Egan, James A.. Taro, fish, and funerals: transformations in the Yapese cultural topography of wealth

Table of Contents

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Chapter 1 Introduction: Transformations In The Yapese Cultural Topography Of Wealth

Things-in-motion: Pathways And Topographies

Fish For Sale: Gilmar's Store & The Yap Fishery

Empty Shelves & B Grade Produce: The Farmer's Market

Fish, Taro, Cash & Gender

From Mitmit To Funerals

Endnotes To Chapter 1

Chapter 2 Yap: Colonial Legacy And Post-colonial Setting

Historical Background

Yap In The Post-colonial Era

Food Production And Income In The Tabinaw

Yapese Fieldwork: Illusions Of Control & Secret Knowledge

Gender, Production, And Politics

Endnotes To Chapter 2

Chapter 3 Land And People: Yapese Logics

Gil' I Lungun: A Hierarchy Of Land

A Dialectic Of Land And People

Yapese “muddles In The Models”

Ganong, Labor, And Cross-siblingship

Mafen: The Persistence Of Ganong Ties To Land

Dyadic Relations Within The Tabinaw

Triads Of Authority: The Structure Of Hierarchy

Tabugul And Taay: The Fragile Nature Of Order

Land: History As Hierarchy

Endnotes To Chapter 3

Chapter 4 Yapese Mitmit: Wealth Flows And Social Relations In The Colonial Era

Inter- Tabinaw Mitmit

Inter-village Mitmit

Wealth Flows And The Reproduction Of Hierarchy

Chapter 5 No Taro At This Market: Taro, Fish, Gender And Yapese Commodity Pathways

Colonialism And The Yapese Wage Economy

Fish, Wages, And Male Responsibilities

Women, Agriculture, & Wages

Gendered Complementarity In The Post-colonial Era

Cultural Barriers To The Flow Of Ggaan

Taro And Fish Renegotiated

Endnotes To Chapter 5

Chapter 6 “now The Funeral Is Pilung ”:recontextualization And The Reproduction Of Value

Taro & Fish In Both Old Contexts & New

Death, Pollution And The Social: The Post-war Colonial Era

Yapese Funerals In The 1990s

Wealth Flows & Social Relations In A New Context

And Yet, Pollution Remains…

Endnotes For Chapter 6

Chapter 7 From Mitmit To Funerals: Shifts In The Yapese Cultural Topography Of Wealth

Demographic Collapse And Expanding Personal Networks

Feeding The Guests: Food And Funerals

Catholicism: Shifts In The Magowan Ko Yam'

Changing The Guard: Colonial Policy And Exchange

Mitmit: Accumulation And The Limits Of Exchange

Funerals: The Emergence Of Spontaneous Exchange

Funerary Exchange: An Uneasy “solution”

Endnotes To Chapter 7

Chapter 8 Total Commodities And Renegotiated Wealth Flows

Yapese Wealth And Social Reproduction

Taro, Fish, And Funerals In The Post-colonial Era

Endnotes For Chapter 8

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Taro, fish, and funerals: transformations in the Yapese cultural topography of wealth

Published By: Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI, 1998 [2005 copy]. xiv, 382 p.: ill.

By line: by James Arthur Egan

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Yapese (OR22)

Subjects: Real property (423); Gift giving (431); Labor and leisure (461); Division of labor by gender (462); Status, role, and prestige (554); Household (592); Avuncular and nepotic relatives (604); Parents-in-law and children-in-law (606); Clans (614); Inter-community relations (628); Burial practices and funerals (764);

Abstract: The two major questions Egan sets out to answer in this doctoral dissertation are i) why in the post-colonial period (1986 and after) have funerals, once staid affairs, become the site of extravagant ceremonial exchanges and gift-giving, and ii) why no one can buy taro, the Yap staple, in any market in spite of the commodification of all other Yap produce? In the past, elaborate gift-giving ceremonies (MITMIT) were centered on weddings and involved two main staples: fish, caught by men and taro, grown by women. Following the work of Labby (see document no. 26), Egan shows how these exchanges express, fortify, and manipulate property, kin, and political relationships. The colonial powers considered the MITMIT a pagan ritual and suppressed it, but ignored the cash donations given at funerals, which had come under the purview of the Catholic church. In the post-Second World War period, expanding US bureaucracy, aid, and trade, especially in the post-colonial period after 1985, heated up the Yap economy resulting in an increase in funerary donations. Men now had access to cash and imported goods to donate, whereas women, still tied to the farm, could only reciprocate with their traditional taro produce, which they kept off the markets in order to use for gift-giving.

Document Number: 27

Document ID: or22-027

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: UM9821439. Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of California, Irvine, 1998.

Field Date: 1988-1993

Evaluation: Ethnologist-4, 5

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ; 2005

Coverage Date: 1850-1993

Coverage Place: Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia

LCSH: Yapese (Micronesian people)/Yap (Micronesia)


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