Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Men, money and machines : the making of a modern society in highland New Guinea Parker, Michael Stewart 1979

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1979_A8 P36.pdf [ 13.51MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0094836.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0094836-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0094836-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0094836-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0094836-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0094836-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0094836-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0094836-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0094836.ris

Full Text

MEN, MONEY AND MACHINES:  THE MAKING OF  A MODERN SOCIETY IN HIGHLAND NEW GUINEA  MICHAEL STEWART PARKER B.A., The University of Cape Town, 1973  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology  We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1979  (c)  Michael Stewart Barker, 1979  In  presenting  an  advanced  the  Library  I  further  for  this  thesis  degree shall  agree  scholarly  at  the U n i v e r s i t y  make that  purposes  his representatives.  of  this  written  freely  of  University  ^ T V M L O  of  British  gain  p  t  O O T * O & . £ A  G  ^  Columbia  2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5  Date  of  Columbia,  British  by  \yi°\  for  shall  that  not  the  requirements  reference copying  t h e Head  i s understood  financial  A  of  for extensive  may b e g r a n t e d It  fulfilment  available  permission.  Department  The  for  it  permission  by  thesis  in p a r t i a l  of  I agree and this  or  that  study. thesis  o f my D e p a r t m e n t  copying  for  or  publication  be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t  my  -ii-  ABSTRACT  The Siane are a Highland New Guinea t r i b e who represent, i n t h e i r modest way, many of the issues and arguments surrounding the unequal meeting of v i l l a g e and kinship encapsulated s o c i e t i e s with the imperium of the world money-economy.  The thesis i s directed to the  question of i d e n t i f y i n g change, and those v o l a t i l e elements within the contact s i t u a t i o n which p r e c i p i t a t e movement i n otherwise s t a t i c t r a d i t i o n a l economies; and to understanding i n what sense change can be something that i s planned f o r . R.E. Salisbury, from whose book From Stone to S t e e l i t develops, argues with an economist's sense of axiom that the Siane are free t o decide the lineaments of t h e i r future s o c i e t y , i n as much as the act of choice i s the matrix within which economic and s o c i a l organization takes form; and he searches f o r the structuring' of Siane choices i n terms of the competition of ends and means.  His postulations of a certain order of development founder,  however, on t h e i r own test case.  This i s the attempt t o ascertain the  economic p o t e n t i a l of the s t e e l axe - which reveals an unexpected preference f o r investing not i n the increment of material wealth, but i n a ceremonious trade i n s h e l l "valuables". Closer attention to t h i s phenomenon discloses a highly p o l i t i c i z e d network of debt - integrating n  Siane s o c i a l l y and economically; and the a n a l y t i c point made concerns the l o g i c a l primary of the notion of exchange as the systematizing f a c t o r i n society.  In p a r t i c u l a r , the " c o d i f i c a t i o n s " of the medium  by which exchange a c t i v i t y takes e f f e c t aresshown to d i f f e r empirically i n respect to the degree that choice i s a value of a transaction. I t  -iii-  i s the s u b s t i t u t i o n of one medium (native valuables) by another (modern money) that i n Siane begins the processes of c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l change and holds out the p o s s i b i l i t y of sustained economic growth, though t h i s raises problems both about specifying the nature of money i n r e l a t i o n to d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l systems, and about the sort of pattern which at t h i s i n c i p i e n t stage might be d i s c e r n i b l e i n the f l u x i o n s of recent events.  Much of the reasoning i s pursued with  reference to the l i t e r a t u r e i n transactional and symbolic analysis; while the themes of money, i t s impact on subsistence systems, and the moralities subsumed by money exchanges, are e s p e c i a l l y those of Burridge and Belshaw.  A subsidiary theme, included as the more  cogent t e s t case, i s the Cargo Cult: f o r i n New Guinea the presence of a Cult confirms a process of c u l t u r a l re-evaluation.  The features  of cargoism give scope to t h e o r i s t s of a contrary persuasion Lawrence, Worsley, White and Steward are discussed - who interpret s o c i a l h i s t o r y d e t e r m i n i s t i c a l l y , or who would see man as a t o o l of h i s own technology. The Siane material shows, though, that the manner i n which a material resource feeds i n t o , or can influence, economic organization i s r e s t r i c t e d by conventions that govern the r e l a t i o n s of people. Beyond t h i s , the c r i t i c i s m of t h e i r respective standpoints flows from the same i n s p i r a t i o n with which Victor Hugo once wrote: "There i s one t h i n g stronger than a l l the armies i n the world and that i s an idea whose time has come".  In Siane the watershed was reached i n two ideas  -iv~  conjointly, both f i n d i n g t h e i r locus i n the symbolic properties of modern money.  These axe the conception  of a f a c t o r i a l as opposed t o  binary expression of s o c i a l value, and the r e a l i z a t i o n by i n d i v i d u a l s that the power of self-determination they can activate varies r e l a t i v e t o t h i s v a r i a t i o n of s o c i a l condition.  Though Salisbury denies evidence  of Gargoism, the conclusion suggests the i n e v i t a b i l i t y that Siane i s r i v e n by millenarian s t i r r i n g s .  TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  ii-iv THE SIANE AND  I.  THE GENERAL THEME OF CHANGE  1. Introduction 2. The Fascination of the Primitive 3. Future New Guinea : Quo Vadis? 4. A Comparison : Japan and the "Westernization" of a 5.  6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.  Page  T r a d i t i o n a l Society Linear Change, Progress, Materialism : The Western World-View Society as a Mechanical System or a Moral Order? Magic and Machines: Factors of Production Primitive Thought-Worlds The Administration of Change Organization, Evaluation and Choice System, Movement, Money CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND THE HUMAN FACTOR IN PRODUCTION  1 1 4 7 10 13 17 19 26 28  33 40  6. S o c i a l C a p i t a l and the Pseudo-Economy 7. Substantivism 8. Power as Command  43 43 52 55 57 60 62 66 74  THE ORGANIZATION OF SIANE ECONOMY  78  II.  1. Choice and Value: the Economist's Model 2. Productive Capital and the Developing Economy 3. Accounting 4. The Axe and the F a i l u r e of the Economic Revolution Ceremony and the D i s t r i b u t i o n of Leisure Time  III.  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.  The Moral Design The Clans and the P r i n c i p l e of Binary Opposition Work and Residence: the P r i n c i p l e Confirmed The Axe as Badge Exchange Goods and the Exchange of Messages Food Luxuries Valuables P o l i t i c i z e d Economy Management and the Modal Personality MONEY AND  IV  1. 2. 3. 4. 5.  6. 7. 8.  THE INTEGRATION OF SOCIETY  The Valuables - Treasure or Money? Arithmetic and S o c i a l Change Purchasing Power as "Real" Wealth Money as Promise: Credit Farming Managers and the Making of Money Money and the Native Theory of E v i l Money and the Redemptive Process Money Symbols and the Management of Meaning  78  80  85 87 92 96 98: 100 104 108  119 119 125 130 137 146  153 159 165  -viPage V. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. VI.  SIANE ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE WORLD ECONOMY  174  Paper Revolutions Pre-Contact I n f l a t i o n Contact and the New Money Modern Cash and T r a d i t i o n a l Demand B i g Men and the Future of Power "Nothing Men" and the Consumer Society Ideas and the Formulation of an Alternative Society New P r i n c i p l e s , New Organization Reaction and the Colonial Context Performance of Oppression?  174 175 187 195 197 203 205 215 226 239  CONCLUDING THEME - CARGO  245  BIBLIOGRAPHY  258  -1-  I.  THE SIANE AND THE GENERAL THEME OF CHANGE  1. Introduction The Siane f i r s t encountered the modern world i n  1933 t  when parties  of European explorers penetrated their Highland t e r r i t o r y (c.f. Salisbury 1962 : 1,112-114).  To that encounter they brought a culture that was neo-  l i t h i c and entirely without knowledge of metals. The most important single item i n their inventory of cultural equipment was the hafted stone axe. By i t s use i n the heavy labour of f e l l i n g trees and clearing and fencing garden plots, the axe was indispensable to the economy of Siane. By a l l accounts, the European presence was traumatic and confusing, but i t was brief.  Being white-faced, the explorers were taken f o r  s p i r i t s returned from the land of the dead. They were followed by hundreds of natives, t r a i l i n g their pigs to be blessed f o r abundant f e r t i l i t y , or else picking up empty tins and discarded bits of paper i n the belief that, Midas-like, these would be transformed into valuables at the touch of the "ancestors". With their departure, the Siane were plunged back into isolation. By  1945f  when next patrols set out to establish a permanent  Government influence i n the area, the Siane were dissolving into uncontrollable warfare (op. c i t . 118).  In the intervening time they had also come  into the possession of steel axes, which they acquired from outside sources through a spiderwork of indigenous trade connections. Everywhere i n the native system of production the steel axe had supplanted i t s rude stone predecessor, and because of i t s vastly superior efficiency as a t o o l , i t d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y affected a l l other aspects of Siane l i f e .  Otherwise,  -2-  no  o t h e r immediate European i n f l u e n c e - Government, m i s s i o n a r y ,  trade  s t o r e , miner, o r p l a n t e r - had broken t h e i s o l a t i o n o f t h a t t w e l v e y e a r lacuna. (op.  Hence t h e r e would appear t o be e v e r y j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r S a l i s b u r y  c i t . 2 ) t o assume t h e c r u x o f h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n : t h a t whatever t h e  e x o t i c o r i g i n s o f t h e s t e e l axe, t h e use S i a n e made o f i t , and t h e e n s u i n g changes i n t h e i r s o c i e t y , can be i n t e r p r e t e d unambiguously as h a v i n g been m o t i v a t e d w h o l l y from w i t h i n t h e p r e - e x i s t i n g c u l t u r e .  As records ing  i t happens, t h e case i s n o t u n p a r a l l e l l e d o  (1964)  how, i n A u s t r a l i a , Y i r Yoront s o c i e t y a c t u a l l y c o l l a p s e d  upon an i n f l u x o f s t e e l axes.  l o g i c a l c u r i o s i t y , the great value a rare opportunity  follow-  But t h e Siane were n o t l i k e w i s e  r e d u c e d t o a f r a c t u r e d v e s t i g e o f t h e i r former v i t a l i t y .  provides  Sharp  No a r c h e o -  of the Siane i s t h a t t h e i r s u r v i v a l  o f f o l l o w i n g through t h e d e v e l o p i n g  response  o f a s o c i e t y , s e q u e s t e r e d from t h e f u l l impact o f t h e world wide market system, t o a s i n g u l a r t e c h n o l o g i c a l  T h i s i s S a l i s b u r y ' s view.  innovation.  S t a n n e r , i n h i s foreword commentary,  endorses i t , and r a i s e s w i t h a s p e c i a l emphasis t h e theme o f v o l u n t a r i s m i m p l i e d and t h e c o n n e c t i o n  i t has w i t h p o l i c i e s f o r a d m i n i s t e r e d  change:  The main concern o f t h e book i s a v o l u n t a r y p r o c e s s o f autonomous development. I t throws a h e l p f u l l i g h t on many p r a c t i c a l problems - o f both p o l i c y and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n - t h a t a r i s e i n attempts t o l i f t t h e m a t e r i a l s t a n d a r d s o f n a t i v e peoples by schemes f o r induced development and d i r e c t e d growth. Hence t h e f o r c e o f a w e l l - r e a s o n e d account o f 'how a simple t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n n o v a t i o n can, g i v e n time and t h e f r e e p l a y o f both the human d e s i r e f o r power and t h e randomness o f i n n o v a t i o n , e v e n t u a l l y produce a new o r g a n i z a t i o n o f s o c i e t y and a new standard o f l i f e '  -3A f u l l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f M e l a n e s i a n economic v o l u n t a r ism may have profound importance f o r a l l t h o s e who wish t h e n a t i v e p e o p l e s w e l l i n t h e i r d i f f i c u l t s t r u g g l e w i t h modernity. (op. c i t . v i i - v i i i , emphasis i n the o r i g i n a l )  Stanner's enthusiasm  i s e a s i l y s h a r e d i f o n l y a t t h e l e v e l where  t h e v e r y vagueness o f h i s words g l o s s e s over t h e i r c o n f u s i o n .  Julius  N y e r e r e says somewhere t h a t t h e i s s u e t h a t c o n f r o n t s t h e people o f t h e T h i r d World  i s not whether t h e y can choose t o d e v e l o p o r n o t , but whether  t h e y can choose t h e i r development.  Though t h i s i s a v i e w p o i n t d e r i v i n g  from a v e r y d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l e x p e r i e n c e , i t n e v e r t h e l e s s f o c u s e s some of the b a s i c questions f o r t h i s study. must s t r u g g l e w i t h i t w h i l e Westerners  What i s "modernity" t h a t n a t i v e s t a k e i t f o r granted?  a s i n g l e form o r essence, or can i t be s e v e r a l ?  How  Does i t have  e x a c t l y i s the point  o f t r a n s i t i o n t o be i d e n t i f i e d , and cause and p r e c o n d i t i o n r e l a t e d t o effect?  What h i s t o r i c a l l y have been the r e a l f o r c e s o f change o p e r a t i n g  on M e l a n e s i a , and how  f a r have t h e s e been w i t h i n t h e c o n t r o l o f n a t i v e s -  i f above t h e i r comprehension?  Do terms l i k e " v o l u n t a r i s m " and"autonomy"  succeed i n c o n v e y i n g a n y t h i n g s u b s t a n t i a l about M e l a n e s i a n economies when t h e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f economic p r o c e s s e s i n non-market c o n t e x t s has been t h e bone o f i n v e t e r a t e t h e o r e t i c a l c o n t e n t i o n ? presumption  So t o o , what k i n d o f  i s t h e t a s k - amounting a t t i m e s t o a moral concern - o f  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n s t o b r i n g t h e i r n a t i v e charges i n t o a c i v i l i z e d w i t h y e t , as i t seems, exiguous knowledge o f how  "schemes f o r i n d u c e d  development and d i r e c t e d growth" engage i n a c t u a l i t y w i t h the l i v e s o f t h o s e people t o whose b e n e f i t they a r e  condition,  everyday  pledged?  The f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s r e p r e s e n t a r a n s a c k i n g o f t h e S i a n e  -im-  material f o r answers t o these issues, or at least f o r implications.  In  so f a r as there can be a singular t h e s i s i n amongst such complexity i t i s that f o r men, evolution i s measured i n ideas. technology.  Thought i s man's primary  I t i s by the resources of symbolism that people construct a  world and t h e i r i d e n t i t i e s , v i s u a l i z e the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of action, assess the past and organize f o r the future.  2. The Fascination of the Primitive I f the hard r e a l i t y of most contact situations i s that native cultures are forced into a conception of modernity, or else simply be engulfed by i t , then i t i s equally true by the same f a c t of contact  that  c i v i l i z a t i o n i s obliged to take account of r a d i c a l alternatives to i t s e l f . The very primitiveness of the Siane b e s t i r s an archetype i n the urbane imagination.  About t h i s Carpenter i s quite  scathing:  In the world of e l e c t r o n i c technology, we humbly encounter the primitive as avant garde. Americans, Englishmen, Spaniards, I t a l i a n s , Japanese f l o c k t o the Sepik, board p a l a t i a l houseboats and, drink i n hand, solemnly view savages on the hoof. This search f o r the primitive i s surely one of the most remarkable features of our age. It's as i f we feared we had carried too f a r our experiment i n rationalism, but wouldn't admit i t and so we c a l l e d f o r t h other cultures i n exotic and disguised forms to administer a l l those experiences suppressed among us. But those we have summoned are generally i l l - s u i t e d by t r a d i t i o n and temperament t o play the r o l e of a l t e r ego f o r us. So we recast them accordingly, costuming them i n the missing parts of our psyches and expecting them to s a t i s f y our secret needs." (Carpenter 1976 : 94-95) The r e j e c t i o n of the other's humanity pervades even the sophist i c a t e d awareness of science.  Anthropology, as an o f f s p r i n g of c o l o n i a l -  ism, Carpenter (op. c i t . I 6 8 - I 6 9 ) elsewhere r e c a l l s , r e f l e c t s what  -5-  Levi-Strauss t r e a t s the  sees as "a s t a t e o f a f f a i r s i n which one  o t h e r as o b j e c t " .  p a r t o f mankind  Perhaps i n m i t i g a t i o n o f a bad  t h e n o t i o n o f " p r i m i t i v e n e s s " i s now  discussed  i n the d i s c i p l i n e with a  s t u d i e d detachment from moral or i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n n o t a t i o n  1970 : 90-113)« described  conscience,  ( c f . Douglas  I t i s ways o f d o i n g t h i n g s , not p e o p l e , which can  as p r i m i t i v e or o t h e r w i s e , so t h a t the d e s i g n a t i o n  be  i s thus  a c c e p t e d p r i m a r i l y as a statement about i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o m p l e x i t y or n o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n ( c f . M a i r 1964  : 225  and  Goldschmidt 1964  In t h i s l i g h t , the r u d i m e n t a r y stone axe  :  tech-  482).  stands, f i g u r a t i v e l y ,  almost as the epitome o f the v e r y b e g i n n i n g s of man's c o n t r o l over h i s m a t e r i a l environment, the p r e l u d e t o a v a s t e v o l u t i o n a r y  progression  b e f o r e the a t t a i n m e n t o f a l e v e l o f c u l t u r a l c o m p l e x i t y .  However, the  Siane i n d i c a t e that there ness.  i s something e l s e t o the p e r c e p t i o n  T h e i r abrupt p r o p u l s i o n out o f a s t o n e - w i e l d i n g  t h e l a t t e r - d a y r e a l m o f s o p h i s t i c a t e d machines and the  of p r i m i t i v e -  pre-history, into  materials,  accentuates  obvious f u r t h e r element, t h a t " p r i m i t i v e " i s a comparative, not  absolute  word.  described  I t i s by the s t a n d a r d s o f modern s o c i e t y t h a t Siane  an are  as p r i m i t i v e - a judgement: which a l s o i m p l i e s something about  c i v i l i z a t i o n ' s own  self-conception.  the notion of " c i v i l i z a t i o n "  a  !  i n o t h e r words, t h a t  l i e s somewhere here i n what i s e s s e n t i a l l y  an exchange o f meanings between two Diamond (1963  That i s t o say,  broad c l a s s e s o f humanity.  