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The Value of Words and the Meaning of Things in Eastern Indonesian Exchange

Webb Keane
Man
New Series, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 605-629
DOI: 10.2307/2804345
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2804345
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Value of Words and the Meaning of Things in Eastern Indonesian Exchange
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Abstract

One way in which exchange systems mediate the values of persons and things is through performances that articulate the transaction of valuables with that of words. This article looks at the forms by which exchanges in Anakalang (Sumba) are carried out, especially the ways in which they treat speech and things as interdependent. In Anakalang, their interrelationship reveals not only the meaning but also the risks of social interaction, and the permeability of the boundaries between exchange and other kinds of transaction. In addition, it is suggested that historical transformations in political economy and in genres of speaking may have mutual influences one upon the other.

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