Powdermaker, Hortense, 1903-1970. Feasts in New Ireland: the social function of eating

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Publication Information


Title: Feasts in New Ireland: the social function of eating

Published in: American anthropologist -- Vol. 34

Published By: American anthropologist -- Vol. 34 Washington, etc.: American Anthropological Association, etc., 1932. 236-247 p.

By line: Hortense Powdermaker

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2012. Computer File

Culture: Lesu (OM24)

Subjects: Diet (262); Food preparation (252); Division of labor by gender (462); Eating (264); Gender status (562); Visiting and hospitality (574); Exchange transactions (437); Status, role, and prestige (554); Termination of marriage (586); Community structure (621); Instigation of war (721); Residence (591); Burial practices and funerals (764); Rest days and holidays (527); Gift giving (431); Ethnometeorology (821);

Abstract: This article, as the title suggests, discusses the function of eating as it occurs under communal-ritual conditions. The author presents a theoretical introduction to the subject, and descriptive data concerning feasting among the people of Lesu as she observed it on numerous occasions related to life cycle rites, economic transactions, war and peace, and other events. Preparations, the roles of men compared to those of women, moiety activities, trade and gift exchange, and other customs are discussed when pertinent to the feast itself. The author summarizes her data and concludes that feasts are a form of ritual serving to impress the sentiments of the society upon the individual, thus maintaining the existence of the former.

Document Number: 5

Document ID: om24-005

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Field Date: 1929-1930

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: George R. Bedell ; 1961

Coverage Date: 1920-1932

Coverage Place: Lesu, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea

LCSH: New Ireland Province (Papua New Guinea)//Ethnology--Papua New Guinea--New Ireland//Lesu, New Ireland (Papua New Guinea)


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