x - x i ) m a i n t a i n s t h a t no s o c i a l p h i l o s o p h y  of  Indeed any  consequence can a v o i d c a s t i n g i t s v e r s i o n o f contemporary community, or i t s imperatives  f o r a s u p e r i o r humanity, except over a g a i n s t  h i s t o r i c a l assumptions as t o the c h a r a c t e r and the m e r i t s existence.  certain  of p r i m i t i v e  T h i s i s because, without the n o t i o n o f c e r t a i n c o n s t a n t s  in  -6-  human n a t u r e , "humanity must t h e n be c o n c e i v e d t o be i n f i n i t e l y  adaptable  and thus i n c a p a b l e o f h i s t o r i c u n d e r s t a n d i n g o r self-amendment" (Diamond i b i d , and  c f . S t e i n 1963  :  194).  S a l i s b u r y would presumably concur w i t h t h e view. ( S a l i s b u r y 1968  : 484),  In an  article  he has s t a t e d t h a t the i n t e r e s t i n t h e t e c h n o l o g i c a l ,  economic, and o t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e s which produce  growth and  developmental  change i n s o c i e t i e s r e p r e s e n t s a r e t u r n t o many o f t h e e v o l u t i o n a r y problems which have always been a fundamental  concern o f a n t h r o p o l o g y .  This  c l a i m i s a c c u r a t e , however, o n l y w i t h t h e q u a l i f i c a t i o n t h a t i n the h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t o f the European i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n s out o f which a n t h r o p o l o g y e v e n t u a l l y s e p a r a t e d i t s e l f as a d i s t i n c t branch o f e n q u i r y , the c u r i o s i t y about t h e p r i m i t i v e was  i n good measure a l o g i c a l p r o j e c t i o n o f  t h e more c o m p e l l i n g p r e o c c u p a t i o n European minds "have had w i t h t h e p e r f e c t i o n o f t h e i r own  society.  As Diamond d e s c r i b e s i t ,  the  comparison  has g e n e r a l l y c o n t a i n e d t h e awareness t h a t between c i v i l i z e d man  and h i s  p r i m i t i v e b r e t h r e n , t h e r e l i e s an unfathomable d i s t a n c e : The o r i g i n and n a t u r e o f t h e s t a t e i s a s u b j e c t p e c u l i a r l y appropriate t o c u l t u r a l anthropology, f o r s t a t e s f i r s t a r i s e through the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and o b l i t e r a t i o n o f t y p i c a l l y p r i m i t i v e i n s t i t u t i o n s . T h i n k e r s o f t h e most d i v e r s e backgrounds and i n t e n t i o n s have, throughout h i s t o r y , grasped t h i s c a r d i n a l f a c t o f s t a t e f o r m a t i o n . Lao-tzu, Rousseau, Marx and E n g e l s , Maine, Morgan, M a i t l a n d , T o n n i e s , and many contemporary s t u d e n t s o f s o c i e t y have u n d e r s t o o d t h a t t h e r e i s a q u a l i t a t i v e d i s t i n c t i o n between the s t r u c t u r e o f p r i m i t i v e l i f e and c i v i l i z a t i o n . Moreover, t h e y have, more o r l e s s e x p l i c i t l y , sensed t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n h e r e n t i n t h e t r a n s i t i o n from k i n s h i p , o r p r i m i t i v e , t o c i v i l i z e d , or p o l i t i c a l , s o c i e t y . " (Diamond I963 : 1?0)  T h i s sense o f i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y was of Utopian speculation.  f r e q u e n t l y t e s t e d i n the  form  In r e t r o s p e c t , U t o p i a n i s m , whether i n v o k i n g t h e  -7-  n o s t a l g i a o f a p r i s t i n e n o b i l i t y o r f i e r c e l y a n t i c i p a t i n g the complete triumph  of the r a t i o n a l s t a t e , t h r i v e d on images of the p r i m i t i v e t h a t  were o f t e n simply c h i m e r i c a l .  T h i s owed d i r e c t l y to the remoteness of  a l i e n c u l t u r e s i n an age of inadequate  communications, which meant t h a t  i n method the p r i m i t i v e was a c c e s s i b l e l a r g e l y by the t r a d i t i o n of voyages imaginaires  ( c f . Souter 1974 : 9 ) . Here, u n i q u e l y , New Guineans, and i n  p a r t i c u l a r those i s o l a t e d  t r i b e s l i k e Siane, have made t h e i r  For a t the r e l a t i v e l y l a t e stage a t which anthropology  contribution.  entered the f i e l d ,  equipped  w i t h i t s e m p i r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s and a s p e c i a l i s t  language of  debate,  the p r i m i t i v e had become a r a p i d l y f a d i n g r e a l i t y .  Long a f t e r  A f r i c a had s u r r e n d e r e d up i t s d a r k e s t m y s t e r i e s to the v a r i o u s i m p e r i a l i s m s of Europe, the u n c e r t a i n i n t e r i o r o f the i s l a n d o f New Guinea remained, still,  as Souter  (1974) e n t i t l e s h i s book, the L a s t Unknown, a g e o g r a p h i c a l  and a c o n c e p t u a l t e r r a i n c o g n i t a , a f i n a l r e s e r v o i r o f what Rousseau "the almost 1977  i m p e r c e p t i b l e stages of man's b e g i n n i n g s "  : 275-358, and Carpenter  3. F u t u r e New Guinea  (cf. Levi-Strauss  1976 : 105).  : Quo V a d i s ?  So how, a f t e r a l l , i s s u e s w i t h r e s p e c t to people  have a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s b r o a d l y p e r c e i v e d the l i k e the Siane?  I t i s perhaps the f a c t of  change t h a t has f o r c e d i t s way i n t o the foreground of a t t e n t i o n . meeting of c u l t u r e s , when f i n a l l y t h a t have been remarkably  and  i t came t o New Guinea,  brought  compressed i n time and u n e q u a l l y  C o l o n i z a t i o n bestowed confused evanesces  calls  The changes  distributed.  b e n e f i t s - a c e n t r a l i z e d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n that  among myriads of mountain pathways and j u n g l e t r a i l s ; a p a r l i a m e n t  "due p r o c e s s " of law to r e p l a c e v e n d e t t a and s o r c e r y ; i n t e r n a t i o n a l  -8-  b u s i n e s s where b e f o r e money meant b i r d - o f - p a r a d i s e plumes and d o g ' s  teeth;  a u n i v e r s i t y f o r a people o n l y b e g i n n i n g t o r e a d and w r i t e ; commerce and i n d u s t r y and a f o r e t a s t e o f u r b a n i z e d l i v i n g ; a f l a g t o c e l e b r a t e a l i t t l e comprehended n e w - n a t i o n s t a t u s ; and t h e g e n t i l i t y o f c r i c k e t as a for  i n t e r - t r i b a l w a r f a r e and c a n n i b a l i s m .  surrogate  I n t h i s c o n t e x t , Cargo movements,  t h o s e b i z a r r e , e p i s o d i c and o u t w a r d l y u n p r o d u c t i v e d i s r u p t i o n s o f t h e " n o r m a l " f a b r i c o f n a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s , have become t h e s i n g u l a r h a l l m a r k o f change i n New G u i n e a , and a symptom o f an emerging new o r d e r .  Lawrence  f o r m u l a t e s a thought about whether, and i n what f o r m , t h e o l d c u l t u r e s  can  c o n t i n u e i n t h e coming e r a : . . . t h e q u e s t i o n w i l l be whether t h e s e / c h a n g e ^ / must t r a n s f o r m Papua New Guineans i n t o y e t a n o t h e r v e r s i o n o f t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y i n d u s t r i a l man o r whether Papua New Guineans w i l l stamp t h e / c h a n g e s / w i t h t h e i r own i d i o s y n c r a t i c nescio quid.' (Lawrence 1977 '• x i v ) S a l i s b u r y (1962 : 2) i s c a u t i o u s about a d v a n c i n g g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e S i a n e a r e a unique example o f a u n i d i m e n s i o n a l t e c h n o l o g i c a l cause a c t i n g upon a c o m p a r a t i v e l y u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d  l e v e l of system,  and he a f f i r m s t h e v a l u e o f e x t r a p o l a t i n g t o s i t u a t i o n s o c c u r r i n g elsewhere i n New G u i n e a o r i n t h e w o r l d a t l a r g e , where change may be a f a r more comp l e x and v a r i e g a t e d phenomenon, but where t e c h n o l o g i c a l change w i l l i n v a r i a b l y be i n c l u d e d as one component.  almost  However, t h e r e v e r s e p r o c e s s  to  t h i s - t h e more i n s i d i o u s because more o f t e n t h a n not i t goes u n n o t i c e d i s t o p r e j u d i c e t h e s i m p l i c i t y o f something l i k e t h e S i a n e s t u d y w i t h p r e c o n c e p t i o n s drawn from d i f f e r e n t  contexts.  A c r i t i c i s m Belshaw (1955 : v , 8 )  v o i c e s i s t h a t i n s p i t e o f an i n c r e a s i n g l y b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e r e l a t i o n s between s o c i a l , t e c h n i c a l , c u l t u r a l and economic change,  the  -9-  tendency i s s t i l l ,  t a c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y ,  most b a s i c q u e s t i o n s  as a l r e a d y  answered.  f o r w r i t e r s to take one  of  T h i s i s the presumption  backward peoples are e v o l v i n g , and wish to e v o l v e , i n g c e r t a i n fundamental Western t e c h n i q u e s and  the  that  i n v i r t u e of a s s i m i l a t -  p o i n t s of view which are  of  such r e v o l u t i o n a r y n a t u r e as of n e c e s s i t y w i l l a l t e r the e n t i r e t i s s u e of native l i f e ,  to a s t a t e of s o c i e t y w h i c h ' m i r r o r s the e s s e n t i a l s of a  f a m i l i a r Western c i v i l i z a t i o n . c u l t u r e - a few  The  "remaindered" elements of the o l d  t r a c e s i n language, music, a r c h i t e c t u r e , a r t - are of  no  f u r t h e r consequence.  I t has h i s question  to be  s a i d t h a t Lawrence i s one  about the n a t i v e n e s c i o  ( c f . Lawrence 1977  of such w r i t e r s ,  q u i d r e a l l y - o n l y to beg  i t . He  : x i i i - x i v ) h i s agreement w i t h Worsley t h a t the  o u t l i n e s of n a t i v e d e s t i n y  i n Papua New  Guinea are a l r e a d y  raising states general  s e t t l e d by  the  p r a c t i c a l s e c u l a r i z i n g development underway - the s o r t of t h i n g i m p l i e d the i n t r o d u c t i o n of cash c r o p s , exchange, modern t o o l s and  trucking businesses,  productive  techniques,  These, he h o l d s , w i l l work c u m u l a t i v e l y and  epistemie  s t o r e s , market  l o c a l government c o u n c i l s .  to superannuate the b a s i c a t t i t u d e s  p r i n c i p l e s p r e s e n t l y u p h o l d i n g the coherence of the  p a t t e r n of r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men He d i f f e r s from Worsley o n l y t h i s a l l as  trade  taking place  i t w i l l be o n l y a g r a d u a l  Though at one  in  i n s o c i e t y , and  between man  i n the matter' of a time s c a l e .  traditional and  nature.  Worsley sees  i n the near f u t u r e , w h i l e Lawrence c o n s i d e r s  that  consequence of development.  p o i n t Lawrence d e c l a r e s h i s o p p o s i t i o n to  .... t i m i d c o n s e r v a t i v e o p i n i o n t h a t p e o p l e ' s s t a t e d b e l i e f s have no i n s t r u m e n t a l r o l e i n t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s and do n o t h i n g more than symbolize t h e i r s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s or subconscious ... (op. c i t . x i i )  the  -10-  McSwain (1977 to  : xv) d e t e c t s the h i d d e n element  her a p p r a i s a l , Lawrence's approach comports  i n his thinking.  w i t h the g e n e r a l i z e d M a r x i s t  formula: t h a t an i n t e l l e c t u a l system i s to be viewed s t r u c t u r e , dependent economy, which  as p a r t of a s u p e r -  on an u n d e r l y i n g s u b s t r u c t u r e of the p r o d u c t i v e  i s the r e a l motive f o r c e i n a s o c i e t y .  s t r u c t u r e changes,  so may  Thus as the sub-  i t be expected - w i t h due allowance made f o r time  l a g s - t h a t the i n t e l l e c t u a l system must accommodate i t s e l f In the  defence of h i s a p p l i c a t i o n of t h i s formula to New s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l and  which r e s o l v e d i t s e l f ascendancy  According  accordingly.  Guinea, Lawrence c i t e s  i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n f l i c t of seventeenth c e n t u r y Europe,  i n the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n , and the e v e n t u a l  of s e c u l a r s c i e n c e and t e c h n o l o g y .  In the l i g h t of such a  cogent h i s t o r i c a l p r e c e d e n t , the ferment of symbolism  and s o c i a l o r d e r  b e t r a y e d i n the t y p i c a l Cargo c u l t can o n l y be taken as evidence of the i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y of the i n d i g e n o u s thought-world w i t h i t s machine-age u s u r p e r , and the s i g n t h a t the p r o c e s s e s of change a r e o p e r a t i n g i n e x o r a b l y , as Lawrence and Worsley have f o r e s e e n .  4. A Comparison:  Japan and the " W e s t e r n i z a t i o n " of a T r a d i t i o n a l  On the f a c e of i t , Japan ought  Society  to f u r n i s h a spectacular  and  more r e c e n t v i n d i c a t i o n of Lawrence's t h e s i s , h a v i n g undergone, e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e the end of the War, influences.  a massive o n s l a u g h t of Western  However, t h i s i s not how  infrastructural  Nakane i n t e r p r e t s her own  She e x p l a i n s her reasons f o r r e j e c t i n g what has become almost an on the s u b j e c t .  culture. orthodoxy  Her words echo Belshaw on t a k i n g the b a s i c q u e s t i o n s f o r  granted: Most of the modern s o c i o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s of contemporary Japan have been concerned p r i m a r i l y w i t h i t s changing  -11-  a s p e c t s , p o i n t i n g to the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' and 'modern' elements as r e p r e s e n t i n g d i f f e r e n t or opposing q u a l i t i e s . .... i t i s t h e i r t h e s i s t h a t any phenomena which seem p e c u l i a r to Japan, not h a v i n g been found i n Western s o c i e t y , can be l a b e l l e d as ' f e u d a l ' or 'premodern' elements, and are to be regarded as c o n t r a d i c t o r y or o b t r u s i v e to m o d e r n i z a t i o n . Underneath such views, i t seems t h a t t h e r e l u r k s a k i n d of c o r r e l a t i v e and s y l l o g i s t i c view of s o c i a l e v o l u t i o n : when i t i s c o m p l e t e l y modernized Japanese s o c i e t y w i l l or should become the same as t h a t of the West. The proponents of such views are i n t e r e s t e d e i t h e r i n upr o o t i n g f e u d a l elements or i n d i s c o v e r i n g and n o t i n g modern elements which are comparable to those of the West. (Nakane 1974  There are  signs  of a change, though.  summarizes i t , the most r e c e n t  work on  the  As McSwain (1977  elsewhere.  on  produced by  has  had  approach the  the E n c l o s u r e A c t s and  Bougainville  and  ^Hobsbawm 1979).  copper, the Ramu h y d r o e l e c t r i c be  taken as  d i c t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f they are manned by ordinary  to the i n d u s t r i a l Where r a d i c a l  even the commercial l e v i a t h i a n s  P u r a r i i n d u s t r i a l complex, can  v i l l a g e r s are not  and  Guinea's  not been a r u t h l e s s l y imposed p o l i c y o b j e c t i v e ,  to concede t h a t not  Guinea  s c a l e of e n f o r c e d s o c i a l d i s r u p t i o n  Poor Laws p r e l i m i n a r y  ( c f . Tawney 1961  has  limited effects  Lawrence would agree t h a t n o t h i n g i n Papua New  i z a t i o n of England change has  the  fundamental a s p e c t s of s o c i e t i e s i n New  c o l o n i a l e x p e r i e n c e can  : xv)  t o p i c of m o d e r n i z a t i o n  tended to r e v e r s e the emphasis, i f a n y t h i n g r e v e a l i n g of European c o n t a c t  : xix)  personally  scheme, or the  then he,  too,  like projected  g u a r a n t e e i n g the e f f e c t s he l i m i t e d s k i l l e d workforces  involved  ( c f . Lawrence 1977  pre-  and  : x-xiv).  In f a c t , Lawrence's c o n c e s s i o n might need to go much f u r t h e r than t h a t .  The  point  to take from Nakane's a n a l y s i s  i s not  simply t h a t  the  -12-  w h o l e s a l e way  i n which Japan took over the m a t e r i a l bases of Western  c u l t u r e i s not i n i t s e l f automatic "pre-modern" f e u d a l s o c i a l format.  p r o o f of the d e r e l i c t i o n of. i t s e a r l i e r C e r t a i n l y i t i s one p a r t of her  argu-  ment t h a t t h e r e have been c o n t i n u i t i e s of a s t r u c t u r a l o r d e r , r e g a r d l e s s of the o v e r t changes i n o r g a n i z a t i o n : r e t a i n s i t s grammatical vocabulary.  But  her analogy  i s of a language which  p r i n c i p l e s i n s p i t e of a heavy o v e r l a y of borrowed  the more r a d i c a l p o i n t she makes i s t h a t i t i s p r e c i s e l y  the c o n t i n u i t y of c e r t a i n f e u d a l i n s t i t u t i o n a l v a l u e s which has s u p p l i e d the r e a l motive f o r c e behind Japan's s o - c a l l e d " W e s t e r n i z a t i o n " (Nakane 1974  : xix-xx,  154).  T h i s i s an i n s i g h t i n t o the p r o c e s s e s of s o c i a l change which, m u t a t i s mutandis, may  a l s o be a p p l i c a b l e to New  McSwain's c o n t e n t i o n t h a t on the e v i d e n c e , development i n New  Guinea.  the p a t t e r n of  w i t n e s s e s who  "infrastructural"  Guinea i s p r o c e e d i n g a l o n g pathways o r d a i n e d by  those t r a d i t i o n a l axioms of b e l i e f which development was Lawrence (1977  I t i s indeed  presumed to s u p p l a n t .  : x i - x i i ) has a l s o commented on the number of a t t e s t to the importance  which r e l i g i o u s thought  n a t u r e of t h i s r e g i o n a l e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l system.  just  independent has  i n the  What i s meant i s t h a t i n  p r a c t i c e the developments which Europeans b r i n g are p o i n t l e s s u n l e s s a r e equated  w i t h comparable a s p e c t s i n the n a t i v e c u l t u r e and,  l i n k e d to community moral and p o l i t i c a l v a l u e s . i n t o t h e i r own  c o n c e i v e d cosmic  o r d e r , w i t h one  i n this  In s h o r t , they a r e  way,  absorbed  r e s u l t b e i n g t h a t "Cargoism"  seems a b l e to c o e x i s t w i t h q u i t e some degree of socio-economic r a t h e r than b e i n g d e f i n i t i v e l y excluded by i t .  they  development,  -13-  L i n e a r Change, P r o g r e s s , M a t e r i a l i s m ;  The Western World-View  Two c r u c i a l q u e s t i o n s emerge a t t h i s j u n c t u r e .  The f i r s t i s  why i s t h e r e the i n v e t e r a t e s e l e c t i v i t y - i n d i c a t e d v a r i o u s l y by.Belshaw, Nakane and McSwain - whereby w r i t e r s s e i z e on t h e e x t e r i o r elements o f change as the t h i n g s o f immediate s i g n i f i c a n c e as i f they a r e the i r r e f r a g a b l e p r o o f t h a t something c a l l e d  " p r o g r e s s " i s underway, and w i t h the e f f e c t of  p l a c i n g what i s " t r a d i t i o n a l " or "pre-modern" i n t o an opposed c a t e g o r y o f a l a r g e l y negative valuation?  Secondly,  and f o l l o w i n g on from t h i s , what i s  the b a s i s by which an " i n f r a s t r u c t u r e " gets s e l e c t e d out and accorded potency  i n t h e movement towards t h i s q u a l i t a t i v e change?  pre-  The p e r p l e x i t y  here i s induced e s p e c i a l l y by Lawrence's M a r x i s t commitment, and i t concerns the deeper nature of the appeal o f the many s c i e n t i f i c v a r i a n t s o f determinism, p a r t i c u l a r l y  s i n c e determinisms  a r e g e n e r a l l y understood  to c o n t a i n  t h e i r ' c o n c l u s i o n s w i t h i n the problem.  An approach' to these problems can b e g i n by r e a c h i n g back t o the comparison which was s a i d t o be a t t h e h e a r t o f the c o n c e p t i o n o f the p r i m i t i v e , t h a t d i a l e c t i c a l i n t e r c h a n g e between the way c i v i l i z a t i o n sees and  t h e way i t images i t s o p p o s i t e .  