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Trickery and Sacrifice: Tambarans and the Appropriation of Female Reproductive Powers in Male Initiation Ceremonies in West New Britain

Andrew Lattas
Man
New Series, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Sep., 1989), pp. 451-469
DOI: 10.2307/2802701
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2802701
Page Count: 19
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Trickery and Sacrifice: Tambarans and the Appropriation of Female Reproductive Powers in Male Initiation Ceremonies in West New Britain
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Abstract

Examining sacrifice in male initiation rituals in West New Britain, this article analyses the relationship between art and power and in particular that cultural ontology and sociality inscribed and emergent from a use of artistry. Criticising an exclusive reliance on the transcendental truth ontology of the West with its notion of the sacred, this article explores the construction of social relations within an immanent culture which recognises the necessity for fictions. These fictions, this art of tambarans, is seen to have its mythical origins in women; with male rituals now celebrating the theft and usurpation of the ordering and generative power of these artistic illusions.

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