9789057023057

Magical Body : Power, Fame and Meaning in a Melanesian Society

by
  • ISBN13:

    9789057023057

  • ISBN10:

    9057023059

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1998-10-01
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

An intriguing exploration of the role and significance of the body in the world of a Pacific Islands People, the Lelet of New Ireland (Papua New Guinea). In vivid ethnographic detail, the monograph captures the fluidity and complexity of Lelet conceptions of corporeality and their significance to identity as they encounter the influences of modernity, in the form of colonialism, Christianity and cash-cropping. The author examines the importance of the body to constructions of identity and difference, and its role in the constitution of place and space. The book provides a richly detailed ethnographic study of magical belief and the body whilst paying particular attention to the polyvalent meanings of bodily images and metaphors as they are used in numerous contexts of magic.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
ix
Preface xi
Acknowledgements xvii
Language Notes and Conventions xix
Glossary xxi
Introduction 1(2)
Ethnographic emplacements and encounters
3(5)
The Lelet imagining their world
8(2)
Magic and the anthropological imagination
10(6)
The body and the anthropological imagination
16(3)
The power of movement and the movement of power
19(2)
Outline of book
21(4)
Empowering Bodies, Engendering Bodies
25(44)
Mapping the body
25(8)
Person, products and the creation of value
33(7)
Embodiment
40(5)
Movement, power and the dance
45(13)
The vulnerable body
58(11)
From Colonialism to Cash Crops
69(24)
Colonial governance
70(7)
From coconuts to cash cropping
77(8)
Developing roads, developing cash cropping
85(8)
Christianity, Conversion and Magic
93(28)
`We are in darkness and many are dying. When is the light coming?'
95(5)
The culture hero Moroa who became God
100(7)
From `heathen darkness' to Holy Spirit movement
107(8)
Magic and the baptism of the Holy Spirit
115(6)
Embodying Kinship: Shame, Sex and Shell Valuables
121(30)
Moieties, clans and lineages
121(5)
Avoidance relationships and bodies in space
126(5)
Shame, secrecy and sexual revelations
131(4)
Valuables, desire and movement
135(7)
Having somewhere to sit
142(9)
Other Bodies, Other Powers: The World of Non-Human Beings
151(28)
The multiple bodily forms of larada
152(3)
Refiguring the human form in lagas
155(2)
Larada, seating and movement
157(3)
The movement of lagas to peripheral spaces
160(3)
Illness, death and vulnerable bodies
163(9)
Revelatory, magical and innovative powers
172(7)
The Origins of Taro and the Culture of Famine
179(22)
Food staples and travelling food
180(4)
Nirut and the mythic origins of taro
184(4)
Famine and the flight of food
188(6)
Countering famine
194(7)
The Magical World of the Garden
201(26)
The taro gardening cycle
201(2)
Garden magic
203(17)
Lemeravas and seating the place
220(2)
Regimes of abstinence and bodily regulation
222(5)
Feasting and Fame: Finishing the Dead and Lifting up the Names of the Living
227(46)
The feasting cycle
228(7)
Finishing the head of the deceased
235(22)
Making power manifest, making the place heavy
257(6)
Fame, movement, memory
263(10)
Epilogue 273(4)
Archival Sources 277(2)
Bibliography 279(12)
Index 291

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