a l i n e a l c a s t of thought,  itself  I t i s o f t e n s a i d t h a t Western man has  a l i n e a l i d e a , as Diamond (1963 : v) phrases i t ,  which d i f f e r s p r o f o u n d l y from the p r i m i t i v e ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f time and process as an e n d l e s s l y c y c l i c a l r e c i t a t i o n of s a c r e d meanings.  And p r e c i s e l y because,  i n the Western view, the s a c r e d order i s n o t compresent w i t h the temporal, so, u n i q u e l y , does the Idea of p r o g r e s s as an a b s t r a c t i o n b e g i n to make sense.  The two n o t i o n s , p r o g r e s s and l i n e a l i t y , converge i n a p r o p h e t i c  i d e a l of s o c i a l progress  : the m i s s i o n i z i n g element which so o f t e n i n the  -14-  past has  a f f o r d e d the moral j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r c o l o n i a l i s m .  an ambivalence.  there i s  L i n e a l h i s t o r y i m p l i e s a s u c c e s s i o n of u n r e p e a t a b l e ,  s i m i l a r s t a t e s of a f f a i r s , and a t i o n t h a t impels Western man  i t i s t h i s experience to s e a r c h  change i s p r o d u c t i v e of constant  attractive.  become what he  overcome the i m p e r f e c t i o n s  a t t a i n the f u l l e s t r e a l i z a t i o n of h i s b e i n g .  Ceaseless the  For o n l y by change w i l l  The  of the p r e s e n t  situation  a f f e c t s the p e r c e p t i o n of the p r i m i t i v e : f o r having of the p r i m i t i v e c o n d i t i o n , Western man  dis-  fragment-  u n c e r t a i n t y of b e i n g , y e t i t i s , by  deeply  i s not now,  of p e r p e t u a l  f o r ' a g r e a t e r good.  same token, m y s t e r i o u s and  wholeness.  But  to  profoundly  transcended  can o n l y envy a l o s t  he  the  stasis  sense of  Diamond comments: P r i m i t i v e s o c i e t y may be regarded as a system i n e q u i l i b r i u m , s p i n n i n g k a l e i d o s c o p i c a l l y on i t s a x i s , but at a r e l a t i v e l y f i x e d p o i n t . C i v i l i z a t i o n may be r e garded as a system i n i n t e r n a l d i s e q u i l i b r i u m ; t e c h n o l ogy or s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n a r e always out of j o i n t w i t h each other - t h a t i s what p r o p e l s the system a l o n g a g i v e n t r a c k . Our sense of movement, of incompleteness c o n t r i b u t e s to the i d e a of p r o g r e s s . Hence, the i d e a of p r o g r e s s i s g e n e r i c to c i v i l i z a t i o n . And our i d e a of p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t y as e x i s t i n g i n a s t a t e of dynamic e q u i l i b r i u m and as e x p r e s s i v e of human and n a t u r a l rhythms i s a l o g i c a l p r o j e c t i o n of c i v i l i z e d s o c i e t i e s , i n o p p o s i t i o n to the l a t t e r ' s a c t u a l s t a t e . But i t a l s o c o i n c i d e s w i t h the r e a l h i s t o r i c a l c o n d i t i o n of p r i m i t i v e societies. The l o n g i n g f o r a p r i m i t i v e mode of e x i s t e n c e i s no mere f a n t a s y or s e n t i m e n t a l whim; i t i s consonant w i t h fundamental human needs, the f u l f i l l m e n t of which (although i n d i f f e r e n t form) i s , as we have d i s c o v e r e d i n the m i l i e u s of c i v i l i z a t i o n , a p r e c o n d i t i o n f o r our more e l a b o r a t e l i v e s . (Op.  I f change i s venerated p o t e n t i a l i t y , why  c i t . ix-x.  Emphasis i n the  original)  f o r i t s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of open-ended  then do so many Western t h i n k e r s pass,  i n c o n s t a n t l y , to  a p a s s i o n f o r determinism, p a r t i c u l a r l y m a t e r i a l i s t i c determinism, which  -15-  would appear o n l y  to f o r e c l o s e on the d i r e c t i o n s t h a t h i s t o r i c a l change  might take?  The immediate and  axe  provides  the i n i t i a l  b a s i c p o i n t of r e f e r e n c e  p r i m i t i v e or modern.  Tools  clue.  Tools  In some form the f a c t o r of  technology everywhere s u s t a i n s s o c i a l l i f e ,  and  i t has  survive.  developed i n i t s d i v e r s i t y would not  economic system.  w i t h o u t which humankind Tools  are  the  non-human w o r l d s , p r o v i d i n g  the  material  goods t h a t s a t i s f y the demands of l i v i n g . core of any  an  i n the comparison of a l l s o c i e t i e s ,  are u b i q u i t o u s .  m e d i a t i o n between the human and  are of course  But  palpable  They appear t h e r e f o r e as  beyond the g e n e r a l  level,  the  between s o c i e t i e s on the s c o r e of technology comes to an end.  as  the  similarities Even  the  o s t e n s i b l y elementary case of the t r a n s i t i o n from stone to s t e e l axes implies contrasts  t h a t are more a matter of k i n d  than of degree.  modern machines have such an immense power to shape and a c t i o n t h a t i s awesome and  pervasive.  For  to f a s h i o n ,  C l e a r l y i t i s only  an  through the mastery  of a complex t e c h n o l o g y t h a t the quantum leap from a p r i m i t i v e to a i z e d c o n d i t i o n becomes remotely p o s s i b l e . s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and  As Diamond has  indicated,  urbane s a t i s f a c t i o n s of a developed d i v i s i o n of  r e l y upon the s t a b i l i t y of the s t a t e ; and  Mair  the p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of s t a t e f o r m a t i o n ,  (1964  : 225),  organize,  the  labour  speaking of  comments t h a t the p o s s e s s i o n  a complex t e c h n o l o g y i s what enables a modern s t a t e to c o n t r o l , and l a r g e extent  civil-  the l i v e s of p o p u l a t i o n s  to a  of many m i l l i o n s .  In a deeper c u l t u r a l sense, too, machines form an i n t r i n s i c of the l i n e a l and  dynamic s p i r i t  metaphors of p r o c e s s and  of Western c i v i l i z a t i o n .  c a u s a l i t y , and  of  a harbinger  part  They are i t s  of the f u t u r e .  For  they  -16-  have become t h e primary v e h i c l e f o r t h a t compulsive p r o j e c t e d i d e a l world. made.  In the demythologised  t h i s - w o r l d l y agency. and  T h i s i s s a l v a t i o n understood  s t r i v i n g toward a as e s s e n t i a l l y  self-  view o f n a t u r a l p r o c e s s e s , t e c h n o l o g y i s a  I t v i n d i c a t e s t h e e x e r c i s e o f man's own  proves i t s r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s , i n t h e v e r y a c t o f e x t e n d i n g ,  i n d e f i n i t e l y , h i s c o n t r o l over h i s environment.  reason, almost  Gods and demons and  m a g i c a l e f f i c a c y , whatever t h e i r s y m b o l i c power t o convey " n a t u r a l rhythms" and "dynamic e q u i l i b r i u m " t o t h e p r i m i t i v e mind, a r e seen mately  as a form o f s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n , an impediment t o the f u l l e s t  ultiexpres-  s i o n o f human c a p a c i t y .  Here, however, t h e r e i s a t e r r i b l e i r o n y . a seemingly unstoppable momentum o f t h e i r own, man's c o n t r o l o f h i s own  Machines perform  with  t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t Western  i n s t r u m e n t s has become a s u b t l e dependency, w i t h  t e c h n o l o g y d i c t a t i n g i t s own  terms o f use.  In t h i s a r e found t h e  exist-  e n t i a l r o o t s o f t h e d e t e r m i n i s t i c and m a t e r i a l i s t i c view o f h i s t o r y : In machine-based s o c i e t i e s , t h e machine has i n c o r p o r a t e d the demands o f t h e c i v i l power o r o f t h e market, and t h e whole l i f e o f s o c i e t y , o f a l l c l a s s e s and grades, must a d j u s t t o i t s rhythms. Time becomes l i n e a l , s e c u l a r i z e d " p r e c i o u s " ; i t i s reduced t o an e x t e n s i o n i n space t h a t must be f i l l e d up, and s a c r e d time d i s a p p e a r s . The s e c r e t a r y must a d j u s t t o the speed o f h e r e l e c t r i c t y p e w r i t e r ... t h e f a c t o r y worker t o the l i n e o r l a t h e ; t h e e x e c u t i v e t o the schedule o f t h e t r a i n o r p l a n e and t h e p r a c t i c a l l y instantaneous t r a n s m i s s i o n of the telephone ... even the s c h o o l b o y t o t h e p r e c i s e p e r i o d i z a t i o n o f h i s day and t o t h e watch on h i s w r i s t j t h e person " a t l e i s u r e " t o a mechanized domestic environment and the flow of e f f i c i e n t l y scheduled entertainment. ... Even now, so f a i t h f u l and exact a r e t h e machines as s e r v a n t s t h a t t h e y seem an a l i e n f o r c e , p e r s u a d i n g us a t e v e r y t u r n t o f u l f i l l our i n t e n t i o n s which we have b u i l t i n t o them and which t h e y r e p r e s e n t - i n much the same way t h a t t h e p e r f e c t body s e r v a n t r o u t i n i z e s and, f i n a l l y , t r i v i a l i z e s his master/ (Diamond 1963 : v i i i - i x )  -17-  Of such t h i n g s , Diamond adds, a c t u a l o r p o s s i b l e , s o c i e t i e s have no c o n c e p t i o n . of  primitive  T h e i r r e l i a n c e upon t h e s l e n d e r r e s o u r c e s  p r i m i t i v e t e c h n o l o g y i s o f a v e r y d i f f e r e n t q u a l i t y , and o f t h i s ,  c o n v e r s e l y , Western c i v i l i z a t i o n can have l i t t l e b a s i s f o r empathy so l o n g as i t h a b i t u a l l y p r o j e c t s onto t h e world a p a r t i c u l a r v i s i o n t h a t e n c l o s e s man  - a l l men  - within a kind of metaphysical s e l f - p o r t r a i t .  6. S o c i e t y as a M e c h a n i c a l System o r a M o r a l P o s s i b l y the b a l d e s t statement  Order? o f the m e c h a n i c a l  world-view  w i t h i n t h e domain o f a n t h r o p o l o g y i s t o be found i n t h e work o f L e s l i e White ( c f . 1964  : 26-43, 406-426).  White's p e r s p e c t i v e i s l i n e a l  and  d e v e l o p m e n t a l , w i t h i t s s t a r t i n g p o i n t i n the p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t energy i s t h e b a s i c and u n i v e r s a l concept o f s c i e n c e . f r e e energy; t h e degree  A l l life  i s a struggle f o r  o f o r g a n i z a t i o n i n any m a t e r i a l system i s p r o -  p o r t i o n a l t o the amount o f energy i n c o r p o r a t e d i n i t , and t h e of  life  i s t h e ascendancy  of negative entropy.  evolution  By e x t e n s i o n , c u l t u r e -  which by White's d e f i n i t i o n i s i n essence an arrangement o f t h i n g s i n motion,  a p r o c e s s o f energy t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s - advances as t h e amount o f  non-human energy harnessed and put t o work t o t h e a t t a i n m e n t o f a p r o d u c t i n c r e a s e s i n p r o p o r t i o n t o t h e human energy used.  cultural  Such use o f  energy r e q u i r e s t e c h n o l o g i c a l a p p a r a t u s , and White extends t h e term to  c o v e r a l l t h e m a t e r i a l means w i t h which energy i s harnessed,  and expended.  "tools"  transformed  As the e s s e n t i a l f a c t o r i n t h e i n t e r c h a n g e between man  a s u s t a i n i n g environment,  and  t h e r e i s r e a s o n t o connect an advance i n the  r a t e o f energy c o n v e r s i o n , brought about by a s p e c i f i c t e c h n o l o g y , w i t h greater complexities at other l e v e l s of s o c i e t y .  White i s q u i t e  explicit  -18-  about this (cf. op. c i t . 419, 422). With concessions to the " i n e r t i a " of social institutions to change, -he maintains that evolution towards larger p o l i t i c a l units i s at bottom a technological a f f a i r .  More sweep-  ing s t i l l i s his belief that the phenomenological texture of l i f e - what might broadly be called i t s cultural tenor or style - i s a dependency, a "philosophic reflex" responding to a more fundamental condition of being.  "This means," explains White (op. c i t . 42l), "that as the tech-  nological structuring of experience changes, the philosophic expressions of experience w i l l change." Salisbury (1968 : 484) disapproves of White's scheme as i t stands, c a l l i n g i t "unidimensional" and "too s i m p l i s t i c " .  But he sees  the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s improvement through models i n which levels of technology and organizational variables are "given quantitative forms, visualized as forms of entropy". Others - Marvin Harris, f o r one, though i n fact he claims inspiration less from White than from Julian Steward, who w i l l be discussed i n a moment - have proposed that the relative productivity of the subsistence system should be the focus.  The idea  i s that by devising a coefficient relating the number of calories expended i n food production to the number of calories produced, there i s at once a precisely calibrated standard f o r tabulating the variations of organizational sophistication across a range of different cultures (cf. Lomax and Arensberg 1977 ' 660). However, these details of method - calories and quantificat i o n - are hardly the issue. doubtful.  The status of the whole approach i s  Within the logic handed down by White, something with the  -19-  hidden  c o m p l e x i t i e s of t h e Cargo phenomenon cannot be  portrayed. Burridge  sensitively  "... f o r a l l the h u b r i s e v i d e n t i n Cargo c u l t s , "  (i960  says  : x x i ) i n a l e a d i n g passage, " t h e r e i s an u n d e r l y i n g  d i g n i t y , a bedrock o f honest endeavour r e v e a l i n g t h e moral i n The  man."  p o i n t i s t h a t however much mechanics f u r n i s h e s Westerners w i t h  a  commonplace i d i o m and  i d e a l o f p r o g r e s s , as a metaphor f o r s o c i e t y i t  i s badly misleading.  R e d f i e l d had t o r e s o r t t o a d i s t i n c t i o n between  t h e t e c h n i c a l and the m o r a l o r d e r i n community l i f e i n o r d e r t o h i s s y n t h e t i c work, The Stein  1963 : 194-195).  P r i m i t i v e World and Evans-Pritchard  I t s Transformations  (1962) i s  especially  achieve (cf.  emphatic  t h a t s o c i a l a n a l y s i s eschews clockwork c a u s a l i t y i n f a v o u r o f a method o f h i s t o r i c a l d e s c r i p t i v e i n t e g r a t i o n . The anthropology  with the humanities,  sciences ( c f . also Herskovits  The  perspective associates s o c i a l  r a t h e r than w i t h t h e exact o r n a t u r a l  1964 : 436-43?)#  f o r c e o f t h i s r e v i s i o n can b e s t be demonstrated i n r e l a t i o n  t o J u l i a n Steward, whose work on " c u l t u r a l e c o l o g y " s o p h i s t i c a t e d and anthropology.  l a s t i n g achievement o f t h e m a t e r i a l i s t t r a d i t i o n i n  The  an a b l e gardener? i s t h e obvious  7.  q u e s t i o n t o pose i s : What makes t h e New  Guinean such  By t h e c u l t u r a l e c o l o g y approach, i t i s h i s axe  answer.  T h i s needs t o be  i s perhaps the most  that  By the a l t e r n a t i v e argument, i t i s h i s magic.  explained.  Magic and Machines:  F a c t o r s of P r o d u c t i o n  C u l t u r a l ecology assumes t h e n o t i o n o f a " c o r e " o f v i t a l  cultural  f e a t u r e s , h a v i n g t o do w i t h t h e s u b s i s t e n c e a c t i v i t i e s and r e l a t e d economic  -20-  arrangements i n a s o c i e t y . t o environment".  E c o l o g y , i n t h i s c o n t e x t , means " a d a p t i o n  S i n c e t h e t i m e o f Darwin t h e environment has been c o n -  c e i v e d as t h e t o t a l web o f l i f e ,  p l a n t and a n i m a l s p e c i e s  interacting  w i t h one a n o t h e r and w i t h t h e p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f a p a r t i c u l a r u n i t of t e r r i t o r y .  So t h e e f f e c t  o f a p p l y i n g t h e concept o f e c o l o g y i n  r e l a t i o n t o human b e i n g s i s t o get away from s i m p l e d i c h o t o m i e s by p o r t r a y i n g s o c i a l processes  as t h e w o r k i n g o f a complex s y s t e m , i n which the  v a r i o u s and d i v e r s e elements o f o r g a n i z a t i o n a r t i c u l a t e w i t h each and w i t h t h e main r e s o u r c e s  of a s p e c i f i c habitat.  Qua  system,  other, there  a r e p e r v a s i v e p r o p e r t i e s t o be i d e n t i f i e d - e m p i r i c a l l y , a c c o r d i n g t o  the  v a r i e t y o f a d a p t i v e c i r c u m s t a n c e s ; and v e r y d i f f e r e n t mechanisms can be found r e g u l a t i n g t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f f u n c t i o n s . understands the effect  B u t above a l l , S t e w a r d  o f e n v i r o n m e n t a l a d a p t i o n s upon t h e c u l t u r a l system  t o e x e r t not j u s t a p e r m i s s i v e and l i m i t i n g i n f l u e n c e , but as a c r e a t i v e and c a u s a t i v e p r o c e s s .  constituting  Hence a key e x p l o i t a t i v e t e c h n o l o g y -  w h i c h i n a s o c i e t y l i k e S i a n e can be something as s i m p l e as t h e axe because i t mediates t h e demands o f a s p e c i f i c e n v i r o n m e n t , i s thought  to  e n t a i l a dependent p a t t e r n o f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  Up t o t h i s p o i n t t h e r e i s c o n s i d e r a b l e m e r i t t o be d e r i v e d from t h i s a p p r o a c h , w h i c h , i t i s t o be ' n o t e d , i s recommended h e u r i s t i c a l l y , as a way o f g a i n i n g i n s i g h t i n t o t h e o r i g i n o f p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l c o n stellations occurring i n different  areas.  I t i s not i n t e n d e d t o have t h e  status of a g e n e r a l i s i n g theory purporting to e x p l a i n a l l c u l t u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t a l s i t u a t i o n s ( c f . Steward 1964 : 431). however, i s i n d e e d o b j e c t i o n a b l e .  S t e w a r d ' s n e x t move,  Those a s p e c t s o f s o c i e t y not i m m e d i a t e l y  -21-  w i t h i n t h e s o - c a l l e d c o r e - t h e b e l i e f s y s t e m , ceremony, c e r t a i n p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , a r t and o t h e r elements - he g i v e s a s u b s i d i a r y o r " s e c o n d a r y " classification.  T h i s i s b e c a u s e , b e i n g l e s s d i r e c t l y connected t o  the  i m p u l s i o n o f e n v i r o n m e n t , t h e y are more s u s c e p t i b l e t o t h e v a g a r i e s and a c c i d e n t s o f random i n n o v a t i o n and d i f f u s i o n .  By t h i s he means t o  the orthodox view t h a t h i s t o r y , r a t h e r than the adaptive p r o c e s s ,  reverse explains  c u l t u r e , environment b e i n g r e l e g a t e d t o a p u r e l y s e c o n d a r y and p a s s i v e r o l e ( S t e w a r d o p . c i t . 430). ing  I n c o n s i s t e n t l y w i t h h i s d i s a v o w a l o f sweep-  t h e o r y , he b o l d l y m a i n t a i n s t h a t " . . . o v e r t h e m i l l e n n i a c u l t u r e s i n  different  e n v i r o n m e n t s have changed t r e m e n d o u s l y , and t h e s e changes  are  b a s i c a l l y t r a c e a b l e t o new a d a p t i o n s r e q u i r e d by c h a n g i n g t e c h n o l o g y and p r o d u c t i v e arrangements"  ( i n Geertz 1974).  I n other words, Steward's  f o r m u l a t i o n o f a c u l t u r a l c o r e , w i t h i t s s e c o n d a r y appendages, r e i t e r a t e s t h e crude d i c h o t o m i e s he i n i t i a l l y s e t  not  only  out t o e l i m i n a t e ,  it  a l s o s i m p l y s e t t l e s ab i n i t i o what s h o u l d be an e m p i r i c a l m a t t e r : namely, what p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e s i n t h e system have p l a y e d t h e d e c i s i v e p a r t s h a p i n g and t r a n s f o r m i n g a s o c i e t y t h r o u g h o u t i t s h i s t o r y .  