Chapter

Being and belonging: exchange, value, and land ownership in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea

Rosita Henry

in Possession and Ownership

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660223
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745096 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660223.003.0013

Series: Explorations in Linguistic Typology

Being and belonging: exchange, value, and land ownership in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea

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This chapter explores changing concepts of land ownership among speakers of Temboka (Tembagla) in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, in the circumstances of state intervention in transactions concerning land. Particular attention is paid to anthropological debates on property, theories of value and the role of land in how value can be measured and realised in the area. The chapter provides a snapshot of linguistic marking of possession in Temboka, and then explores a case study on the relationships between the Temboka-speaking Ganiga people and their neighbour Joe Leahy, who established a coffee plantation on their land. The relationship between the Ganiga people and Joe Leahy reveals contradictions between exclusive and inclusive conceptions of property. In practice, the land remains inalienable as. through various gift transactions, land value is continuously transformed into place value, the value of place as a form of sociality imbued with social relations.

Keywords: land ownership; verbs of ownership; Papuan languages; transactioons; value; alienable possession; inalienable possession; land rights

Chapter.  7480 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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