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Ku Waru : Language and Segmentary Politics in the Western Nebilyer Valley, Papua New Guinea - Francesca Merlan

Ku Waru

Language and Segmentary Politics in the Western Nebilyer Valley, Papua New Guinea

Hardcover Published: 29th March 1991
ISBN: 9780521323390
Number Of Pages: 410

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The highlanders of New Guinea are renowned for their elaborate systems of ceremonial exchange. Although much has been written about them, previous accounts have concentrated far less on the conduct of exchange events than on the structure of exchange systems. This book deals centrally with the conduct of particular exchange events, and shows through examination of them how larger social structures are reproduced and transformed. As part of the emphasis on exchange as social action, the book closely examines the oratory that plays a crucial part in the events. Basing their study on original fieldwork carried out in the Nebilyer Valley, Francesca Merlan and Alan Rumsey focus on an inter-related set of large-scale compensation payments which arose out of an episode of warfare. This cycle is particularly remarkable, as women stopped the fighting, and participated for the first time as transactors and orators in the ensuing exchange events. This book furthers our understanding of the interaction between social structures and historical events; and particularly of the crucial role of talk. It will be of special interest to anthropologists and linguists.

'... searching and brilliant re-assessment of social definition in the highlands.' Roy Wagner, Oceania '... Merlan and Rumsey have accomplished nothing less than a revolution in the understanding of Central New Guinea Highland sociality'. James F. Weiner, Man

List of illustrations
List of tables
List of abbreviations
Preface and acknowledgments
Introduction
The setting
Some aspects of Ku Waru segmentary sociality
Ceremonial exchange and marriage in the Western Nebilyer Valley
Some linguistic structures of segmentary politics
Warfare compensation payment of Laulku: an analysis
Compensation at Palimung and the Kulka women's club
The events in perspective
Perspectives on 'event'
Appendices
Transcript of proceedings at Kailge on July 24, 1983
Grammatical sketch of Bo Una, Ku Waru dialect
The conduct of warfare
Ku Waru metalinguistic expressions
Chapter notes
Glossary
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521323390
ISBN-10: 0521323398
Series: Studies in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Language
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 410
Published: 29th March 1991
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.75