Geertz  r e g i s t e r s t h i s same c r i t i c i s m : There i s no a p r i o r i r e a s o n why t h e a d a p t i v e r e a l i t i e s a g i v e n s o c i o - c u l t u r a l system f a c e s have g r e a t e r o r l e s s e r c o n t r o l o v e r i t s g e n e r a l p a t t e r n o f development than v a r i o u s other r e a l i t i e s w i t h which i t i s a l s o f a c e d . . . /This/ i s something d e t e r m i n e d , i f a t a l l , a t t h e end o f e n q u i r y not a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f i t . And as p o l i t i c a l , s t r a t i f i c a t o r y , c o m m e r c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l developments a t l e a s t seem t o have a c t e d as i m p o r t a n t o r d e r i n g p r o c e s s e s . . . t h e f i n a l a w a r d i n g o f p r e p o t e n c y t o e c o l o g i c a l developments seems no more l i k e l y t h a n t h a t t h e y w i l l t u r n out t o be i n c o n sequential, • (1974  : 11)  in  -22-  These e x p r e s s i o n s , " c u l t u r a l e c o l o g y " and " a d a p t i v e r e a l i t i e s " , w h i c h Steward has made common c o i n i n a n t h r o p o l o g y , r a i s e a b a s i c t i o n : What does c o n s t i t u t e t h e "environment" o f S i a n e ?  ques-  Indeed t h e word  environment i s not a t a l l D a r w i n i a n i n concept when a p p l i e d t o human phenomena: The environment as we know i t i s not a n a t u r a l g i v e n ; i t i s i n v e r y l a r g e measure a man-made a r t i f a c t . What i t l o o k s l i k e and t h e o p e r a t i o n o f i t s ecosystems are m a n - i n f l u e n c e d . . . a r e s u l t o f man's a e s t h e t i c , m o r a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l judgement (Belshaw 1976 : 334) The i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h i s become more apparent  as one q u e s t i o n s  how t h e n a t i v e might themselves c o n c e i v e o f t h e i r t e c h n o l o g y and r e l a t e i t t o t h e p r a c t i c a l t a s k s of l i v i n g .  I t i s improbable' t h a t any s u b s i s t -  ence c u l t u r e l i v i n g i n c l o s e i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e  with nature,  would not have  formed some c o l l e c t i v e judgment about t h e importance o f i t s p a r t i c u l a r s e t o f s u b s i s t e n c e equipment.  A good example are t h e F i p a o f s o u t h -  w e s t e r n T a n z a n i a , who are s o p h i s t i c a t e d i r o n w o r k e r s and p r o d u c e r s o f implements as w e l l as a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s .  Roy W i l l i s (1975  :  49) r e c o r d s  t h a t t h e i r b a s i c mythology t e l l s o f a d r a g o n - l i k e a n t i - h u m a n  creature  a p p o s i t e l y named S i m w i , " I n d e t e r m i n a t e T h i n g n e s s " o r " C h a o s " , w h i c h t o r m e n t e d t h e l i v e s o f t h e f i r s t men on e a r t h u n t i l e v e n t u a l l y s l a i n by Mtanji,  " t h e Toolmaker" - a c u l t u r e h e r o who i s s a i d t o have f i r s t shown  men how t o c u l t i v a t e , make hoes and b u i l d t r a p s . III  I t w i l l be seen ( v i d e  : 4) t h a t i n S i a n e , t o o , t h e axe i s something o f a master symbol o f  s o c i a l o r d e r - but not because t h e y t h e m s e l v e s p e r c e i v e i t s  relevance  e n t i r e l y i n terms o f i t s v i t a l c o n t r i b u t i o n t o a " c o r e " o f  subsistence  gardening a c t i v i t i e s .  R a t h e r , i n t h e i r approach t o p r o d u c t i o n , magic  -23-  i s by f a r the more decisive resource.  Thurnwald (1967 : 243) notes that i n New Guinea the influence of magical and r e l i g i o u s ideas upon economic enterprise i s considerable and ubiquitous. A commonly held opinion regarding t h i s f a c t White elevates to the status of an explanation: Supernaturalism f l o u r i s h e s best where man's control over h i s r e l a t i o n s with the external world, with the realm outside h i s own ego, i s l e a s t , and t h i s control i s exercised and expressed i n m a t e r i a l i s t , mechanical, physical and chemical - i . e . technological - terms ... In the course of c u l t u r a l development, as control has increased, supernaturalism has waned.' (1964 : 420) It i s quickly r e a l i z e d that t h i s kind of explanation misses the point.  Belshaw (1955 ' 5 6 ) f o r instance, notes of Wagawaga, a Southern -  Massim v i l l a g e , that magical practices were s t i l l active, but at the same time, i t does not seem true of t h i s society that b e l i e f s of a magical or supernatural nature prevent the acceptance of new forms of technology.  In  that case, what Is the point of magic; and does i t have any f a c t u a l associ a t i o n with good gardening?  Magical e f f i c a c y makes sense within a p a r t i c u l a r view of the world.  In the phenomenology of work:, as McSwain (1977 * 28) elaborates,  natives accept that t h e i r knowledge divides into two kinds.  They have  t h e i r technical knowledge normally having to do with a c t i v i t i e s l i k e hunti n g , gardening, f i s h i n g ; and they have r i t u a l which i s the especial means of communication between men and the d e i t i e s , whoi i n the f i n a l analysis, are the authors of the material values f o r which men labour.  Both forms  of knowledge are g i f t s from the gods, and both, together, are necessary  -24-  i n every undertaking.  For i f , by the native ontology, there i s t h i s  sacred q u a l i t y r e s i d i n g i n the.order of things, i t i s only by r i t u a l that human endeavour can be brought into the proper r e l a t i o n with the ultimate source of a l l power.  No matters of process, e s p e c i a l l y those  i n v o l v i n g transformations from one state to another, can thus avoid mystical connotations.  As Burridge (i960 : 199) describes, t r a d i t i o n -  a l l y a tree-trunk was not simply fashioned into a slit-gong: i t could only become such a f t e r r i t u a l treatment.  The very language of work im-  p l i e s active mystical intervention.  This l a s t comment leads r i g h t to the heart of the matter. what happens when things go wrong while gardening?  For  The natives do not  question t h e i r t o o l s and techniques of gardening, Burridge (op. c i t . 223-224, 273) goes on to say.  It i s obvious to them that these are not  i n any doubt because they are known, or f i r m l y believed, t o have worked i n the past.  In f a c t , the f a u l t i s not sought i n "natural" causality  at a l l , i t i s l a i d i n a mystical context, e i t h e r i n the r i t e , or p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the way a man has thought or behaved i n r e l a t i o n to others. But why turninwards the moral order?  on occasions l i k e these and examine the state of  What i s the nature of t h i s supernaturalism, t h i s notion  that the universe i s apparently able to make discerning judgements on the moral q u a l i t y of human r e l a t i o n s and to act r e t r i b u t i v e l y to restore the balance.  The r a t i o n a l i t y of such b e l i e f s i s beside the point.  It i s  mistaken t o treat ideas such as sorcery, witchcraft, taboo or magic as aspects of philosophies, or as systematically worked out at a l l , Mary Douglas (1970 : 108) has argued.  Their relevance i s s o c i o l o g i c a l :  -25-  They a r e not j u s t l i n k e d t o i n s t i t u t i o n s , a s EvansP r i t c h a r d put i t , t u t t h e y a r e i n s t i t u t i o n s every t i t as much as habeas corpus o r Hallow-e'en. They a r e a l l compounded p a r t o f b e l i e f and p a r t o f p r a c t i c e . They would not have been r e c o r d e d i n t h e ethnography i f t h e r e were no p r a c t i c e s a t t a c h e d t o them. (ibid.)  They o c c u r p r e c i s e l y because o f t h e weaknesses i n h e r e n t i n p r i m i t i v e s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , as p a r t o f t h e apparatus and m o t i v a t i n g people's  behaviour.  for regulating  T h i s c o n n e c t i o n between magic and  s o c i a l c o n t r o l i s c o r r o b o r a t e d by t h e i n t e r e s t i n g s u g g e s t i o n i n Belshaw (1955  :  5 6 ) t h a t n a t i v e s i n Southern Massim, caught up i n u n r e s o l v a b l e _  s o c i a l t e n s i o n s brought about by t h e f o r c e s o f change, a r e themselves prone t o dramatize old  t h e i r present a n x i e t i e s against a n o s t a l g i a f o r "the  days, when t h e gardens were good, because i t was r i g h t t o use  charms" - t h a t i s , f o r t h e time when t h e m a g i c a l n o t i o n s now d i s c o u r a g e d in  t h e c o l o n i a l c o n t e x t , h e l d f u l l sway over men's minds and moderated  their actions.  Douglas a g a i n s t a t e s t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s :  L i k e o t h e r i n s t i t u t i o n s t h e y a r e both r e s i s t a n t t o change and s e n s i t i v e t o s t r o n g p r e s s u r e . I n d i v i d u a l s can change them by n e g l e c t o r by t a k i n g an i n t e r e s t . (1970 : 108)  What i s n o t emphasised i n Douglas' argument i s t h a t even when m a g i c a l n o t i o n s a r e n o t s u b j e c t t o change, i n d i v i d u a l s manipulate  them.  S a l i s b u r y (1962 : 53) s c a r c e l y broaches t h e t o p i c o f magic i n S i a n e , but even t h e l i t t l e  i n f o r m a t i o n he does g i v e immediately  t h i s p o l i t i c a l dimension. c l a n from another,  alerts attention to  Magic, he says, i s o f t e n commissioned by one  sorcery follows the l i n e s of s t r u c t u r a l cleavage.  o t h e r words, i t works i n t h e i n t e r c l a n c o n t e x t which, f o r reasons  In  that  -26-  w i l l become clear' l a t e r , i s invariably the theatre of b i g power.  Hence  when one gleans from McSwain (1977 : 28) and Uberoi (1971 : 29, 43) that an i n d i v i d u a l obtains h i s magical s p e l l s and esoteric r i t u a l s by purchasing them, l i k e commodities, on the i n t e r - c l a n prestige exchanges, i t seems a safe conjecture that the s p e l l s known to be most e f f e c t i v e go to the most powerful buyers.  It i s now  clear what the difference i s  between a good gardener and one who habitually brings i n less than optimum results.  A man with awesome magic i s manifestly a man with authority,  someone whose advice i s i n f l u e n t i a l and who  can be depended upon to  achieve h i s aim, whose capacity to organize productive abundances out of the e c o l o g i c a l niche with which h i s community has to be content resides i n h i s power to command the services of others. Quite simply, magic i s a force to be reckoned with i n these s o c i e t i e s , because i s i s touched by r e a l or p o l i t i c a l power. I f magic arises i n the absence of suitable techn o l o g i c a l a l t e r n a t i v e s , t h i s i s not as White erroneously supposes due to the primitive's e f f o r t s to extend h i s control over nature; rather, i t extends h i s control over other  men.  8. Primitive Thought-Worlds The e f f e c t of t h i s consideration of magic i s to r e d i r e c t the issue of primitiveness away from the popular c r i t e r i o n of technology, so that i t has become a question about s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  I t i s not the  r e l a t i o n of man to nature that counts so much as the r e l a t i o n of man to man,  and here at l a s t "primitiveness" can be interpreted i n terms which  specify i t as a matter of c u l t u r a l condition.  -27-  F o r the r e l a t i o n o f man meanings.  t o man  i s e s s e n t i a l l y an exchange o f  Shared i d e a s are the s u p p o s i t i o n o f any form or degree o f  c o l l e c t i v e e x i s t e n c e : a man's i d e a s about the world i n which he f i n d s h i m s e l f are g i v e n t o him and  p r i m a r i l y i n the concepts o f h i s language. Words  symbols are a means by which a c t i o n i s f i t t e d i n t o wider systems o f  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , o f meaning and  r o l e s , says K a p f e r e r  Language i s man's b a s i c "environment". Douglas (1975  :  (1976  : ll).  T h i s i s a view which, as Mary  x v i i i ) says, r a d i c a l i s e s Durkheim, a b d i c a t i n g a l l sugges-  t i o n s o f epiphenomenalism f o r a t h e o r y  o f knowledge i n which the mind i s  a d m i t t e d t o be a c t i v e l y c r e a t i n g i t s u n i v e r s e .  I f , i n t h i s manner, " i d e a s are disembodied a r t i f a c t s " 1976  : 156)»  (Belshaw  so t h e n must t e c h n o l o g y be seen as a p u b l i c meaning system,  e v e r y t o o l a symbol o f a b s t r a c t t h i n k i n g ( c f . Diamond 1963  b :  186).  Language i s i m p l i e d i n the v e r y p o s s i b i l i t y o f i d e n t i f y i n g the axe  -  f o r i n s t a n c e - as an o b j e c t i n the world., i n l e a r n i n g t h e t e c h n i q u e s i t s use,  of  d i s c u s s i n g v a r i o u s ways o f i m p r o v i n g i t s f u n c t i o n , knowing what  counts as making a mistake, i n c u l c a t i n g s t a n d a r d s o f good work, g i v i n g reasons, c r i t i c i s i n g . i d e a o f t h e axe  By the s y s t e m a t i s i n g p r o p e r t i e s of language, the  interweaves w i t h a complex t a p e s t r y o f o t h e r i d e a s  and  a c t i o n s t o make p o s s i b l e a p a r t i c u l a r o r g a n i z a t i o n o f economic p r a x i s .  T h i s process  of a c c r e t i o n by which i d e a s become t h e  institutional  w o r l d w i t h i n which people l i v e out t h e i r l i v e s , a l s o c o n t a i n s i t s l i m i t a t i o n s , as I l l i c h warns: So p e r v a s i v e i s the power o f the i n s t i t u t i o n s we have c r e a t e d t h a t t h e y shape not o n l y our p r e f e r e n c e s , but a c t u a l l y our sense of p o s s i b i l i t i e s . (1976 : 358)  own  -28-  Since s o c i o - c u l t u r a l evolution i s generally held to have been a movement towards ever-increasing complexification and awareness, "modernization" can thus be connected with the  self-  conceptual  p o t e n t i a l encompassed within the properties of a meaning system: i t s capacity to absorb or generate newness and convey to i t s users a coherent response.  However, as Mary Douglas argues, primitiveness  by t h i s c r i t e r i o n i s not the simple lack of elaborateness  or of sheer  complication of ideas, f o r primitive thought systems are frequently both. There i s only one kind of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n thought that i s relevant, and that provides a c r i t e r i o n that we can apply equally to d i f f e r e n t cultures and to the history of our own s c i e n t i f i c ideas. That c r i t e r i o n i s based on the Kantian p r i n c i p l e that thought can only advance by freeing i t s e l f from the shackles of i t s own subjective conditions. The f i r s t Gopernican revolution, the discovery that only man's subjective viewpoint made the sun seem to revolve round the earth, i s continually renewed. In our own culture mathematics f i r s t and l a t e r l o g i c , now h i s t o r y , now language and now thought processes themselves and even knowledge of the s e l f and of society, are f i e l d s of knowledge progressively freed from the subjective l i m i t a t i o n s of the mind. To the extent to which sociology, anthropology and psychology are possible i n i t , our own type of culture needs to be distinguished from others which lack t h i s s e l f awareness and conscious reaching f o r o b j e c t i v i t y . (Douglas 1970  : 96)  9. The Administration of Change White man him got no dreaming, Him go 'nother way. White man, him go d i f f e r e n t , Him got road belong himself. (Stanner 1964 : 289) With these words an old A u s t r a l i a n Aboriginal man  once expressed  t o Stanner the l o s s of dimension i n the European's lack of mythology -  -29-  the "Dreaming" which to the Aboriginal mind i s the repository of a l l truth and f i n a l i t y .  The delivery, Stanner remarks, was with an unforget-  table cadence and poignancy - i n i t s way a reminder that the primitive, i n his usually enforced dealings with the so-called c i v i l i z i n g influences of Western society and economy i s often frequently affected by i t s constant assumption of materialism.  To, read Oliver (196l) on New Guinea's  early history i s certainly to be impressed by the extent to which blackbirding, and the cupidity f o r gold, accounted for the most part of the early European a f f i n i t y f o r a swampy and malarial island. Nonie Sharp  (1976), with an element of blame, represents the later colonial period as rankly exploitative imposition, i n the context of which the Cargo Cult can be read as both a reaction to, and a symbol of administrative repression. Cargo movements have indeed, at times, had s i n i s t e r p o l i t i c a l overtones, with o f f i c i a l retribution v i s i t e d upon some of those involved. Yet Burridge (i960 : 140, 146) thinks that i t i s mistaken to regard the a c t i v i t i e s of the Europeans i n New Guinea as being the direct causes of Cargo movements. Rather, Europeans and the roles they play have been parts of a t o t a l p o l i t i c a l complex from which Cargo movements may emerge. He talks of a triangle of discrepant meanings formed by the interrelationships of administrator, missionary, and native, a structure which implies a shifting play of power and not a sheer hierarchical dominion. Taking the transactional approach, the interface between native and colonial, black and white, and what has transpired or emerged i n recent history as a result of this interaction, draws attention to "the  -30-  negotiated properties of s o c i a l order, and to the resources, means, and forums which persons may  attempt to mobilize and r e a l i z e i n order  t o further t h e i r i n t e r e s t s of the moment" (Handleman 1976 The subject of magic and s o c i a l control was  : 224).  an e a r l i e r i n d i c a -  t i o n of the ramifying connection between * power and"meaning. One might, -  on the i n s p i r a t i o n of t h i s , a r r i v e at the p a r t i c u l a r conclusion that the most insidious aspect of imperialism i s the tyranny of men's minds. The c o l o n i a l period i n New  Guinea, however, i s remarkable not f o r the  reason that i t b u i l t i t s achievements by some system of propaganda or unp r i n c i p l e d manipulation,  but because the course which events took  influenced by decisions made l a r g e l y into an i n c r e d i b l e void.  (i960  was  Burridge  : 128) says of the early days of contact i n Tangu that, e s p e c i a l l y  with the kind of r o l e s administrative o f f i c e r s were required to play, "to say that there were misunderstandings i s to imply the p o s s i b i l i t y of mutual comprehension: and of such there i s scarcely a shred of evidence."  What often serves i n the place of mutual understanding i s  an array of f r e e - f l o a t i n g commentary and stereotyped opinion, ated from the club barstool or i n the labour camps.  dissemin-  Over time t h i s  generates attitudes which become an entrenched feature of the s i t u a t i o n , predisposing the reactions of both white and black toward each other ( c f . Rowley  1966;  and Burridge  i960 : 36)-  h i s t o r y i n the pretence of i n t e r p r e t i n g i t .  Such ideas shape the l o c a l It i s a s i t u a t i o n i n which  professional advisors and academics incur a s p e c i a l onus, f o r i n e v i t a b l y scholarly notions and the assurances of theory come to i n f i l t r a t e the p o l i c y r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s of the administration.  