdsitas a mwalor veigun,it can be claimed by itsowner,thusviolatingthe asymmetryof the 'opening gift/closinggift'distinction,and destroying,or seriouslyimpairing, a relationship.Only a crisissituationwould lead to thisevent,of course,but good Kula performersmustkeepthispossibilityin mind. Beneath the asymmetrical,circular,and triadicexchange of mwalsand veigunsisthebasicallysymmetricalanddyadicexchangeofkitoums.An owner of a kitoum,markedas a mwal,thusexchangesit with anotherowner of a kitoum,markedas a veigun.Contraryto whatEkehwrites(I974: 30), itis not becausethereare two thingsexchangedagainstone anotherthatthereis some aspectof restrictedexchangein theKula; it is becausea kitoumis exchanged directlyfor a kitoumthataspectsof the Kula tend to take on the formof restrictedexchange.

Kitoums:a critique The similaritiesbetween the Kula and Levi-Strauss'smodel of generalised exchange are not superficial.The systemis asymmetrical.It is circular.It expandssuchthatby virtueofitsformmoreand morevaluablesgetbrought into particularcircuits.The Kula structureslower level spheresof exchange, includinglower rankedKula valuablespassedas logits.It is triadicin form,in so faras mwalsand veigunsareconcerned,and thisworksout to fivepositions beingrepresentedformallyin theexchangecategories.Finally,in referenceto the concept kitoum,a kind of exchange operateswhich contravenes,if not mediates,the more open exchangeof mwalsand veiguns,thustakingon the likenessofa systemofrestrictedexchange.But iftheconceptkitoumseemsto

FREDERICK H. DAMON

283

round out thegeneralapplicabilityof Levi-Strauss'smodel,it also exposesits limitations.For a more complete understandingof the significanceof the

kitoumcallsintoquestionthespecificcontradictionwhichLevi-Straussseesin

a systemofgeneralisedexchange;and,morebroadlyconceived,questionsthe placementof reciprocityor circulationas the prime mover in Kula. I now examine this point. Two conclusionswill emerge fromthis investigation. First,thatMuyuw understandtheKula to be circulardoes not mean thatits

circularityhas the significanceit would be given in Levi-Strauss'smodel of generalisedexchange.The circularityisa kindofabstractionbasedonlyon the movementof valuablesconsideredas mwalsand veiguns,not also as kitoums. The secondfollowsfromthefirstone. The Kula's fundamentalcontradiction existsbetweentheconceptionofmwalsand veiguns,and thatofthekitoum.To explainthismorethoroughlyrequiresa morecompletediscussionofkitoum. The mostinterestingfeatureofLevi-Strauss'smodelofgeneralisedexchange is thatit is a social formfoundedon a contradiction,and thatbecauseof this contradiction,societiesemployingit must deal with specificconsequences throughtime.The contradictionin the model resultsfromthe hypothetical problem of equivalence. The exchange is asymmetrical,but for a woman givena likewoman mustbe returned.Hence,althoughnecessary,equivalence

is impossibleor highlyproblematic.The problemwiththistheoryin so faras

the Kula is concernedis that with the conceptk,9um, equivalence is not problematicbut certain.When I give away a mwalthatis my kitoumthe relationshipgeneratedby itsmovementlastsuntilI receivea veigunwhich is ofthesamesize,as a kitoum,as themwalI gave up. The veigun/kitoumendsthe cycle opened by the mwal/kitoum.I can thenuse thatveigun/kitoumto starta new cycle in the otherdirectionbut with the realisationthat,barringdebts fromothervaluables,theold relationshipis finished.Kitoumsopen,close,and open relationships.Hence withequivalencecertaintheproblemis elsewhere, how to keepthesystemsopen,in concreteexistence.Let me illustrate:

