essay

Magnitudes and values in kula exchange

kula : new perspectives on massim exchangeCambridge, U.K. • Published In 1983 • Pages: 89-117

By: Firth, Raymond.

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 '…at 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).
Subjects
Theoretical orientation in research and its results
Sociocultural trends
Gift giving
Price and value
Accumulation of wealth
culture
Trobriands
HRAF PubDate
1995
Region
Oceania
Sub Region
Melanesia
Document Type
essay
Evaluation
Ethnologist-4
Analyst
John Beierle
Coverage Date
not specified
Coverage Place
Papua New Guinea
Notes
[by] Raymond Firth
Bibliography will be found in 36: Leach, Information Sources Listed in Other Works (113)
LCCN
82004142
LCSH
Trobriand Islanders