And apparently not even  -31-  a l o n g exposure t o t h e r e a l i t i e s o f t h e f i e l d  can be counted upon as  a c o r r e c t i v e f o r minds w e l l - i n s u l a t e d by t h e many s u b t l e t i e s o f i n t e l l e c t u a l self-defence.  As B r o o k f i e l d (1973  ' 5)  puts i t ,  where  t h e r e i s a concern with theory, then a great d e a l o f l o c a l or c u l t u r a l p a r t i c u l a r i t y becomes " n o i s e " o f v a r i o u s hues.  I t i s easy t o be persuaded t h a t Cargo e x i s t s as a problem o f meaning f o r t h e n a t i v e New  Guinean: l e s s easy t o a c c e p t t h a t t h e problem  i s mutual, d e f y i n g Western assumptions i n ways not always r e c o g n i z e d . To a European o b s e r v e r , B u r r i d g e  (i960 : 224) s a y s . i t i s c l e a r t h a t u n t i l  n a t i v e s make t h e t r a n s f e r e n c e i n t o t h e European i d i o m Cargo w i l l e l u d e them, but n a t i v e s a r e not p l a c e d t o a p p r e c i a t e t h e p o i n t .  T h e i r under-  s t a n d i n g o f Europeans, and t h i n g s European, i s c o n s t r a i n e d by t h e i n which t h e y u n d e r s t a n d themselves and t h e world about them.  way  "The same  l i m i t s o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g not o n l y shape t h e q u e s t i o n s t h e y ask, but p r e d i c a t e t h e answers"  (op. c i t .  253)•  On t h e o t h e r hand, b e i n g t h e b e n e f i c i a r y o f a g r e a t e r freedom and detachment  i n h i s mode o f thought has not meant t h a t t h e European  u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f Cargo has i t s e l f been w i t h o u t some begging o f v i t a l tions.  ques-  There i s t h a t tendency t o r e d u c t i o n i s m , on which view Cargo  l i t e r a l l y o r m a t e r i a l l y c o n c e i v e d , i s t a k e n t o be t h e aim o r end o f cultic activity.  A t t h i s l e v e l , s i m p l e covetousness might be  by s i m p l e p o s s e s s i o n ( c f . op. c i t . 3 l ) «  satisfied  Or, where t h e p r o s p e c t s f o r  d e v e l o p m e n t a l growth a r e t h e i s s u e , t h e l o g i c which recommends  itself  i s t h a t t h e n a t i v e p r o p e n s i t y f o r magic and m i l l e n a r i a n i s m w i l l become o t i o s e once he l e a r n s t h e t e c h n i c a l p r o c e s s e s and a c q u i r e s t h e e m p i r i c a l  -32-  aptitudes which, i n the Western world, combine i n the production of Cargo.  For the administrator, faced with the p r a c t i c a l exigencies of  bringing "melanesian voluntarism" into some kind of congruence with the modern world, i t i s an understandable s i m p l i f i c a t i o n to see i n those r e f l e c t i o n s of the Western image i n the often confusing and rapid transformations of the administered of administrative achievement.  culture, both the goal and the c r i t e r i o n So much easier t o suppose that those  elements of an i r r e c o n c i l a b l y a l i e n or "other" i d e n t i t y which survive i n t o the future are ultimately of less s i g n i f i c a n c e than a seemingly increasingly world-wide uniformity.  However, i f i t i s true that f o r the New Guinean the enormous material abundances at the command of white men has come to focus h i s disquietude, i t i s not simply because i t b e s t i r s i n him the awareness of h i s comparative technological incapacity. Burridge  "Cargo" i s a complex notion,  (i960 V 41-44) forewarns: though i t does indeed r e f e r t o manu-  factures of European o r i g i n , i t has connotations which extend beyond the material i n e q u a l i t i e s of an economic s i t u a t i o n . For Cargo implies a profound deceit.  I t turns on the question New Guineans ask themselves  as t o why i t should be that Europeans have such undreamt-of quantities and kinds of material goods, putting natives into a p o s i t i o n of i n f e r i o r i t y ? As Burridge  (op. c i t . 1?1> 224) says, the claim Europeans themselves make,  that t h e i r t e c h n i c a l prowess i s based on t h e i r own inventiveness,  their  own nous, without mystical intercession or r i t u a l aids, can hardly be convincing.  Their mythology i n s t r u c t s them that the d e i t i e s alone created  a l l material goods.  By extension t h i s applies to cargo, white man's goods.  -33-  Where i s the l i e ?  On the one hand, cargo movements t y p i c a l l y invent  f a n c i f u l notions that white men must he intercepting the cargo i n i t s passage from god to men and withholding a disproportionate share from the natives.  In which case, white men are a moral affront, w i l f u l l y  and arrogantly exempting themselves from the conventions by which natives understand society.  On the other hand, perhaps the untruth  owes to the ancestor figures who were responsible f o r passing on the basic mythology i n the f i r s t place. Maybe they did not know everything after a l l , or were confused l i k e ordinary men and women? Or perhaps they even intended to mislead? I f the mythology f a i l e d  to account f o r  something quite as significant as cargo, what else does i t overlook? Can i t be trusted any longer, or i s there more yet to be discovered, which i t f a l s i f i e s because of inaccuracy or incompleteness? In other words, no interpretation of Gargoism i s adequate outside of a framework capable of portraying man as engaged i n the society of other men at that level of s e n s i b i l i t y which responds to the imperatives of a moral law, and as possessed of what Stanner (1964 : 292) refers to as "the metaphysical g i f t " - that i s , some i n t r i n s i c need to subject h i s experiences to a form, to a pattern of meaning, within which the world, himself, and his fellow men cohere i n a r e l a t i v e l y i n t e l l i g i b l e unity.  10. Organization, Evaluation and Choice The urgent question i s thus from whence ought a policy f o r planned development take i t s bearings? The answer to t h i s i s i n fact as old as the very beginnings of rational speculation about the ends of human p o l i t y .  Diamond (1963 : x i ) comments on the Republic that i t may  -34-  have been founded on "a t h e o r y o f human nature t h a t was c e r t a i n l y wrong, but i t s e n d u r i n g v i n d i c a t i o n was P l a t o ' s b e l i e f t h a t h i s p e r f e c t l y c i v i l i z e d s o c i e t y would r e a l i z e p u l a t e them. realm  human p o s s i b i l i t i e s , not merely mani-  The problem, though, i s how t o t r a n s l a t e t h i s out o f t h e  o f p r e s c r i p t i v e p h i l o s o p h y and i n t o t h e p r a c t i c a l concerns  changing  of a  world?  In l a t t e r - d a y terms, t h e n o t i o n o f an " i n c r e a s e i n w e l f a r e " o r i n t h e " l e v e l o f l i v i n g " s e r v e s t o keep a l i v e P l a t o ' s i n s p i r a t i o n o f an a m e l i o r a t e d s o c i e t y , though s c a r c e l y h i s I d e a l i s m . back t o Stanner's  quotation confirms, increased welfare i s u s u a l l y taken  as s t a r t i n g w i t h t h e attempt t o r a i s e m a t e r i a l s t a n d a r d s . is  F o r as a l o o k  This i n turn  c o n c e i v e d as a p e r c a p i t a i n c r e a s e i n r e a l income, d e r i v i n g from  i n c r e a s e s i n p r o d u c t i o n , a g r e a t e r r a t e o f c a p i t a l investment,  t h e ex-  pansion of the operations o f i n d i v i d u a l production u n i t s , a greater complexity 1962  o f o v e r a l l o r g a n i z a t i o n ( c f , Belshaw 1955  : 140).  !  54 and S a l i s b u r y  Belshaw notes t h a t however e l u s i v e and plagued w i t h  logical  d e f e c t s a n o t i o n l i k e " i n c r e a s e d w e l f a r e " i n t h e end t u r n s out t o be, it and  i s n e v e r t h e l e s s g e n e r a l l y c o n s i d e r e d t o have some p r a c t i c a l  validity,  i t affirms several points of relevance.  The  first  i s t h a t where s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n e x i s t s i n some  e s s e n t i a l way f o r t h e r e a l i z a t i o n o f human p o s s i b i l i t i e s , as a " r e s o u r c e " t o t h i s end, t h e n l i k e any o t h e r r e s o u r c e i t s u s e f u l n e s s i s s u b j e c t t o e v a l u a t i o n ( c f . Goldschmidt  1964 :""483),  T h i s b r i n g s i n t o f o c u s t h e way  i n which needs and s o c i a l purposes a r e matched t o t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l  arrange-  ments f o r meeting them, and t h e assumption i s t h a t t h e f i n a l a r b i t e r i n  -35-  the question  o f t h e s a t i s f a c t o r i n e s s of t h i s r e l a t i o n can o n l y he  l o c a l system o f v a l u e s .  the  These i d e a s are the b a s i s o f Belshaw's measure  o f S o c i a l Performance, which aims t o p r o v i d e  a way  of  conceptualizing  t h i s r e l a t i o n o f s a t i s f a c t i o n t o o r g a n i z a t i o n i n terms o f the  latter's  c a p a c i t y t o r e a l i z e c u l t u r a l c h o i c e s w i t h i n c r e a s i n g economy o f c o s t . A group's own  s t a t e d performance o b j e c t i v e s and  the point of reference iveness  provide  i n a s s e s s i n g the degree o f i n s t r u m e n t a l  o f the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l forms which i t has  Belshaw 1970  preferences  effect-  at i t s d i s p o s a l ( c f .  : 10-27).  I t s h o u l d be apparent from t h i s t h a t i n c r e a s e d w e l f a r e  does  not n e c e s s a r i l y mean an a p p r o x i m a t i o n t o a Western p a t t e r n o f consumption. 54)  Though i n r e s p e c t  o f underdeveloped c o u n t r i e s , as Belshaw (1955  says, i t does e n t a i l an i n c r e a s e i n the p r o d u c t i o n  o f m a t e r i a l goods, i t i s not t h a t a l o n e , general preferences  o f the l o c a l  and  !  consumption  and t h e n i t i s s t i l l w i t h i n  the  community.  S o c i a l Performance a l s o e l i m i n a t e s the k i n d o f encumbering, p o l a r i z e d conception  o f development e n s h r i n e d  i n the Lawrence - Worsley -  White l i n e o f argument, which s e t s " t r a d i t i o n a l " g o a l s , b e l i e f s , v a l u e p r e d i l e c t i o n s i n an i m p l a c a b l e "modernity",  and  semantic o p p o s i t i o n t o economic  T h i s c o u l d o n l y r e s u l t from a m i s c o n c e p t i o n o f n a t i v e  s o c i e t y i n i t s economic a s p e c t s ,  and  i t s e r i o u s l y damages the  prospects  o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g the nature o f the changes t h a t are undoubtedly r e q u i r e d . C u l t u r a l f a c t o r s are c e r t a i n l y an important i s s u e i n i m p r o v i n g performance, e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e fundamental changes i n v a l u e may  b r i n g about the emergence o f new  patterns  social  : cost r a t i o s  o f a c t i o n ( c f . Belshaw  -36-  1964 set  : 219).  But  the  judgement o f "modernity" i s not about a p a r t i c u l a r  of c u l t u r a l values.  I t r e f e r s e n t i r e l y t o the c o m p l e x i t y and  opera-  t i o n o f the s t r u c t u r e , whether i t has the i n s t i t u t i o n a l and  technological  c a p a c i t y t o cope w i t h an i n c r e a s i n g range o f r e s o u r c e s ,  how  i v e l y i t can m o b i l i z e t h e s e f o r maximal use. what can f a i r l y  for  These are v a r i a b l e s ,  not f u l f i l  these c o n d i t i o n s  throughout the complex range o f a c t i v i t i e s t h a t are  sustained  145-146;  effectand  be s a i d about t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s i s t h a t  a r e d e f i c i e n t because t h e y c l e a r l y do ciently  and  economic growth ( c f . Belshaw 1964  1978-: 18).  : 220-221;  Hence, by the same t o k e n , the  they  suffi-  necessary 1965  :  100,  "development" o f  s u c h s o c i e t i e s i n v o l v e s v e r y much more t h a n merely e n c o u r a g i n g economic "growth".  Bernstein  e x p l a i n s the d i s t i n c t i o n behind the  terminology:  Growth i s a q u a n t i t a t i v e p r o c e s s , i n v o l v i n g p r i n c i p a l l y the e x t e n s i o n o f an a l r e a d y e s t a b l i s h e d s t r u c t u r e o f p r o d u c t i o n , whereas development suggests q u a l i t a t i v e changes, the c r e a t i o n o f new economic and non-economic structures. (1976 : 16)  Diamond's e a r l i e r remarks about the quantum l e a p  separating  p r i m i t i v e from modern i n s t i t u t i o n s i s an i n d i c a t i o n o f the  magnitudes  o f t h e t r a n s i t i o n i m p l i e d i n the .term development.  case,  S a l i s b u r y ' s (1968 i s the way  : 482)  own  s t a t e d view i s t h a t o r g a n i z a t i o n a l  t o monitor t h e many a s p e c t s o f the development  Organization  p e r t a i n s t o the f u n c t i o n s and  and  a s s o c i a t i o n s , t o the k i n d s  ing  o f i n d i v i d u a l c h o i c e s and  It  explores  In any  o f r o l e s people can f u l f i l , values  t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s of a new  s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s take,  i n t e r a c t i o n s of  according  theory  process. institutions t o the  to i n s t i t u t i o n a l  pattern-  loci.  t e c h n o l o g y f o r the form which  as w e l l as the i n f l u e n c e o f the  l a t t e r on  the  -37-  p o t e n t i a l of a new  technology.  It questions the nature of the d i s -  t r i b u t i v e mechanism, and traces out the productive absorption  of  surplus f o r i t s a b i l i t y to engender the steady growth of further productive labour.  Moreover, since the i n s t i t u t i o n s of a society are not  merely a matter of i n t e r n a l structure but are responsive to the i n f l u ences of an "environment" broadly conceived, the focus on s o c i a l organization provides a way  of conceptualizing the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s of  subsistence and ecology, on the one hand, and p o l i t i c a l and a c t i v i t i e s , on the other ( c f . Eggan 1964  : 477-478;  ritual  Goldschmidt 1964  :  485). By way own  of exemplification, Salisbury (1968  : 484)  cites his  approach i n h i s Siane study where, he says, organization was taken as  the major v a r i a b l e , "how  i n New  Guinea surpluses are created by tech-  n o l o g i c a l change funneled into the creation of more complex p o l i t i c a l organizations and how  such p o l i t i c a l change permits the organizational  change f o r the establishment also commends Geertz  of new  types of productive a c t i v i t y " .  He  (1974) f o r the way i n which he involves technology  as a major variable i n h i s model of interactions i n the labour-intensive monocrop a g r i c u l t u r e of Java.  Geertz achieves t h i s by drawing upon  J u l i a n Steward's delineation of the e c o l o g i c a l or systemic connections which form between the main features of s o c i a l organization, the  key  resources i n the l o c a l environment, and the technology which exists to exploit them. The point to stress here i s that S o c i a l Performance r e s u l t s from the i n t e r r e l a t i o n a l character, of the system as a whole 1970  t 12).  (Belshaw  By recommending the focus on organization as a way  of  -38-  i n t e g r a t i n g the development perspective, Salisbury also s a t i s f i e s the need f o r a proper sense of s i t u a t i o n .  The value of t h i s i s made  c l e a r e r by the contrast with a l t e r n a t i v e s .  Lawrence's prediction of  development trends assigned automatic p r i o r i t y to an economic substructure of a c e r t a i n type i n determining the outcome - with only s l i g h t concessions made to l o c a l c u l t u r a l p a r t i c u l a r i t y .  In e f f e c t ,  the prediction i s no more than an a r t i f i c e of theory, which succeeds only i n enucleating the "core" of substructure r i g h t out of a context of r e a l and various factors against which economic development de facto must take shape.  Salisbury expresses h i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with t h i s  kind of gratuitous l o g i c a l s e l f - l i m i t a t i o n which he notes i s common i n the approach economists take i n constructing t h e i r models.  Whereas  anthropologists are bound to take cognizance of a wide d i v e r s i t y of phenomena so as t o accommodate t h e i r frameworks to the possible unknowns of a native environment, Salisbury observes that: Economists tend to include such factors as demography, technology, organizational techniques or p o l i t i c a l controls only as boundary conditions f o r t h e i r models, making such s i m p l i s t i c assumptions as they remain constant, or they increase at steady r a t e s . These assumptions are often disguised. A simple statement that i t i s "assumed that the marginal product of labour i s p o s i t i v e " or that " i f may be assumed that i n a period of growth there i s some organizational slack," implies questionable, assumptions about the nature of technology or organization. However, making such assumptions, the economist can c l a r i f y the l o g i c of his model and can proceed immediately to q u a n t i f i c a t i o n . The anthropologist i s more concerned with building relationships between technology, organization or p o l i t i c s , and the economic a c t i v i t i e s into h i s models. (1968 : 483. Emphasis i n the o r i g i n a l ) .  -39-  One further d e t a i l i n Salisbury's approach must be c l a r i f i e d . He i s himself an economist by persuasion: " I wish to take an e x p l i c i t l y economic stance," he says-in an a r t i c l e as I have done since  1957»  (l9?6  following Robbins  : 42).  " I would argue,  ... F i r t h ... and Belshaw  ... that any behaviour can be looked at as the outcome of an a l l o c a t ive choice, a decision of how to apply scarce means to alternative ends." This allocative. paradigm i s confirmed as the heart of the Siane study: ... I took as a d e f i n i t i o n of my f i e l d of study 'those a c t i v i t i e s i n which people engage, and i n which they appear to organize t h e i r behaviour i n terms of a r a t i o n a l c a l c u l a t i o n of the quantities of goods and services produced, exchanged or consumed, i n such a way as to allocate scarce means to meet competing ends'.  (1962 : 39)  Is there here an inconsistency with the importance given elsewhere to the variable of organization? In fact h i s stated allegiance to F i r t h i s the i n d i c a t i o n that there i s not, f o r F i r t h made the problem of choice (within a framework of c u l t u r a l imperatives) a c e n t r a l issue of organization ( c f . Belshaw 1965  : 5)«  Demography, p o l i t i c a l considera-  t i o n s , r i t u a l and r e l i g i o u s a c t i v i t i e s , i n f a c t a l l those "environmental" f a c t o r s l e f t out of the account by the economists whom Salisbury has c r i t i c i z e d , can be seen i n t h i s perspective as becoming organizationally s i g n i f i c a n t at the point i n which they enter into human purposes and are subject to c a l c u l a t i v e judgements of relevance and r e l a t i v e value. White, too, i s stood on h i s head, he opines (White  1964 : 423)>  And  "In the system that i s culture,"  "technology i s the independent variable,  the other sectors the dependent variables,"  But technology i s not  independent of the central c u l t u r a l f a c t of choice.  -40-  11.  System, Movement,' Money Organization, along with i t s companion measure of s o c i a l performance, have been seen to e n t a i l a h o l i s t i c view of socioc u l t u r a l systems. "Holism", though, i s a problematic term.  On the  one hand, i t r e c a l l s Evans-Pritchard*s insistence that anthropology explains by a method of descriptive integration, which i s also, at the same time, unmistakably h i s t o r i c a l .  