B-

B owns a kitoum,butgivesitas a mwalto C. When C returnsthekitoum/veigun

back B can begina new cyclewithA buttherelationshipwithC is finished. This is recognised as necessarybut bad. Muyuw say that a good Kula relationshipshould be 'like a marriage',lastinguntilitsdebtsare completely over,and theonly way to do thisis to increasethenumberof vags,opening gifts,on therelationship.This thenis why thesystemexpands,why itsresults

correspondto Levi-Strauss'sdeductions.In short the contradictionis not situatedsolelywithinthestructureofthemovementofmwalsand veiguns,but betweenthisstructureand thatofthekitoum. But thislatterpointraisesthebroaderissueofreciprocity,circulation,as the primemoverin society.Formydescriptionofthekitoumin termsofrestricted exchangewas,purposefully,deficientin termsofa totalunderstandingofthis concept. The circulationof kitoumshas affinitieswith restrictedmodes of

exchangeforone reason,and one reasononly-the way itis owned. And it is owned in the way it is because it is made. It is a directrepositoryof labour becausesomespecificpersonhasfounditand made it,and byvirtueofthisfact

it comes to standforother,manyother,kindsof labouringprocesses.To go

A

C

284

FREDERICK H. DAMON

into thispoint in some detailmeans,among otherthings,going back to the questionofthekindoflabour,alienatedor unalienated,reflectedinlower-level exchangerelationships.

Kitoumsare broughtintotheKula by thelabour ofspecificindividuals.As is well known veigunsareproducedoutsidetheKula Ring,generallyon Rossel Island, and then brought into the Ring in various places. The precise sociologicaldetailsofthisprocessare unknownsincethesouth-easterncorner oftheKula Ring isnotyetwell described.I know ofsomevaluablesthatwent more or lessstraightfromMisima,and theislandsto itseast,intoMuyuw by means of what appearsto be simplepurchasing,but thisas an explanation obscuresmore than it reveals.So let us view the processsolely in termsof mwals,whichentertheRing frommanyplaces,Muyuw included.Everystage of this process is imprintedwith particularculturalforms,but given the purposesofthisarticleI cannotdiscussall thesehere. The firstmatterconcernsthe findingof suitableconus shells.Not all the conusshellsMuyuw findare thoughtlargeenoughto be put intocirculation. But moreimportantisthatMuyuw do notgo out lookingforconusshellsfor kitoums/mwals.On the contrarytheyonly findthem,and say theycan only findthem,when theyaredoingotherthings,e.g.divingforfishwithspearsor nets.18Once a valuableisfoundtheratherslow and arduousprocessofturning it into a kitoum/mwalbegins.Afterthe animal in theshellhas died and been eatenby variousbugstheowner beginsto grindofftheshell'snaturalcolours and cutitintotheappropriateshape,knockingout theinsideofthebroadend and cuttingoffmuch of the narrowend. This latterprocessin particularis whatisconceivedto be hardwork.Hence peopleonlyworkon theshellsa few moments or hours at a time, usually in the evening or some period not occupiedby otherkindsofwork. Afterthevaluableis thusformeditis given

a 'face',i.e. decoratedwith variousbeads,strings,shells,doorknobs,or other odds and ends made available by thesea. Accordingto informants,makinga valuable'sfaceis necessaryforitto be putintocirculation,butthisdecorating processis not thoughtto effectthe valuable'srank.A valuable'sdecorations may be changed,afterit is put into circulation,withoutchangingits rank. What does makea valuable'srankisitssize,and sinceraw shellsdo notgo into theKula, thismeansthelabourexpendedto put it intotheappropriateform. Thus while it may take some circuitsbeforea large valuable becomes well known,itsvalue resultsfromitssize,thework thatgoes into it,and not the processofcirculation.Only aftera valuablehas been formedand givena face will it be put intocirculationas a mwalor otherwiseusedas a kitoum. Fromtheabove itmaybe realisedthatwhatis circulatingin theKula Ring is, ratherexplicitly,congealed labour, wealth of a sociallydeterminedand sociallyproduced form.If certainaspectsof Kula ideology,littlemore than hintedat in thisarticle,have to do with a metaphoricalrelationshipbetween personsand Kula valuables,by virtueoftheconceptkitoumwe can appreciate how thatrelationshipisthedirectresultofthemetonymicalprocessofcreating

a kitoum,and fromit a mwal.The expressionreferringa valuable to some person'shand is more thanjust an idiom. Kula valuablesare partsof persons becausetheyare creationsofthem.

