Tambu, Grief, and the Meaning of Death

A. L. Epstein

in In the Midst of Life

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 1992 | ISBN: 9780520075627
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520911642 | DOI:
Tambu, Grief, and the Meaning of Death

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Visitors to the Gazelle Peninsula were intrigued by the local monetary system and the way in which tambu was intricately interwoven into the very texture of social life. One such traveler commented that New Britain was the only savage country he had visited where the natives had a true money currency of a standard value. This chapter discusses how the tambu is invested with powerful affect that moves people to act in various ways. It also examines Tolai attitudes toward death and their cultural and affective responses to it in order to provide a deeper understanding of the attachment to tambu.

Keywords: Tolai; tambu; death; affective response; money; currency

Chapter.  21914 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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