On the other hand, the notion  of "holism" has had a notorious career i n anthropology, and has come t o convey almost the a n t i t h e s i s of time and change.  Yet the ideas of  change and holism are interconnected, i f not complementary.  S o c i a l Performance subordinates change to evaluation; but i t i s equally true that i t s evaluations are l o g i c a l l y dependent upon change.  Performance can be ascertained only i n the movement of a system  through successive states i n time, measurements being taken at various points along the way and compared f o r . i n d i c a t i o n s of any change i n the capacities of organization with respect to the f u l f i l m e n t of a p a r t i c u l a r schedule of c u l t u r a l p r i o r i t i e s ( c f . Belshaw 1 9 7 0 : 1 2 ) .  I t might be  said that S o c i a l Performance makes a methodological v i r t u e of the c l a s s i c d i f f i c u l t y that, ontologically speaking, a s o c i a l system manifests as a continuum of ceaselessly changing  forms.  This i s fundamentally d i f f e r e n t from the " s o c i a l s t a t i c s " of the t r a d i t i o n of Durkheim and Radcllffe-Brown, i n which a s o c i o - c u l t u r a l system was held t o have an i d e n t i t y as a discrete whole, r e s t i n g upon a configuration of mutually supporting components. change i s nothing but a conceptual embarrassment.  On t h i s interpretation, S t a b i l i t y has to be  -41-  a h e u r i s t i c condition i f i t i s to be axiomatic that an i n s t i t u t i o n , or any other "part" of the system, i s of relevance only i n terms of the contribution i t i s making t o the integration of the whole ( c f . Cohen 1974 s 18-21).  Lawrence's i n f r a s t r u c t u r a l determinism can be seen t o  r e p l i c a t e one of the tenets of t h i s organic assumption.  This i s that  the.'elements of a t r a d i t i o n a l system are so bound together i n an organic interdependency that the r a d i c a l change of one element (the Westernizat i o n of i t s economy), as opposed to i t s functional modulation, i s l i a b l e altogether to, collapse the unity of the whole.  The error l i e s i n an unnecessary, and metaphysical,  assumption  of organic closure. By contrast, the more recent conception of "system" has been nominal i n tendency.  I t denotes only the open-ended set of  r e l a t i o n s which are postulated to hold between any s p e c i f i e d number of variables.  A relevant variable i s known - that i s , i s systematically  analysed - only through the reactions and i n t e r r e l a t i o n s i t has with other v a r i a b l e s .  There i s no implication that a l l aspects of culture  are f u n c t i o n a l l y interdependent one with another.  The degree and kind  of interdependency are not the same with a l l features.  In an i n t e r e s t i n g  r e v e r s a l , change i s now the e s s e n t i a l epistemological condition, acting, as Nash (1966 : 102) expresses i t , " l i k e a litmus paper f o r society, showing up the c r u c i a l elements."  I t i s with t h i s thought that he  declares the area of greatest challenge to contemporary s o c i a l anthropology t o be the understanding of the s o c i a l and economic changes occurr i n g i n peasant and primitive s o c i e t i e s .  "System", then, primarily designates the r e l a t i o n s h i p s  -42-  p r e v a i l i n g between e n t i t i e s , rather than the e n t i t i e s themselves. accordance with t h i s , Belshaw (l96\5 : 851 1970  !  In  52) has indicated  that S o c i a l Performance, as an a n a l y t i c a l t o o l , should be an incentive to query the effectiveness and the f r i c t i o n s In the way component i n s t i tutions a r t i c u l a t e together.  For i t i s the manner i n which the elements  which make up culture react upon one another that brings about a f u r t h e r result.  This r a i s e s the question of the exchange system, how linkages  are effected; and t h i s , i n essence, i s the s o c i a l r o l e of money. The development of primitive economies therefore begs a general  consideration  of the r e l a t i o n s between a monetary economy and a non-monetary system. And here i s to be found the major c r i t i c i s m of Salisbury's Siane study. I t can be said from the outset that Salisbury cuts himself o f f from a proper emphasis on the communications that take place between i n d i v i d u a l decision-makers, and that he.does t h i s by underestimating the degree t o which the rudimentary money of Siane, as the symbolism of a primary form of s o c i a l interchange,  focuses a l l the important issues to do with power,  s o c i a l organization, choice, and c u l t u r a l change.  -43-  II. CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND THE HUMAN FACTOR IN PRODUCTION  1.  Choice and Value:  the Economist's Model  A much closer scrutiny of Salisbury's t h e o r e t i c a l suppositions i s indicated i f some of the more c e n t r a l paradoxes of h i s Siane study are to undergo a c r i t i c a l d i s s e c t i o n .  As an economist he has made calcu-  l a t i v e choice the keystone to economic organization, and i t would appear that he i s committed by t h i s to take Into account something of the phenomenological contours of the world i n which Siane a c t .  He himself  endorses that a precondition of h i s study must be, ... to i s o l a t e some of the p r i n c i p l e s i n terms of which these r a t i o n a l calculations are made. This w i l l primarily involve analysing the way i n which natives themselves approach t h e i r exchanges - the concepts and terms they use, t h e i r r i g h t s to land and other property, and t h e i r means of t r a n s f e r r i n g property from one person to another - the way i n which they organize t h e i r work and d i s t r i b u t e the f r u i t s of t h e i r labour, t h e i r attitudes to work and the expenditure of time, and the desirable ends they hope to accomplish through t h e i r work, t h e i r exchanges and t h e i r l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s . (1962 : 4)  Thus conceding the significance of the system of native percept i o n , Salisbury wishes to move back again into a more f a m i l i a r context of ideas and p r i n c i p l e s provided i n the established corpus of Western economics.  "Simple description and immediate analysis of the data", he  advises, w i l l give way to a deeper l e v e l of analysis, being: ... an attempt to see how f a r t r a d i t i o n a l Western economic concepts a s s i s t i n understanding the process of change i n Siane, and to see whether any d i s t i n c t i v e Siane economic concepts can be i s o l a t e d from the f i r s t l e v e l of analysis - concepts that might be of use i n the analysis of economic change i n other s o c i e t i e s , even i n Western society. (ibid.)  -44-  The concept Salisbury selects from t r a d i t i o n a l Western economics to inform the analysis of the Siane material i s that of " c a p i t a l " . A two way exchange i s thus envisaged, i n which no necessary incompatibility i s supposed between the two approaches, though Salisbury himself i s quick t o lose contact with phenomenology by favouring a predominantly Western preconception of economic l o g i c .  Quite what i s meant by t h i s c r i t i c i s m ,  and the slant i t introduces into h i s study, must now be explained i n more careful d e t a i l . Phenomenology i s apparently s t i l l a tenet of l a t e r a r t i c l e s , where Salisbury (1968 : 4 8 4 and 1976 : 4 3 ) recommends the construction of models based on "ethnoeconomic concepts", so that i t may  be considered  deductively how systematic use i n the society of such concepts gives r i s e to o v e r a l l patterns, to shared or s i m i l a r value standards, that i s , to "preference maps". There i s a connection at t h i s point with a copious l i t e r a t u r e t o do with the conception of the "values" of action ( c f . Belshaw 1959). Values enter into the a l l o c a t i v e paradigm i n as much as they imply "wants or goals weighted according to the force with which they govern action, bearing i n mind t h e i r p o s i t i v e d e s i r a b i l i t y and the negative costs which must be paid to achieve them" (Belshaw I965 : 112).  However i n d i v i d u a l choices are not random, but are influenced i n any society by c u l t u r a l processes which can be discerned as underlying the formation and s e l e c t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r values.  Belshaw ( i b i d . ) thus  sees the need f o r a d i s t i n c t i o n to be made, since at t h i s general c u l t u r a l  -45-  l e v e l the term "value" i s more or less equivalent to "ethos" or, h i s own term "value orientation". alternative.  "Preference maps" i s possibly a t h i r d  Value orientations imply two things.  F i r s t l y , that values  concern what i s worthwhile, reasonable and j u s t i f i a b l e i n behaviour because they flow from the very basic assumptions of a society.  It allows  a view of a c u l t u r a l system as encompassing a spectrum of values, which may i n some respects be contradictory or competitive or dysfunctional. Nevertheless, so f a r as there i s a broad consensus on these assumptions expressed i n behavioural consistencies, that society i s a functioning moral community.  Secondly, value orientation i s the d i s t i n c t i v e l y anthro-  p o l o g i c a l contribution to economic analysis, pertaining to the-problem order.  of  For i t amounts to the perception that underlying the m u l t i p l i c i t y  of i n d i v i d u a l choices of action which i n aggregate  comprise the empirical  economy or society, there i s the guiding influence of a c u l t u r a l design. Value orientations once formed give a circumscribing framework to future action, Belshaw ( i b i d . ) notes.  There i s also a s o c i o l o g i c a l aspect to a value system, f o r i t i s to be understood that within the spectrum certain r e g u l a r i t i e s emerge which govern the formation of s o c i a l r o l e s , and the r e l a t i o n s h i p between such r o l e s .  A system of r o l e s , or a s o c i a l structure, provides a f u r t h e r  major framework which circumscribes action, Belshaw (op. c i t . ) comments, and describes the interconnectedness between actions. More fundamentally, i f the question i s how are the actions of i n d i v i d u a l s or corporate groups t o be interpreted as occurring not simply a t o m i s t i c a l l y , but as phenomena of s o c i a l organization:  -46-  The economic answer i s that actions i n a s o c i a l context involve exchange ... The actions of an i s o l a t e d man can he subjected to economic analysis, hut an economy i s a system which gains r e a l i t y through the s o c i a l phenomena of exchange. (Belshaw op. c i t . 5) Parkin (1976  : I87) indeed proclaims that an a n a l y t i c and  t h e o r e t i c a l concern with exchange as the basis of communication i s imp l i c i t i n a l l anthropology.  In any case, both Belshaw (op. c i t , 6 )  and Baric ( 1 9 6 4 : 36) stress that the usefulness of the approach taken by anthropology and sociology to the analysis of the economic foundations of small-scale s o c i e t i e s l i e s i n the study of the c u l t u r a l system of preferences and i t s association with the i n s t i t u t i o n a l r e g u l a r i t i e s of r e l a t i o n s h i p a r i s i n g from transactions (such as customary g i f t s , borrowing and lending).  Says Baric:  From the intensive study of such s o c i e t i e s i t i s poss i b l e to discover the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s of factors i n the microcosm more p r e c i s e l y than i s l i k e l y i n a more complex society. It i s possible to see, i n i n t e n s i f i e d form, certain p r i n c i p l e s of organization common to technologically primitive and to peasant s o c i e t i e s , which are among the most s i g n i f i c a n t factors i n questions of development. (ibid.) Salisbury, however, i s considerably d i s s a t i s f i e d with the products of t h i s l i n e of approach.  Baric was writing i n the c o l l e c t i o n by F i r t h and  Yamey (1964), C a p i t a l , Savings and Credit i n Peasant Society, at which (though he exempts F i r t h ) Salisbury l e v e l s t h i s rather harsh c r i t i c i s m : Most of the authors i n t h i s volume were s o c i a l anthropologists who proudly vaunted t h e i r ignorance of economic analysis and merely described how d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l groupings accumulated cash i n p a r t i c u l a r s o c i e t i e s . L i t t l e attention was devoted to the use made of such accumulations or to the nature of ' c a p i t a l ' .  (1968  :  482)  -47-  His own  stand, though, i s made i n i t i a l l y ambivalent by h i s  discussion of value i n the Siane work where, i n addressing of how  the problem  one a c t u a l l y i d e n t i f i e s and measures values, he argues that values  reveal themselves i n the act of exchange ( c . f . 1962  : 184).  Value i s  thus i n e v i t a b l y r e l a t i v e , since the value of one thing must always be expressed i n terms of another.  He concludes from t h i s that value can  be given an operational d e f i n i t i o n "as the amount of a commodity, X, that' i s given i n exchange f o r a commodity, Y."  In l a t e r writings, he seems  to have seen that the behaviourist method of i n f e r r i n g what the values are on each side of the transaction by means of the outcome of the change renders almost t a u t o l o g i c a l the p r i n c i p l e that a man  ex-  chooses a  course of action which ensures that the value gained i s greater than or equal to the value l o s t .  With that goes the notion of r a t i o n a l i t y  bedded i n the a l l o c a t i v e paradigm ( c . f . Heath 1976  em-  : 26-27).  Hence h i s attack on s o c i a l anthropologists  of Bari-c's persuasion  i s concerned with t h e i r tendency to look at transactions from the point of view of those features within the transaction i t s e l f that determine i t s p a r t i c u l a r form.  He comments (197&  '• 41-42) that the notion that the  transaction i t s e l f - as the s o c i a l r e a l i t y transcending  i t s constituent  i n d i v i d u a l s : a dyad having two poles - is.the unit f o r study entered d e f i n i t i v e l y into transactional analysis with the p u b l i c a t i o n i n I966 of Barth's Models of S o c i a l Organization. now  Whereas h i s own  conviction has  become to break up the dyad and concentrate analysis on the separate  transactors, as a way  of i n t e r p r e t i n g what happens i n transactions i n the  l i g h t of the f a c t o r s a f f e c t i n g i n d i v i d u a l decisions.  In t h i s way,  a  -48-  whole range of contributing factors enter i n t o the explanation.  There  are questions to be asked about the values and motivations on e i t h e r side of the transaction and how these are also a part of other transa c t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s i n which each party may  be separately involved; what  c o n f l i c t s or hierarchies of purpose do these values betray; what opport u n i t i e s are s i t u a t i o n a l l y perceived and what resources are understood t o be available to f u l f i l them; what assessment of costs, including the s a c r i f i c e of other possible choices, influenced the d e c i s i o n to engage i n t h i s transaction?  One  can imagine that these issues are subject to wide  v a r i a t i o n s according to i n d i v i d u a l circumstances,  even where r e l a t i v e l y  stable c u l t u r a l agreements standardize the outlook of transactors l i v i n g within a single moral community; the more so where transactions occur across community boundaries under conditions of normative disagreement. Even i f a l l Highlanders shared the same preference map f o r evaluating pigs and s h e l l s , the man with no pigs would be desperate to obtain the nucleus"for a herd. By contrast, the man with enough pigs to provide f o r h i s anticipated needs f o r ceremonial d i s t r i b u t i o n would prefer to increase h i s supply of other valuables rather than increase the s t r a i n on h i s gardens and h i s wife by having a larger herd. (Salisbury op. c i t . 43) The.conceptual pay-off would therefore be considerable were * transaction analysts to apply economic reasoning about i n d i v i d u a l d e c i s i o n making more c l o s e l y to the formulation of t h e i r propositions, f o r what the Barthian paradigm achieved e f f e c t i v e l y was the r e l e g a t i o n of t h i s aspect to d i s c i p l i n e s other than anthropology.  Salisbury expounds on t h i s assertion:  It i s true that Barth sees the focusing on transactions as a way of moving from the dynamic of the i n d i v i d u a l event to the "generation" of the model of the t o t a l system, thereby including i n d i v i d u a l d e c i s i o n making i n  -49-  the system of explanation. But i n f a c t inferences about i n d i v i d u a l decisions are most often derived from the observation of transactions or from a p r i o r i assumptions about human nature. The f a c t that two transacting parties reach an agreement i s often taken t o imply that both parties come with the same understandings,. values and expectations - p a r t i c u l a r l y expectations about r e c i p r o c i t y . Though t h i s may be true, I f i n d myself, Rashomon-like, questioning whether i t i s a v a l i d assumption. (op. c i t . 41-42, emphasis i n the o r i g i n a l ) . Kapferer  (1976 : 12) queries "whether the abandonment of universal,  nonculturally s p e c i f i c assumptions reduces the a b i l i t y of transactional theory to account f o r the emergency and change of s o c i a l forms and decreases i t s effectiveness as a t o o l i n comparative analysis?" In any case, the point upon which Salisbury i s roundly rebuked i s that the concept of emergence i s c r i t i c a l f o r exchange theory not just f o r i t s obvious c e n t r a l i t y to the analysis of process and change, but because i t i s "a means whereby the actions of i n d i v i d u a l s can be linked t o the wider i n s t i t u t i o n a l arrangements i n which they p a r t i c i p a t e , and whereby 'culture' as a set of shared agreements a f f e c t i n g and guiding a c t i o n can be studied."  (Kapferer op. c i t . 18). But i n t h i s l a s t respect  emergence i s e x p l i c i t l y non-reductionistic, recognizing that i n s t i t u t i o n s and systems of r e l a t i o n s h i p s can exert an independent e f f e c t upon the behaviour of i n d i v i d u a l s so that i t i s f u t i l e to reduce the study of s o c i a l behaviour t o i n d i v i d u a l components (Kapferer op. c i t . 1 6 ) . Salisbury (1976 : 42) acknowledges that such external "constraints" influence choices, and that a series of generalizations about t h i s i s possible, but he i n s i s t s that the i n d i v i d u a l decision remains the point  -50-  at which these constraints enter into behaviour. the r e a l force of Kapferer's argument.  However t h i s misses  To admit extra-individual  f a c t o r s and structures - and t h i s includes cognitive frameworks, value orientations, codes of conduct, images of s e l f which other people project i n the course of t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n - into the explanation of the uniformit i e s of behaviour does not necessarily r e l i e v e the a n a l y t i c a l bias, f o r p r e c i s e l y the reason that such aspects can be treated i n a highly i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c way.  As such they e x i s t l a t e n t l y , as i t were, as part of a  background environment, and are only brought together into s i g n i f i c a n t patterns of association through the medium of the i n t e r n a l l o g i c of d e c i sions.  