FREDERICK H. DAMON

285

Kitoumsthusappearto be like a kindof 'capital',in therestrictedsenseof somethingused to make somethingelse.Confirmationforthispointof view can be obtained fromone way by which kitoumsare furtherdistinguished from mwals and veiguns: I mean the way kitoumand mwal/veigunare

differentiallypossessed by Muyuw possession classes.19There are three possessionclassesin the language,two denoted by prefixes,the otherby a suffix.The possessiveformsforbothkitoumand mwal/veigunare prefixes,but each of thesewords is in a differentclass.Thus forthe firstpersonone uses guna-with kitoumand agu-with mwal/veigun.Generallyit seemsthattheuse of thepossessiveclassnotedherebyguna-involvessuchthingsas tools,boats, partsof gardens,seeds,and the like, whereasthe agu- class contains,often, finishedthingssuch as matureor cooked food. Semanticdistinctionssuch as thesearedifficultto provefora varietyofreasons,butthissuggestionbecomes particularlyinterestinginlightofthefewwordsthatcanbe usedinatleasttwo classes,and changetheirmeaningaccordingly.An example: theword forone ofthetwo kindsofyams(eitherwould do here)is kuv(Dioscoreaalata). When one possessesthisbythesameclassin whichkitoumsarepossessed,gunakuv,one refersto one'skuv/yamseeds,i.e.thosethingsfromwhichone isgoingto make matureyams. But when one uses the otherclass,the same as mwal/veigun,

agukuv,one refersto eithermatureyams or cooked

differencesbetween theseclassesthusseem to be

thing'/'createdthing'. That the word kitoumis in the firstclass is again

consistentwith what was noted above: kitoumsrepresentcongealed labour, theyare what is in otherthings,namelymwalsand veiguns. This bringsusto theissueofhow kitoums,iftheyarenotputintocirculation as mwals,are otherwiseused.Kitoumsare used to canceldebtsusuallycreated in non-Kulaspheresofexchange.When stoneknivesand axes wereproduced in Muyuw, the stone materialswere exported for kitoums.21 The large outriggercanoesthatplytheeasternhalfoftheKula Ring,and thatareusually produced in Gaw and Kweywata, are paid forwith kitoums(Munn I977). Othertransactionseventuateor stemfromthemovementofthesecanoes,but Muyuw say thatthe real paymentis in kitoums(generallyfive per canoe). Kitoumsoftenbecome involved in pig transactions.Althoughformallypigs circulatein theirown spheresuch thatforone pig of a given sex and size

another of the same

somebodydefaultson theirreturn.Ifso thedebtis cancelledwitha kitoum,or

a number of them dependingon the sizes of the pigs and kitoums.Similar conversionscan be made withyams,or withEuropeangoods,even money. Thus kitoumsnot only mediatebetweenmwalsand veiguns,i.e. the Kula as a specificsphere,theyalso areusedto cancel'lateral'debtsin lower-levelspheres. This is why lower-levelspheresdo not reflectalienatedlabour. A person maintainsa lienon thepig he hasgivensomeonein thesespheres,and ifitisnot

returnedthe gap is filled,and must be filled,by a kitoum.Kitoumsalso, however,cancel'vertical'debtsresultingfromKula activity.Itshouldbe clear thatto Kula successfullyan individualmust be able to garnerconsiderable support,'work'. He does this by gatheringaround him people in specific relationships,people thathe calls'my persons'(agugwamag).(Such personsare

yams.20The semantic the order of 'creating

on

quality is returned,it not infrequentlyhappens that

286

FREDERICK H. DAMON

oftenalsoin specifickinshiprelationshipsto a givenego,e.g.'youngersibling', 'child','nephew', butkinshipdoes notconstitutethebasisoftheKula-support system.)One way theserelationshipsarepaid offisby theseniorpersongiving thejunior personmwalsand veigunswithwhichthelattercan startup hisown relationships.But in the finalanalysistheserelationshipsare paid offwith kitoums,thekitoumssymbolisingthereturnon thelabourthejuniorhadearlier giventhesenior. At the core of virtuallyevery facetof the Kula is a systemof debts.22 Kitoumsexplainhow debtsarisein somespheresby virtueofthefactthatthey are used to pay offdebtsin otherrelationships,and thoughtto be thebestor ultimatereturnon somebody else'slabour. The reasonforthe equivalence- functionof kitoumsshould be clear: Justas kitoumsare a productof labour (wotet),so are yams,pigs, outriggercanoes, and general support.Thus the

