Firth, Raymond. Magnitudes and values in kula exchange

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Publication Information


Title: Magnitudes and values in kula exchange

Published in: The Kula : new perspectives on Massim exchange, edited by Jerry W. Leach and Edmund Leach

Published By: The Kula : new perspectives on Massim exchange, edited by Jerry W. Leach and Edmund Leach Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1983. 89-117 p.

By line: [by] Raymond Firth

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1995. Computer File

Culture: Trobriands (OL06)

Subjects: Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121); Sociocultural trends (178); Gift giving (431); Price and value (435); Accumulation of wealth (556);

Abstract: Based on his evaluation of Malinowski's earlier data on the Kula exchange in the Trobriands, Firth presents here an historical reconstruction in which he analyzes the relative value of the objects being transferred. Firth notes that it was very unlikely that the matching equivalence of armshells and necklaces circulating in exchange was ever exactly equal, but that factors of flexibility must have been introduced to expedite the transfer of goods between trading partners. Firth concludes that the Kula items ' least in the higher grades, were more definitely subject to individual claims of control, and less fixed in value in relation to one another, than Malinowski envisaged' (p. 101).

Document Number: 38

Document ID: ol06-038

Document Type: Essay

Language: English

Note: Bibliography will be found in 36: Leach, category 113

Field Date: no date

Evaluation: Ethnologist-4

Analyst: John Beierle

Coverage Date: not specified

Coverage Place: Papua New Guinea

LCSH: Trobriand Islanders


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