Interaction i s s t i l l promoted according to the p r i n c i p l e of  enhancing the economic r e l a t i o n of benefit and cost, with the performance, success or f a i l u r e of i n d i v i d u a l s being put down to how adequately they have read the s i t u a t i o n and gauged the d i s p o s i t i o n of these contextual elements.  Kapferer objects: But c l e a r l y the properties of the s i t u a t i o n , of the form and patterning of relationships themselves and the organization of power within them, might reduce an individual's control over h i s own actions and the behaviour of others. The why of behaviour, why i n d i v i d uals opt f o r one course of action rather than another, cannot be simply reduced to a f a i l u r e i n t h e i r accounting procedures, the complexity.of factors bearing on t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l decisions, t h e i r lack of information, and so on. These aspects related to i n d i v i d u a l decision making might themselves be produced by the form and content of the relationships which i n t e r r e l a t e i n d i v i d u a l s and by the nature of the symbols through which they communicate, (1976 : 14) In other words, the ways i n which an i n d i v i d u a l can be i n t e r -  preted as proceeding r a t i o n a l l y need not be limited to the formal  -51-  maximizing p r i n c i p l e , and the substantive values apparently exchanged may be less relevant to understanding the meaning of a r e l a t i o n s h i p than the symbolic q u a l i t i e s by which i t takes form.  Salisbury's representa-  t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l economic reasoning preceding the exchange must be redirected onto considerations which are themselves l a r g e l y independent of the empirical circumstances a f f e c t i n g the choice.  How,  for  instance, does the i n d i v i d u a l acquire, and use, h i s a b i l i t y to recognize standards as p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c or u n i v e r s a l i s t i c , and what kind of i n t e r pretative procedures must he apply i n order to know what standards are appropriate i n the p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l settings i n which he transacts ( c . f . Kapferer op. c i t . 8 ) .  It i s i n t h i s l i g h t that the phenomeno-  l o g i c a l approach to exchange and symbolic behaviour sees values and meanings as being created and as creating behaviour independently of such p r i n c i p l e s as benefit and reward. transactional environment  Those constituent elements of a  that have to do with the code within which  t r a n s a c t i o n a l a c t i v i t y i s cast, the s p e c i f i c guiding c u l t u r a l r u l e s , and the various other symbolic procedures by which meaning i s assigned to a transaction, are not so much the p a r t i c u l a r i z e d f a c t u a l constraints acting within the s i t u a t i o n to l i m i t the a b i l i t y of otherwise f r e e l y choosing individuals to r e a l i z e t h e i r optimum values.  They are part  of the l o g i c a l conditions f o r any s o c i a l behaviour to take place at a l l . This i s an approach which takes "emergence" to r e f e r p r i m a r i l y "to the d e f i n i t i o n , and transformations i n d e f i n i t i o n , of an event over time" c . f . Kapferer op. c i t . 10, 12, 15, 20).  And i t i s with t h i s reference  i n mind that i t w i l l be possible to understand the shortcomings i n Salisbury's exploration of the a r t i c u l a t i o n s of Siane economy and s o c i a l organizations•  -522. Productive Capital and the Developing Economy His  intention, he said, was to attempt a connection between  Siane's a l l o c a t i v e decisions and the concepts basic both to the Western science of economics and to the economic analysis of Western s o c i e t i e s . A major concern of the study i s therefore the delineation of the c a p i t a l entering into Siane economic production.  He joins i n t h i s with many  other anthropologists and s o c i o l o g i s t s - Salisbury (op. c i t . l4l) mentions Thurnwald, F i r t h , Weber,Frankel, and others - who have variously applied t h i s concept to the analysis of the economies of non-Western s o c i e t i e s ; though F i r t h (1964  : 17) himself has expressed the reservation that the  formation and use of c a p i t a l i n fact constitutes one of the least developed aspects of the study of such socio-economic systems.  But amongst these  writers i t i s clear that the e s s e n t i a l property of c a p i t a l i s augmentation. the  "Capital" designates the items or commodities which, entering into  productive act, "by t h e i r own inherent nature, cannot merely maintain  themselves, but increase themselves" (Thurnwald 1932 c r i t e r i o n of c a p i t a l , F i r t h (1964  : 109).  A primary  : 18) adds, i s thus i t s capacity to  a s s i s t future consumption, and i t i s oriented towards the future, not merely held back i n the past.  Capital f i t s neatly into a model dealing  with maximizing strategies.  In non-Western s o c i e t i e s plants, domestic animals, meet the c r i t e r i o n , and so do t o o l s : Man, i t i s said i s a toolmaker. This, the most elementary f i r s t element i n culture, perhaps predating language, offers the evolutionist the f i r s t glimmerings of the emergency of humankind. Yet to create t o o l s i s to invest c a p i t a l , f o r t h i s act uses resources (including time and labour) now i n order to provide a durable and more :  -53-  complex resource f o r future production. A l l human s o c i e t i e s are s o c i e t i e s of c a p i t a l investors. (Belshaw 1965 : 109) The  s t r a t e g i c importance of the concept i s clear enough,  e s p e c i a l l y once i t i s understood that i n a l l s o c i e t i e s there are l i m i t a t i o n s of both physiological and c u l t u r a l kinds on the amount of physical labour a v a i l a b l e , so that i t follows that a major element i n the capacity of an economy to grow, or even simply to maintain a l e v e l of l i v i n g , i s i t s a b i l i t y to invest i n the c a p i t a l resources underlying ( c f . Belshaw appreciated  I965  : 137)•  i t s production  Belshaw remarks that t h i s i s a point well  f o r modern economies, but i t i s frequently overlooked i n  e c o l o g i c a l interpretations of primitive s o c i e t i e s , where the nature of the economy i s f e l t to be more an immediate e f f e c t of the imperatives of environment.  I t i s also necessary to contend with the persistent charac-  t e r i z a t i o n of primitive and peasant s o c i e t i e s as lacking the achievementoriented maximizing i n i t i a t i v e considered to be a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c exclusive to Western-style enterprise and planned expansion. l6l)  Belshaw ( 1 9 7 6 : 1 6 0 -  objects to t h i s that a l l cultures are oriented t o achievement,  maximization of some values, minimization of others, and s t r i v e f o r e f f i ciency.  Where differences occur i t i s i n the s e l e c t i o n of the things t o  achieve, maximize and minimize, and the values that bear on the c a l c u l a t i o n of e f f i c i e n c y i n terms of both benefit and costs.  I t follows too  that c a p i t a l formation, i t s rate and content, w i l l vary accordingly from society to society.  It i s not the f a c t of c a p i t a l formation i t s e l f which  constitutes the r e a l problem of development i n primitive and peasant s o c i e t i e s ; what i s important i s the way t h i s process i s linked with p a r t i cular s t y l e s of motivation and value.  However, even where c a p i t a l has been made an e s s e n t i a l notion i n a p p l i c a t i o n to the workings of primitive economies, equally culpable assumptions have been made.  Salisbury (1962 : 140) supports h i s own  i n t e r e s t i n c a p i t a l by reference to United Nations l i t e r a t u r e on the measures proposed f o r the economic development of underdeveloped  countries.  The thinking there i s that a c o r r e l a t i o n exists between large outputs and both large stocks of c a p i t a l and high rates of investment, so that many economic studies, as well as the e f f o r t s of Third World governments, have exhorted c a p i t a l investments i n non-industrial s o c i e t i e s i n the i m p l i c i t b e l i e f that t h i s w i l l set o f f the causal factors leading to sustained economic growth.  Salisbury (op. c i t . 5) sets h i s own s p e c i f i c objectives  i n t h i s l i g h t , which i s to examine how f a r the s t e e l axe as an investment i n the c a p i t a l base of Siane production, can be seen as the c r u c i a l change s t a r t i n g the process leading to a higher r e a l income per capita. But Baric points t o something else i n the assumption: ... i t i s sometimes taken f o r granted that i f people wish to accumulate goods, to maximize i n d i v i d u a l advantage, to become entrepreneurs, and to plan i n economic terms, then the i n s t i t u t i o n s and the s o c i a l organization of the society w i l l change i n such a way as to tend towards economic growth. (1964  : 36)  Capital investment has become a shorthand formula f o r "development" , not merely economic growth, i n other words.  For i t i s sometimes  believed that the accumulation of c a p i t a l sustains a network of a l l i e d attitudes and i n s t i t u t i o n s of a nature that i s generally so foreign to primitive s o c i e t i e s that a programme of c a p i t a l investment may i n i t i a t e a process with revolutionary long term e f f e c t s .  So automatic does t h i s  -55-  assumption become that c a p i t a l investment can assume i n the mind of an economist the same prepotency for "the evolution of s o c i e t i e s that i n White's framework was ascribed t o technology. Salisbury reveals that he too was a n t i c i p a t i n g s o c i a l consequences to follow from Siane's investment i n the s t e e l axe so that h i s study would engender "a f u l l e r understanding of how a technological change has produced economic changes, which i n turn have l e d to changes i n the basic structure of society".  (19&2 : 139» emphasis added).  In a c t u a l i t y  the Siane material turned out to be a good deal more ambivalent, and though he can f e e l c e r t a i n of economic changes, he has t o disclaim that the axe has had the expected s o c i o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s . These are now projected as a thing of the future: Yet underlying the changes, the structure of society and i t s a c t i v i t i e s remain formally the same - there may be s l i g h t changes i n the a t t r i b u t i o n of authority, but the groupings are the same.... What has changed are the resources available and the method of a l l o c a t ing them between the same competing ends as existed i n 1933. It has been an economic change. As further changes occur, i f my extrapolations are correct, they w i l l be changes i n groupings, changes i n the authority structure, changes i n the type of a c t i v i t i e s performed they w i l l be s o c i a l changes. (op. c i t . 138-139)  It remains t o be seen how l i t t l e these extrapolated changes owe themselves d i r e c t l y to technology and intestments i n productive c a p i t a l .  3. Accounting Salisbury's immediate problem, however, i s an accounting one (c.f.  op. c i t . 140 f f . ) . .  In Siane a monetary measure of c a p i t a l - which,  he notes, Weber held was e s s e n t i a l f o r the concept to be applicable -  -56-  i s c l e a r l y untenable.  So f o r a s t a r t the d e f i n i t i o n of c a p i t a l must he  stated i n r e a l terms to designate the material goods, or the services, present before a productive act i s performed, used i n production,  and  "immobilized" from d i r e c t consumption while the act i s i n progress. The act i t s e l f i s designed to add to the stock of goods, including services, some of which may op. c i t . 142).  eventually be dispersed through consumption ( c . f .  Axes, dibble s t i c k s - that i s , f i x e d c a p i t a l assets, or  the "durable instruments of production"  - are exemplars under t h i s d e f i n -  ition.  Nevertheless,  the accounting d i f f i c u l t y p e r s i s t s where i t comes  t o s t i p u l a t i n g just what e f f e c t s t e e l axes have had on the economy.  productive  Salisbury circumvents t h i s by using time' which, he argues, i s  the Siane measure of cost (op. c i t 142).  (1959 '• 56l)»  The point i s also made by Belshaw  that since time i s the only resource that must be given up  whenever any action i s undertaken, i t can be regarded as the universal cost element i n evaluation.  In f a c t Belshaw sees i t as the only such  standard, since neither money nor any other tangible good can be accepted as the relevant element i n price i f values are to be compared throughout a culture.  Salisbury ( c . f .  I962  : 186)  would seem to allow money t h i s r o l e  i n a monetary society, though with regard to the Siane time remains the only possible means of unifying a measure of cost f o r the range of t h e i r cultural activities.  On i t s basis he i s able to construct a d e t a i l e d  assessment of the impact of what i s indeed an impressively revolutionary, i f simple, technology.  -574 . The Axe and the F a i l u r e of the Economic Revolution Siane are gardeners before anything e l s e .  C u l t i v a t i o n centres  on the sweet potato which constitutes t h e i r staple food ( c . f . op. c i t . 41-42).  Roi palm o i l , pandanus nuts, s a l t , a variety of indigenous  green  vegetables, and l a t t e r l y some introduced species l i k e maize and cucumber, enliven the d i e t .  Meat i s occasional. The domesticated p i g i s the chief  meat source, but i t s consumption i s l i m i t e d to f e s t i v e or ceremonial occasions (op. c i t . 80). by way of food.  Game i s scarce, so hunting contributes l i t t l e  It i s anyway oriented more to ceremony, since i t s most  prized trophy, though as rare as the birds themselves, i s the plume from the bird of paradise ( c . f . op. c i t . 4 4 ) .  A f a i r comment, therefore, i n  response to Salisbury's (op. c i t . 8 l ) statement  i n summary that "the  problem of food-getting must be considered solved i n Siane", i s that t h i s underscores the degree to which gardening absorbs the greater part of the productive energies and ingenuity of Siane.  And the axe i s the major  item of c a p i t a l investment i n the economy of gardening.  The s t e e l axes, at cost, require a greater outlay than t h e i r stone precursors.  A stone axe took an estimated s i x days of labour i n  the making; whereas to buy a s t e e l axe at a Highland trade-store i n 1953 cost about twelve s h i l l i n g s , or what would be earned i n twelve days of casual labour f o r Europeans.  But once acquired i t s e f f e c t , by contrast  to the stone axe, was dramatic.  From informants, Salisbury (op. c i t .  109-110, 146-150) calculates that the major impact of the s t e e l axe has been to shorten the time needed f o r the.-: heavy work of clearing and fencing gardens to a t h i r d or a quarter of what i t was i n stone using times, the size of the gardens remaining roughly constant.  Thus i n 1953  -58-  a man might take ten to f i f t e e n days to clear and fence a garden s i t e , working every second or t h i r d day f o r one month.  Planting would then  require another two days of h i s labour, while h i s wife would spend at i t twelve half-days of her time.  Weeding during the period of growth  takes the wife another fourteen half-days.  With stone t o o l s , the same  work of clearing would take t h i r t y to f o r t y - f i v e days per garden, working every other day f o r about two months.  Planting and weeding would have  amounted to the same expenditure of time as i n 1953*  Hence the s t e e l axe  reduced the "cost" of producing subsistence goods from eighty per cent of a man's time to f i f t y per cent.  A l t e r n a t i v e l y expressed as the cost  i n man-days to produce goods, the change i n technology has meant that only four 1953 days are needed to produce what i n 1933 took f i v e (op. c i t . 147).  Salisbury estimates that during t h i s same period the actual stock of c a p i t a l has remained roughly at a constant.  This "can be shown  i n the aggregate by r e l a t i n g Siane c a p i t a l stocks to t h e i r "national income", to r e s u l t i n a measure of the c a p i t a l cost of what i s consumed each year.  Thus i n stone-using times the t o t a l of man-days of labour  sunk i n t o the c a p i t a l stock represented about twelve per cent of one year's income, or the equivalent of one and a h a l f month's labour out of twelve. In steel-using times Salisbury finds that t h i s figure has shrunk to ten  per cent, or just over one month.  What i n i t i a l l y appears as a process  of disinvestment i s o f f s e t , he claims, by the change i n the value of the unit of measurement - the man-day - the cost of which has altered as between the two periods.  Salisbury i s able to conclude that c a p i t a l  -59-  stocks may safely "be assumed not to have Increased i n the time of technological change; they have either decreased or remained constant. There i s an important question of how f a r capital might have displaced labour i n the productive process.  This can be gauged by r e l a t -  ing the capital costs to labour costs i n each period respectively, and comparing the two resulting r a t i o s .  Salisbury (op. c i t . 147-148) calcu-  lates a r a t i o of 1 unit of capital to 6.5 units of labour (or to 13 units, i f one depreciates the capital) for capital to 6.4 units of labour i n  1933•  1953>  This compares with  1  unit of  which as he says i s v i r t u a l l y the  same r a t i o as i n former stone-using times.  Since capital stocks relative  to labour used have remained constant, i t must be that capital has not displaced labour i n production, but rather, the use of both factors has declined at the same rate. This has resulted i n what Salisbury c a l l s a form of "technological unemployment", though he adds that t h i s has not discouraged the acceptance of the new technology. Surprising, too, i s the rate of capital investment, that i s the formation of new capital, which has also been negatively influenced by the introduction of steel tools.  Salisbury's information (c.f. op. c i t .  148-150) i s that a steel axe requires replacement on an average every twelve years. and a half.  Stone axes deteriorate quickly and are worn out i n a year  He calculates that a day's output i n stone-using times cost  thus l / l l 7 days of labour for the replacement of axes and handles; i n steel-using times the figure i s  I/23O.  Steel axes cost only half as  much. This saving must be set against the apparent fact that f o r other forms of capital goods the rate of replacement has remained constant.  -60-  O v e r a l l , therefore, expressed i n terms of labour cost, the annual rate of  c a p i t a l investment i n steel-using times has a c t u a l l y shrunk to four-  f i f t h s the rate of stone-using times.  5. Ceremony and the D i s t r i b u t i o n of Leisure Time Salisbury (op. c i t . 2051 208-209) expresses perplexity at these figures.  Such a dramatic improvement i n the a v a i l a b l e technology, i n  the nature of a c a p i t a l stock, should e f f e c t i v e l y r a i s e the p o t e n t i a l supply of a l l goods of a l l kinds, since i t sets free the time that would have been used to make any good.  This ought to make i t possible f o r a  society t r a d i t i o n a l l y i n a state of equilibrium to obtain more goods and augment i t s general prosperity, though i n the actual circumstances of Siane i t has brought about no immediate change i n the standard of l i f e . Rather has i t been the case that because the demand f o r subsistence goods has remained s t a t i c , the l e v e l of c a p i t a l investment i n the production of such goods i n f a c t declined with the introduction of the s t e e l axe.  