significanceof kitoumsstemsnotfromtheirmannerofcirculation,butfromthe particularwayproductionisorientatedintheKulaRing.Ultimatelythecontradiction intheKulaRingisnotbetweentwomodesofcirculation,generalisedandrestricted, butbetweenthecirculationprocessofmwalsandveiguns,andproductionprocess

wherebykitoumsgettheirsignficance.23

If Levi-Strauss'stheoryof generalisedexchangecould be correctlyapplied to the Kula then one would have to show that all of the data could be accountedforjustin termsoftheoppositionbetweenmwalsand veiguns.In the precedingpages,however,I have triedto show thatit is the kitoumconcept whichaccountsforthecirculationofmwalsand veiguns,whyone isan opening giftand theotheris a closinggift,and why to be successfulone mustexpand one'sKula activity.What thendoesone makeofthefactthatin manyrespects, as I showed in the thirdsection,Levi-Strauss'stheoryconformsto much of what constitutessocial action in the Kula? Althoughthereare many issues involved in supplyinga completeanswerto thisquestionone of the more significant,and the one concludedwith here,concernsthe circularnatureof theinstitutionas Muyuw people,at least,understandit. In spiteof the pivotal significanceof the kitoumconcept,it nevertheless remainsthe case thatinformantsthinkof the Kula as a circularinstitution when they view it, as theymost oftendo, fromthe point of view of the circulationof mwalsand veiguns.The circulationof mwalsand veiguns,rather thankitoums,allows a personto build his or her name. It is a matterof faith, basedon a lot ofempiricalevidence,thatthetwo setsofvaluablescontinually circlearoundthesetofislandsthatMuyuw know composetheinstitution.At thesametime,however,thisparticularview oftheinstitutionisan abstraction and-not merely dogma-derived from the concreterelationshipswhich ultimatelyeffectit.Althoughtheinstitutionis circular,itscircularitydoes not constitutetheessenceofitsform,thecontradictionwhich makesit move. Let us look at thesepointsmore closelybasedon theactualmovementofa specificsetofvaluables,thoseoutlinedabove concerningthemwalNonowan. Muyuw begin this cycle with Nonowan in Dikwayas (in approximately I938) because they consider Nonowan to be Mikdulan's kitoum.The relationshipcreatedby Nonowan remainsintact,and transitive,becauseas of I975 Mikdulan'sreplacementhad not receiveda veigunas a kitoumto replace

FREDERICK H. DAMON

287

Nonowan. This then is why 'Mikdulan' remains'above' Tasabweigay,the thenholderofthevaluable.The setofasymmetricaland circularrelationships tied to the valuable thusis a functionof Nonowan's definitionnot as a mwal circulatingcounter-clockwise,butitsdefinitionas a kitoum,whicha particular man, for particularreasons,owns. If and when Takumbwalan arrivesin Dikwayas thenMikdulan will no longerclaim ownershipof Nonowan as a kitoumbecause he will have receivedTakumbwalan. The debt relationship thuscreatedby Nonowan will be over,unless,ofcourse,ithasbeen recreated and intensifiedby thevaluablesmovingunderneathNonowan and Takumb- walan. Ifforsome reasontheplan which presentlyarticulatesthemovement of these four valuables, Nonowan, Biwbiwkasenay, Alekdumdum, and Takumbwalan,shouldcollapse,thenMikdulan may actin a numberof ways. Firsthe may tryto reclaimNonowan outright,probablya difficultoption. Second he may tryto claim eitherBiwbiwkasenayor Alekdumdumas the 'returngift'forNonowan, changingtheirdefinitionsfromvags,openinggifts, togulugwals,returngifts,andthusa kitoum.He mayofcourseonlydo thiswith one of thesevaluables,and ifI understandMuyuw evaluationsof thesetwo articles,only Biwbiwkasenaywould be consideredlargeenoughto substitute forNonowan. To claim Alekdumdumwould thereforemeantakinga losson the kitoum,gettinga smallerone, losinga largerone. Finallyhe could tryto claim Takumbwalan,short-circuitingitscyclesinceit is supposedto go into westernMuyuw andthenaroundthewholeRingbeforeitgoesintoDikwayas. Nobody would want to do any of theseoptions,foras I notedearlier,other valuablesarepeggedto thesefour,so thatredefininghow anyofthesevaluables aremovingmaybringdown thewhole edifice.The circulationlogic ofmwals and veigunsfollows fromthe existenceof kitoums,but having to orientate everytransactionaccordingto whose kitoumis beingexchangedconstitutesa crisisin one'spositionand is somethingto be avoided.

