Carrier, Achsah H.. Structure and process in a Melanesian society: Ponam's progress in the twentieth century

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Introduction Approaching Ponam Society

Approaching Kinship And Exchange




Muddles In The Models

The Approach Of This Book

Chapter One The Organisation Of Ponam Kinship

Ponams' Relatives: Kinship From The Ego Focus

Ponam's Kin Groups: Kinship From The Ancestor Focus

Matrilineal Groups

Patrilineal Groups

Cognatic Groups

The Structure Of Stocks

Kinship And The Role Of Women In Exchange

Chapter Two Colonial History And Changes In Kamal S

Early Colonial Ponam

The Regional Economy In Early Colonial Times

Kamal S And Lapan S



Early Colonial History

The Post-war Years: Reorientation And Dependence

Social And Economic Reorientation

Kamals, Lapans And Exchanges After The War


Chapter Three Marriage And Ceremonial Exchange

Courtship And Marriage Choices

The Organisation Of Exchange

Affinal Exchange

Tamatu Exchange

Contributory Gifts And Relations Between Affines And Cross-cousins

Inequality Between Line-of-the-woman And Line-of-the-man

Logical Systems

Chapter Four Changes In Marriage And Ceremonial Exchange

Marriage Strategies

Ceremonial Exchange In The 1920s

Affinal Exchange In The 1920s

Tamatu Exchange

Change And Innovation






Changing Patterns And Changing Logics

Chapter Five The Representation Of Kamal S In Exchange

Visual Representation Of Social Relations

Gift Display In Ceremonial Prestations

Distributions To Moieties And Kamals

Kum-tolau Distribution

Sahai Distributions

Variations In Sahai Displays

Chapter Six The Representation Of Kindreds In Exchange

Individual-focused Displays

Kahuwe Tabac: The Return Prestation For An Engagement

Changes In Displays Over Generations

Display As Social Commentary


Chapter Seven The Process Of Exchange

Final Funeral Prestation For Camilius Pari

Preparing For The Kaapet Mahan

The Prestation Of Songa And Toweni Heping

The Prestation Of Sahai And Lo Pahis

Accumulating The Contribution For The Ken Si Ndrahol

Contributions To Ndrahol From His Agnatic Descendants

Contributions To Ndrahol From Line-of-the-woman

Contributions To Ndrahol From Others

Organising An Individual's Contributions

One Individual Contributes To Many Stocks

Deciding How Much To Give To Whom

The Sizes Of Contributions To A Brideprice Prestation

Competition And Hierarchy: The Implications Of The System


Conclusion The Tension Of Structure And Process

Structure And Process On Ponam

Conclusion: Process And Historical Context

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Structure and process in a Melanesian society: Ponam's progress in the twentieth century

Published By: Original publisher Chur ; Philadelphia: Harwood Academic Publishers. 1991. xxii, 261 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Achsah H. Carrier, James G. Carrier

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2005. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Manus (OM06)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Public structures (344); Gift giving (431); Status, role, and prestige (554); Mode of marriage (583); Kin relationships (602); Lineages (613); Clans (614); Burial practices and funerals (764);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This is a thorough account of gift exchange among the Manus of Ponum Island. The Carriers take a position between structuralists and processualists and argue that gift-giving is based on an inherent structural logic, i.e., sets of genealogical relationships recognized by everyone, and is also a means for commenting on and actualizing those relationships, in order to open 'roads' for marriage and exchange of needed materials. They examine different ceremonial exchanges that occur at marriage, funerals, birth of the first child, and establishment of a lineage. They show how these exchanges reflect existing social structure and genealogical ideals and principles, and redistribute resources and goods. They also discuss how ceremonial exchanges have changed historically, especially after contact with Western powers and development of a regional market economy.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 8

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. om06-008

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 244-253) and index

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1978-1986

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologists-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Ian Skoggard ; 2004

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1978-1986

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Ponam Island, Manus Province, Papua New Guinea

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Manus (Papua New Guinea people)


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