Forms which Propagate

Marilyn Strathern

in The Gender of the Gift

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 1988 | ISBN: 9780520064232
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520910713 | DOI:
Forms which Propagate

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This chapter turns to the process of substitution by which relations are made visible in a form other than themselves; the substituted effect is often staged as the transformed outcome of relations magnified through replication. The marriage exchanges of the Highlands are first considered, which is followed by a seemingly different situation in the matrilineal Massim. Encompassment may be aesthetically apprehended as a male person containing within and having attached to himself female elements in male form or as a female person containing within or having attached to herself male elements in female form. The propagation of children in Hagen is like the propagation of food. Kin relations come to be the subject of transactions, and people engage in expanding them in the only way possible—by making “more” kinship.

Keywords: relations; propagation; marriage exchanges; Highlands; matrilineal Massim; encompassment; Hagen; kinship

Chapter.  18378 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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