Conclusion Or, perhaps,theeconomy concepthas become a fetishwhich is a source of mystificationservingonly to reinforcethe bourgeois tendencyto compartmentaliseknowledge of social realityas it fragmentsthelatterand shouldbe eliminatedfromthevocabulary ofMarxism? (Cook I976: 368). The Introductionposedtwo questions:how well doesLevi-Strauss'smodel ofgeneralisedexchangecorrespondto theKula? And whatdoestheanswerto thisquestiontellus about Levi-Strauss'srelationshipto neo-marxism? The answerto the firstquestionis now ratherobvious. AlthoughLevi-

Strauss'smodel is incorrect,in so faras the Kula is concerned,it was forme veryusefulin pointingto manyaspectsoftheKula, as conceivedand as acted. In so farassocialtheorypurportstobeingan aide inand provocationto a more intelligentlyempiricalconfrontationwiththeworldas menliveit,andthishas

always been the intentof Frenchsociology (Levi-StraussI945),

elementarystructuresofkinshipmustbe viewed in a very favourable,if not

then The

288

FREDERICK

H. DAMON

uncritical,light.Levi-Strauss'stheorydid notpreventme fromlearningabout kitoums,and his formulationof the contradictionin generalisedexchange forcedme to thinkout a rathercomplex socialprocess. Levi-Strauss'srelationshipto neo-marxismis somewhat more involved. Much of theexcitementof neo-marxismso farhasfocusedon two issues.On theone handthereis thequestionofhistory,whichsincefunctionalismofthe I 920's hasbeenlittleaddressedbyanthropology.On theotherhandthereisthe questionofa 'mode ofproduction',a phrasewhose appealseemsquitesimilar to thatof'structure'a fewyearsago, i.e. itsoundsgood.

I findthefirstdifficultto takeseriouslygiventhatThe elementarystructures ofkinshiphasas partofitsargumenttheevolutionofthecastesystemin India and the transitionto capitalismin the west. Levi-Straussmay be totally incorrectin his theory,but the mereposingof the issue,and on what many would considera valid and stimulatinglevel ofabstraction,hardlysuggestsan absence of concern for what is perhapsthe major question for the social sciences.Since both Marx and Maine it has been possibleto point,ifcrudely, to some ofthemajordifferencesbetweencapitalistand non-capitalistsocieties. But pointingto thesedifferencesand thensayingthatthelatterchangesto the formerby 'history'hardlycountsas an explanation.Historyis not a cause,it isa result.Statingthatsocieties,almostmagically,change,isnotthesamething as showing how they change. Understandingthe temporaltrajectoriesof particularsocieties,as Marx certainlyshows,is a complex,painstaking,and basicallyethnographictask.Sayingthatthisis what is to be done is not the same thingas doing it. And doing it meanshaving some theory,necessarily evolved outofa dialoguewithempiricalconditions,aboutthedominantsocial formsof a particularsocietyor kindof society.There is sucha theoryin The elementarystructuresof kinship,and it is of interestthat virtuallythe only alternativeto this work, even now, thirtyyears afterit was written,is essentiallya returnto Frazerianindividualism:transactionalism(see Ekeh I974). Friedman'sstimulatingreanalysisof the Kachin materialprovidesno exception.Friedman(I 975) hasdonetwo things.On theone handhehastaken over Levi-Strauss'smodel ofgeneralexchange,not advancingitat all. On the otherhe has used Marx's categories,evolved out ofan attemptto understand

a differentkind of society,withoutshowing how thesecategoriesare at all relevantto theKachin.He thusmakesa methodologicalerroridenticalto the one anthropologistsmake when they gloss a certainkinshipterm with a genealogicalpositionand saythatthisglossis itsmeaning.

