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Journal Article

Constructing Regional Worlds in Experience: Kula Exchange, Witchcraft and Gawan Local Events

Nancy D. Munn
Man
New Series, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Mar., 1990), pp. 1-17
DOI: 10.2307/2804106
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2804106
Page Count: 17

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Topics: Diseases, Meetings, Witchcraft, Canoes, Clans, Spacetime, Horizon, Health outcomes, History, Connectivity
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Constructing Regional Worlds in Experience: Kula Exchange, Witchcraft and Gawan Local Events
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Abstract

Focusing on certain cultural practices in which spatiotemporally distanced events become meaning horizons of an actor's immediate situation or 'present', this article uses a single case to explore some aspects of the construction of a regional, lived world. The case derives from an inter-island kula transaction in the northeast Massim region of Papua New Guinea, and shows how, through witchcraft assumptions, Gawans incorporated this event into later local Gawan events and relations, variously infusing the latter with translocal meanings. In analysing some of the ways in which events were brought into connexion (and renewed connexion) with each other over a six-year period, I suggest a particular theoretical framework for viewing such micro-historical, symbolic processes.

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