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The Narrative and Counter-Narrative of the Gift: Emotional Dimensions of Ceremonial Exchange in Southwestern New Britain

Thomas Maschio
The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Vol. 4, No. 1 (Mar., 1998), pp. 83-100
DOI: 10.2307/3034429
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3034429
Page Count: 18
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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 Narrative and Counter-Narrative of the Gift: Emotional Dimensions of Ceremonial Exchange in Southwestern New Britain
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Abstract

This article considers how issues of identity, choice and moral imagining are defined through a Melanesian narrative of gift-giving and exchange. The article also discusses patterned scenarios of exchange through which Rauto, a Melanesian people, explore the emotional correlates of giving and receiving. The article thus develops a novel perspectives on ceremonial exchange by considering the emotional entailments of the gift. While showing that emotion is a constitutive part of the gift, the article argues that a focus on the emotional aspects of cultural phenomena allows us to explore the experiential dimensions of these phenomena more fully than we would otherwise be able to do.

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