It hasseemedto some,althoughtheyshow littleevidenceofhavingtreated

Levi-Strauss'swork with care,24thatthe mode of productionconceptwas a way out ofsome oftheseproblems.Thereisnow an immenseliteratureon this category,but it cannot claim to have gone much furtherthan Marx's

fragmentarycommentsinthe'Preface'toA contributiontoa critiqueofpolitical economy(I 970: 20-2I; seeOllmanI979: 5-8).Thispassage,totheextentthat

it is a 'definition'ofthisconcept,bearsaboutthesamerelationshipto thecore

ofMarx's workasdo Levi-Strauss'sopeningremarkson reciprocityto thecore of Elementarystructures.Both are orientating,discursive,passageswhich are thenreplacedby concreteanalysis.

FREDERICK H. DAMON

289

In any case Levi-Straussonce wrote,with theaid of a quote fromEngels, thatthereis no needto be overlyconcernedwiththemodesofproductionsof primitivesocieties(i 967: 336). This looks incorrectnow thattheconceptsof social formationor mode of productionhave been conceivedso widely (by, among others,Althusserand Balibar). But Levi-Straussobviouslytook this conceptin a morerestrictedsense,one presentin Marx, meaningmerelyhow materialobjectsare produced.Yet formostanthropologists,whatevertheir theoreticalpersuasions,it becomes immediatelyapparentthatthe particular productiveactivitiestheywitness,on an 'economic' levelasthistermhastaken on meaningover the last hundredyears,are encompassedin specificsocial relationships,thesesocialrelationshipsgoverningtheproduction,distribution and consumptionofthesesocieties'products.Itisthenthesesocialrelationships which need to be understood.It is to thesesocial relationshipsthat Levi- Strauss'searlierworks have been directed.I do not claim thatLevi-Strauss should not be criticised.But Marxists are on weak ground when they pontificateon the dialecticalrelationshipbetweenthe forcesand relationsof production,and thenblame'thepaucityofconceptuallanguagefordescribing the technicallanguage of non-capitalistmodes of production' (O'Laughlin I975: 36I) fornot-beingable to carryout theirown programme.This excuse assumesthatour problemsstemfromand can be solvedby terminologies.But the problem is elsewhere,and that is having some theoryabout what is importantin a given kind of society,what the social forcesare thatmove particularsocieties.As Marx has sucha theoryforcapitalistsocieties,so does Levi-Straussfornon-capitalistsocieties.While I have triedto show thata kind of marxistapproachleads to some valuable criticismsof Levi-Strauss'searly work, I think it also the case that his approach has much to offerwhat currentlypassesas marxismin non-capitalistsocieties.For marxismto prove itselfan effectivenew forcein social theoryit must become more than a differentsetofplatitudes.

NOTES

I thankChristopherGregoryandEdmundLeachforextensivecriticismofanearlierdraftof thisarticle.Whiletheircriticismhasleadtosubstantialimprovement,I do notclaimthatthey

agreewitheverythingI write,andassumefullresponsibilityforerrorsofinterpretationorfacts.

Researchwasconductedon WoodlarkIslandfromJuly,I973 to August,I975.

waspartiallyfundedbya NSF Grant(GS-3963i) anda NIMH Fellowship(FOIMH573 37-

OI).

The research

'On thispointI followNicolauson'thequestionoftheproperbeginning'(Marx,I973:

if.)

37

2 Thepointconcernstheconceptkitoum.Itwasdiscoveredbymanyoftherecentresearchers

I29, i8o-i) is thefirstreferenceinprint.My understanding

intheKulaRing.Weiner(I976:

ofkitoumsisbasedsolelyonwhatmyinformantstoldme.Theirpointviewmaybeidiosyncratic, but theyprojecttheirunderstandingof thisterm,and virtuallyeveryotherKula practice discussedin thisarticle,onto thewhole institution.However,kitoumsare discussedfrom differenttheoreticalperspectivesanddifferentplacesin theKula Ringin theLeach& Leach volumeson theKula (inpress).

3 In suggestingthisI am notassertingthatLevi-Straussthinksthereis an identitybetween 'kinship'in non-capitalistsocietiesand'capital',a specificformof'commodity',in capitalist society.The issueisratherthatoftheplaceofdifferentsocialformsindifferentsocieties.

4 Did Levi-StrausshaveMarx'spassageinmindwhenhecriticisedFrazer?The passagefirst appearedin Englishin theI904 editionofA contributiontothecritiqueofpoliticaleconomy.By

290

FREDERICK H. DAMON

I956 Levi-Strausshadreferredtoothersectionsofthesameessay(Levi-StraussI967: 330,333).

S TheissuehereisnotwhetherLevi-Straussisrightorwrong.Itiswhathewastryingtodo.

RecentlyhoweverBoon andSchneider(I974)

chapterin an attemptto placeElementarystructuresin relationto theMythologiquesseries. AlthoughI amsympatheticwithmuchofwhatBoonandSchneiderwriteI believetheyhave glossedovera majorargumentinthebookwhichprovidesfornon-westernsocietiesa theory, or thebeginningsofa theory,thathasthesamelogicalstatusas Marx'sforcapitalistsocieties. ThereforeI thinkit-unwiseto placeindividualism,or individualisedmarriage,in thesame

structuraluniverseasLevi-Strauss's'elementarystructures'.SimilarlyI wouldsuggestthatpatri- parallel-cousin-marriagedoesnotoffertheproblemsmanyhavesuggestedforLevi-Strauss's book.Thequestionafterallisnotcousins,butasismadeabundantlyclearthroughout,formsof reciprocity,cyclesofexchange.In keepingwiththeendof ChapterXXVIII, patri-parallel-

cousin-marriagemightbeviewedasanotherwayofdealingwiththeproblemsinherentinlong cycles.A littlegeographicalandhistoricalimaginationmightbea usefulwayofmovingbeyond

anthropology'straditionalethnographicparticularism.Patri-parallel-cousin-marriageis not, afterall,randomlydistributedthroughouttheworld.

6 Otheraspectsofthiscaseandhow it is thatone cangetthreeKula valuablesforoneare discussedinDamon(inpressa).

havediscussedthesameclosingsectionofthis

7 Malinowskistatesotherwise(I96I:

83), and Ekeh (1974:

27) stressesMalinowski's

perspective,presumablytryingtodrawoutaffinitiesbetweenMalinowskiandLevi-Strausson thesignificanceofthe'unconscious'insocialdiscourse.ButifMalinowskifoundnoTrobrianders whoknewofthewholeKulasystemI thinkitsafetosuggestthathetalkedwithnointelligent Trobriandersaboutthismatter. 8 Toleyinconsented,personallysailingbacktoKitavatogiveVineyawSenubet.Bythetime I leftMuyuwin I975 ithadnotyetgotbacktoToleyin,butnobodyhadanydoubtsthatit would.

9 ShirleyCampbell,whorecentlycompleteddissertationresearchinthesouthernendofthe Trobriands,alsocollecteda listofNonowan's(NanoulaintheTrobriands)recenttravels.Itis oftendifficulttocomparesuchlists,onereasonbeingthatthesamepersonoftenisknownby differentnamesindifferentplacesintheKulaRing.Neverthelessthereissubstantialagreement

inourtwoaccountsconcerningthesecondcycleinthelist(Kampeyn-Tasabweigay.) 10'Almost'becausethiscycleis

replacement,in I974-75,

doingthishoweverbecauseof thethreeveiguns-andseveralothersinformallyinvolved- markedtocomebackforNonowan. 11 This mancuvreis a formalstrategy:I have discussedit froma logical,ratherthan empirical,pointofviewelsewhere(Damoninpressa).

veryprecarious.Sinceit is highlyunstableMikdulan's

wasconsideringtakingNonowanback.He refrainedfromactively

12 AsKulaexchangerulesleadtoaccumulationso do theyleadtoperiodiccollapse,asLevi- Strauss'stheorywouldsuggest.I do notsubstantiatethepointforitengagesneitherthemajor contributionsnorlimitationsofLevi-Stra'uss'smodel.

13 Some of thethingsexchangedin thesespheres:pigs;yamsand taroforsailingwork; sleepingmatsand skirtsforclay pots;yam seedsfortaroseeds;betelnutforotherbetel paraphernalia.Thislistismoreorlessindescendingorderofvalue.Europeangoods,including

guns,radios,bagsofrice,andmoneyenterintothesetransactionswithoutaffecting,atthislevel, theirorganisationalprinciples.(SeeDamon

14 Logitsoftenengendercrises,somesmall,otherslarge.Thisis becausein orderto getthe valuablewithwhichoneisgoingtomakea logitoneoftenhastopromise,eitherexplicitlyor implicitly,thatthelargervaluableforwhichthelogitisbeingmadeisgoingtobe giventothe personwho initiallyprovidedit.Sincethelogitis alwayssmallerthanthevaluablewhichis reallydesiredtheoriginalgiverofthelogithasnodirectclaimsonthelargervaluable.Nota few

relationshipsaresevered,atleastforseveralyears,overconflictsresultingfromtheseoccasions.

SuchwasTakumboub'sfate.

I978, andinpressa, formoredetails.)

15 Thispointraisesan interestinghistoricalquestion.Is theorganicallydifferentiatedKula

Ringa resultofthestructureoftheKula,oristheKulathemediationofthedifferentproductive

activitiesofdifferentislands?

16 Theselowerleveltransactionsarenotcalledgimwal(seeTrobriandgimwali),butifthey weretheywould be evidenceforalienationbeingreflectedin Muyuwexchangepractices. Muyuw use the termgimwal,mostlyforrhetoricalpurposes,to emphasisethe negative characteristicsofpracticallyanykindofexchangebehaviourwheretheindividual(s)merely replaceshisgoodswiththoseofanother,havingnointerestintherelationshipitself.

17 ThisiscontrarytoMalinowski(I96I:

356). Moreoverthisismaleandfemaleasinmen

andwomen,notabstractgender.

FREDERICK H. DAMON

18 Thispointleadsto manysimilaritieswithMuyuwnotionsofconception.Muyuwhave sexualintercourseforproducing'grease',theamountofgreaseproducedbeingindicativeof how good theexperiencewas.Similarlywithfishing:one ofthewaysMuyuwclassifyand judgefishisbyhowmuchgreasetheyhave,themorethebetter.Butaswithconusshellssowith children.Oncetheconusshellorchildexists,evenwhenthelatterisstillinthemother'swomb,

theprocessoffinishingitisa deliberate,productive,activity.Ownershipanduse,inthecaseof bothkitoumsandchildren,followsfromthefactofproduction.

29I

'9

(I949).

IntheethnographicandlinguisticliteratureofthePacifictherearemanyinterestinghints

Fortune(I963:

astothesignificanceof'possession'.ForanearlysurveyandstatementoftheproblemseeCapel

68) discussesDobuanpossessionclassesusingasthesemanticcomponent

distancefromego. Althoughthe threeDobuan classesare similarto the Muyuw classes,

membershipin eachlanguagevariesto someextentandI haveslightlyrevisedthesemantic criteriawhichFortuneoffers.

20 Whenoneis actuallygoingto eatthecookedyamtheword,andpossessionclass,again shifts-ka-.Witha numberofdifferentphenomenaI canshowa regulartransformationfrom

oneclasstoanother.Forexample,withtheKulaitis(guna)kitoum(mykitoum),(agu)mwal(my mwaO,and

yaga(g) (name-my).'Name' is appropriateheresincethisis actuallywhatis

exchangedandmadebyKula activity.Furtherresearchandan articleareplannedinorderto dealwiththistopicmorecompletelythanI havehere.

21I do notdiscusshow kitoumsinterpenetratetheMuyuwkinshipsystembutit is very

similartothewayinwhichbeku,stoneaxes,seemtooperateintheTrobriands(WeinerI976:

I8o-I 83).

22 See Leach(I965:

I949.

I41), on 'debt'and'socialstructure'.Thereis considerablesimilarity

244).

Leach claims(personal

betweenLeach'sassertion,andsubsequentanalysiswithregardtotheKachinandLevi-Strauss's,

corrector incorrect,use of the same Kachin term(ESK:

communication)thathewasthinkinginthesetermsbeforehehadreadElementarystructuresin Neverthelessthisisanideawhichremainstobeexploredinconsiderabledetailformany, ifnotevery,society.AndI wouldassertthatithasnotbeenused,orwellused,byeitherloose orprecisereferencestothewesternconcept'contract'.

23This isnota contradictionbetweena 'modeofproduction'anda 'modeofcirculation'.It is insteada contradictionbetweendifferentaspects,productionand circulation,of thesame modeofproduction,theKula.

24 It is ofinterestthatO'Laughlin,in herstimulatingreviewarticle(1975),

onlyrefersto

344)

L'Hommenu.YetLevi-Straussansweredhercriticismofthe'ordersoforders'issue(I975:

nineteenyearsbeforeshewroteit (Levi-StraussI967: 329-30).

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