Instead, Salisbury (op. c i t . 5) discovered that s i g n i f i c a n t i n creases i n investment d i d occur i n r e l a t i o n to the a c t i v i t i e s t r a d i t i o n a l l y surrounding a s p e c i f i c stock of goods, namely the native "valuables", though these have l i t t l e d i r e c t connection with the subsistence economy, nor with the changeover i n technology.  No l a s t i n g improvement i n physical product-  i v i t y attends these a c t i v i t i e s i n s p i t e of heavy inputs of labour, time and energy i n food production which frequently accompany them and give them an appropriate d i g n i t y .  Salisbury i s obliged t o interpret these developments as a  -61-  r e f l e c t i o n of native choice.  This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y so, because he con-  siders that the time made available by the s t e e l axe constitutes a novel resource, the disposal of which i s not foreordained by the time-honoured requirements of the customary work schedule.  The implication Salisbury  sees i n t h i s i s that the way i n which t h i s free time i s now u t i l i z e d must therefore be i n d i c a t i v e of an unprecedented inter-evaluation of the t r a d i t i o n a l values or ends of action, since p r i o r t o the advent of the s t e e l axe, these could not properly be said to have existed as a choice f o r i n d i v i d u a l s to make, the a l l o c a t i o n of a man's time being  altogether  pre-disposed  As an  on t r a d i t i o n a l grounds ( c . f . op. c i t . 83, 110).  i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h i s l a s t point Salisbury c i t e s a Siane adage that the reason men accept f o r doing things the way that they do i s because i t i s the way they have always been done: there i s l i t t l e i n d i v i d u a l freedom i n the matter.  Real choice only becomes operative with the a r r i v a l of the  s t e e l axe, f o r then "such t r a d i t i o n a l canons c l e a r l y could not apply i n a s i t u a t i o n of change" (op. c i t . 110).  The i n d i v i d u a l Siane now becomes  involved i n the novelty of making unconstrained,  calculatingly self-  interested decisions about what to do with his l e i s u r e time, decisions which occasion him to reappraise the s a t i s f a c t i o n s afforded by the t r a d i t i o n a l p r e s c r i p t i o n of ends r e l a t i v e t o t h e i r costs.  Herein l i e s the key  t o Salisbury's projection of possible s o c i a l changes i n the wake of the new technology; f o r new perceptions  of the r e l a t i o n of value to cost, i t  was said, are the beginnings of new patterns of i n s t i t u t i o n a l a c t i v i t y .  However, there were no s o c i a l changes, and Salisbury i s quite misleading to claim even as much as he does.  Though " a c t i v i t i e s i n  -62-  stone-using times d i f f e r e d l i t t l e from those of the steel-using times," he upholds, "the r e l a t i v e importance of many a c t i v i t i e s had changed profoundly" (op. c i t . 2, emphasis added).  But on the contrary, the  changing organization of a c t i v i t i e s i n terms of each i n d i v i d u a l ' s time provides no basis t o say that these a c t i v i t i e s had come to be d i f f e r e n t l y evaluated.  I f anything, by revealing the r e a l e l a s t i c i t i e s of demand,  i t simply confirms the p r i o r i t i e s of the t r a d i t i o n a l value-orientation. C e r t a i n l y more time now was spent on ceremonial than on subsistence a c t i v i t i e s ( c . f . op. c i t . 10?) - but p r e c i s e l y f o r the reason that the r e l a t i v e importance of these two t r a d i t i o n a l areas of concern remained exactly as i t always was.  Only i f t h i s f a c t i s acknowledged w i l l i t be possible t o  approach, l e t alone answer, the problem uppermost i n Salisbury's mind ( c . f . op. c i t . 5 ) Why should there have been an increase i n the demand f o r the :  kinds of materially unproductive a r t i c l e s and services exchanged i n ceremony?  Why, from the point of view of the expectations b u i l t into  modern economic thinking, should the Siane response to a technological w i n d f a l l have been, i n a sense, so reactionary? - comparable to the comment Belshaw makes about the Kwakiuth potlatch: .... a c l a s s i c a l case of i n f l a t e d s o c i a l and ceremonial development consequent upon an improvement i n wealth, coupled t o the retention of t r a d i t i o n a l values. (1965  : 29)  6. S o c i a l Capital and the Pseudo-Economy The questions ramify.  What exactly are these non-productive  a c t i v i t i e s which command so much of the native attention?  In view of  t h e i r evident importance, how are they t o be given a t h e o r e t i c a l statement  -63-  so that deeper insights might be reached, especially about the of s o c i a l and  economic conditions that are associated with a low income  l e v e l and a small c a p i t a l equipment?  What, f o r instance, may  e f f e c t s of c a p i t a l improvement on s o c i a l relationships, and  sorts  the community; and  quite how  for  be  individuals  i s a s o c i a l change to be seen as  expression of an e a r l i e r economic change?  the  the  What are the l i k e l y courses  of modification, given the nature of the s o c i a l structure, which seems i n f a c t to o f f e r few  p o s s i b i l i t i e s of variation?  F i r t h , who  raises some  of these questions i n connection with the p r a c t i c a l problems of improving c a p i t a l operations and  saving i n the low-income conditions of peasant  economies, asserts t h e i r general urgency:  These problems are important to economic anthropology because from an a n a l y t i c a l point of view i t does not seem to be always clear to administrators or even to economists just what are the factors i n the peasant evaluation of resources which are most relevant to c a p i t a l formation and operation. In consequence, wellmeant p r a c t i c a l e f f o r t s to improve the c a p i t a l p o s i t i o n of the peasant may f a i l i n t h e i r aim or produce unintended e f f e c t s . . . . Few w i l l expect that the l e v e l of peasant economies w i l l be raised e f f e c t i v e l y by some dramatic increase i n c a p i t a l formation by peasants i n t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l or customary a c t i v i t i e s . The scale of i n d i v i d u a l operations i s too small and income l e v e l s are too low f o r that.... Improvements are to be expected, rather, where new types of superior market opportunity become available - f o r crops ... f o r labour ... - or where external c a p i t a l i s provided, possibly with the imposition of a new o v e r a l l administrative frame ... But i f peasant saving be not the key to reasonably rapid economic advance, more general peasant economic attitudes may be the key to e f f i c i e n t c a p i t a l and maintenance. A f i r s t point to discuss i s whether indeed peasants i n general are interested i n c a p i t a l formation, or indeed i n the economical management of c a p i t a l generally. (1964 : 20-21. Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l )  -64-  Siane are demonstrably Interested i n the management of t h e i r stocks of valuables. Though prima f a c i e these r e s i s t i d e n t i f i c a t i o n as c a p i t a l , being unproductive of material increment, Salisbury (1962 : 142-143, 152) manages to preserve the essentials of h i s approach by seeing t h i s class of goods as " l i q u i d " or "working" c a p i t a l , producing services i n the context of the ceremonial a c t i v i t i e s at which they are exchanged.  Both he and F i r t h (1964 : 18, 25-26) agree that services and  other intangibles, including t e c h n i c a l knowledge and s k i l l , count as capital.  F i r t h argues that i n the native estimation, ceremony and  cognate  a c t i v i t i e s do add to immaterial assets such as status, or to the strengthening of symbolic t i e s between individuals and groups.  The relevant  c r i t e r i o n i s the c o n v e r t i b i l i t y of the valuables acquired i n ceremonial exchanges into prestige and subsequently into a fresh set of services previously not under command.  Unless a l l forms of immaterial assets are  to be disregarded tout court, the deployment of resources to such ends must be accepted as a s i g n i f i c a n t form of net investment on the part of those entrepreneurial-minded i n d i v i d u a l s who engage i n i t .  There are two p e c u l i a r i t i e s that emerge over t h i s d e f i n i t i o n of c a p i t a l .  extended  The f i r s t i s as Baric (1964 : 36, 48) points out,  that despite great a c t i v i t y i n the economic sphere aggregate c a p i t a l i s l a r g e l y maintained at the same l e v e l , although i n d i v i d u a l s may become wealthy.  This preference f o r extensive but s t a t i c investment i n s o c i a l  r e l a t i o n s h i p s and i n the ceremonial reinforcement of s o c i a l t i e s , Polanyi rather inaccurately, she objects - has dubbed "pseudo-economics".  -65-  The other anomaly concerns the assigning of magnitudes to intangibles, e s p e c i a l l y so as to make them commensurable with other more material assets ( c . f . F i r t h 1964  : 18; Salisbury 1962 : 142).  Salisbury says that they are not usually included i n measures of the stock of c a p i t a l f o r the d i f f i c u l t y involved, and also f o r the reason that they are usually constant and so of importance mainly when they change.  This of course i s p r e c i s e l y why they cannot be ignored i n the  case of Siane, although F i r t h i s dubious o v e r a l l about the status of any investigation conducted s o l e l y within the terms of reference of a "pseudo-economy": It i s possible to conceive of an economic system i n which the items of productivity, of concern i n maximization, are status tokens and symbolic t i e s . Whether i t i s worth t r y i n g to operate an economic analysis wholly within such a f i e l d of concepts I am doubtful, e s p e c i a l l y i n view of the d i f f i c u l t y of t h e i r measurement of comparability - although Lorraine Baric*, following Armstrong, has shown some of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of such an approach. But whether t h i s be so or not, I am sure that such a system should be distinguished from one i n which investment of wealth leads to increase of material output. I am not saying that the l a t t e r i s any more a ' r e a l ' economic system than the former - but they are d i f f e r e n t . This difference, seen i n the d i f f e r e n t requirements f o r the estimation of economic growth, i s s i g n i f i c a n t f o r the future structure of the economy and society. Moreover, since elements of both status increment and physical increment i n assets appear often side by side i n the same economy, i t i s relevant to examine why decisions are taken to invest i n one rather than the other. Such decisions can be shown to change i n accordance with changes i n external circumstances as when a new market f o r goods a r i s e s . . . . Moreover, when brought i n contact with economic systems of a Western type, the 'primitive' system soon seems to recognize the p o s s i b i l i t y of using c a p i t a l f o r physical productivity. (1964 : 26-270)  -66-  7. Substantivism  1  Yet the extreme reaction of the Siane to t h e i r s t e e l axes has i f anything brought home the point that to s c r u t i n i z e such an economic system s o l e l y f o r how the "investment  of wealth leads to increase  of material output" i s at most only h a l f of the explanation i n organizat i o n a l terms of a society's d i s p o s i t i o n f o r , or against, movements of economic change, however generated.  Work, or the production of material  wealth, i s always e s s e n t i a l l y a s o c i a l process, an organization of labour as well as of material c a p i t a l ; and the manner i n which a society makes "economical" use of i t s technological resources w i l l only make sense once i t i s seen i n r e l a t i o n to a p a r t i c u l a r background of i n s t i t u t i o n a l forms and functioning. Belshaw h i g h l i g h t s the importance of the sociol o g i c a l f a c t o r i n considering what i s meant by investments  f o r future  growth: I f a l l members of a society passed on to the succeeding generation the same quantity of c a p i t a l equipment, • merely maintaining i t without expansion or diminution, and i f the population remained steady, the only p o s s i b i l i t y of improving the per capita l e v e l of income would be through a d d i t i o n a l work or an improved organization. I f the a d d i t i o n a l work involved an improvement of s k i l l s , i t would be regarded as a r e s u l t of a nonmaterial form of investment, namely education or t r a i n i n g . So, too, we could regard an improvement i n organization, for investment i s e s s e n t i a l l y using resources to improve man's stock of resources, and improved organization i s the r e s u l t of using knowledge and ideas (resources) to create a new t o o l i n the shape of new and continuing modes of doing things. (1965  :  137)  I f , then, societies with "pseudo-economies" w i l l r e c a l c i t r a n t l y value t h e i r s o c i a l assets beyond a love of producer's  c a p i t a l , there i s a  better response than that of abandoning, more or l e s s , the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  -67-  to develop appropriately revised modes of a n a l y s i s . The a l t e r n a t i v e perspective i s , as Baric (1964 : 35) implies, to give up the insistence that although the science of economics, with i t s notions developed prima r i l y f o r the analysis of Western-style prehensive leged  economies, i s not always a com-  science outside of t h i s context, i t i s nevertheless a p r i v i -  one.  This i s a claim already extensively t r i e d i n the course of the Formalist/Substantivist debate.  It was i n i t i a l l y Polanyi's (?1968)  recommendation that as f a r as the s o c i a l sciences are concerned, the d e f i n i t i o n of "the economy", just as the substantive use of the word would suggest, e n t a i l s some or other concrete form of " i n s t i t u t e d process". By t h i s concept, economic analysis i s opened up wide to the l a r g e l y neglected empirical d e t a i l that economies around the world assume a wide v a r i e t y of i n s t i t u t i o n a l forms, with the consequence that transactions concerning subsistence and l i v e l i h o o d take on variable properties according to the nature of the organizational arrangements by which they are mediated.  Polanyi intended t h i s argument as a counterweight to the  formal (always a d j e c t i v a l ) rendering of the term "economic", where the connotation i s simply the l o g i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p of means-to-ends i n any s i t u a t i o n involving a calculated choice of a c t i o n .  Formalists consider  t h e i r great advantage to be that many of the t o o l s of formal economic theory developed i n r e l a t i o n to modern economies become equally t r a n s f e r able to the analysis of economic reasoning i n p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s . However, Polanyi's contention i s that t h i s i s an indiscriminate borrowing which only obstructs the perception of r e a l differences of p r i n c i p l e i n  I -68-  the way various economies are integrated. He says (1968 : 125) that the r e l a t i o n between ''formal economics" and "the human economy" i s , i n e f f e c t , contingent.  In r e a l i t y , the formal model succeeds as a  d e s c r i p t i o n of only one a c t u a l or h i s t o r i c a l instance of an economy, which i s the system of price-making markets that has emerged i n the l a s t two centuries In Western Europe and North America.  Here i t i s natural  f o r analysis to abstract out the formal or "economic" properties of i n d i v i d u a l choices because "the economy" i s embodied i n i n s t i t u t i o n s that cause i n d i v i d u a l choices to give r i s e to interdependent movements that constitute the economic process.  Such a system by no means exhausts a l l p o s s i b i l i t i e s .  At least  two other major forms of economic integration have h i s t o r i c a l l y been r e a l i z e d , based on i n s t i t u t i o n a l arrangements other than the market, and operating by transactional p r i n c i p l e s which Polanyi i d e n t i f i e s as, r e s p e c t i v e l y , " r e c i p r o c i t y " and " r e d i s t r i b u t i o n " ( c . f . Polanyi I968 : 127-128; Dalton I967 : 265-266).  Whereas i n market-integrated economies,  transactions of labour, resources, material goods, and services are effected by the pervasive commercialism of market purchase and sale, r e c i p r o c i t y and r e d i s t r i b u t i o n are expressions of k i n s h i p r i g h t or t r i b a l affiliation.  A l l o c a t i o n s are achieved by e s s e n t i a l l y non-commercial  devices such as obligatory g i f t s to k i n and f r i e n d s , obligatory payments to  chiefs and p r i e s t s , bridewealth, bloodwealth, fees f o r entering  secret s o c i e t i e s , corvee labour, mortuary payments, and so on ( c . f . Dalton, op. c i t . 265). Considered f o r the way i n which s o c i a l and economic i n s t i t u t i o n s are structured, these marketless systems of simple  -69-  non-Western societies are what Polanyi c a l l s "embedded" economies, since economic and social institutions are enmeshed and cannot be understood apart. The market system, where the economic sphere i s i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y and analytically separable from other spheres of a c t i v i t y , i s by contrast "unembedded". What Polanyi lays down i n his substantivist revision of economic thinking should be instructive for the case of the Siane. Salisbury (1968 : 479-481) would not entirely agree.  Though he allows that Polanyi  himself avoided setting up the categories of reciprocity, redistribution and market exchange i n uncompromising mutual exclusion, each one integrating an entire social order, nevertheless he considers that the approach has tended to produce no more than broad typifications about the channels through which goods flow i n t o t a l economies. The subsequent work of the substantivist school has mostly involved the application of labels from Polanyi's c l a s s i f i c a t i o n to result i n s t a t i c models, rather than pursuing a detailed investigation of the underlying processes which generate the s o c i a l typesyPolanyi discussed. This i s a particularly frustrating deficiency i n respect to the analysis of change and development, since there i s no conceptual provision made for transformations of transactional principle and therefore no firm foundations f o r a theory of organizational innovation.  And by the crudities of cultural form and variation thus  conceived, there develops a tendency which Read (1964 : 240, 248) decries, to visualize situations of culture contact more or less as the c o l l i s i o n of two t o t a l , almost hypostatized, " e n t i t i e s " , one displacing the other over time.  -70-  In support of these c r i t i c i s m s , Salisbury (op. c i t . 484) draws attention to more recent writers who have moved away from t o t a l i z i n g typologies and are concentrating on the low-level r e l a t i o n s h i p s which generate the eventual form of t o t a l economies.  Their models i n e v i t a b l y  have a dynamic aspect, and i t serves Salisbury well to point out the irony that the attempt t o characterize the r e l a t i o n s h i p s occurring at low l e v e l s has involved a return t o the very t o o l of economic analysis which s u b s t a n t i v i s t s have derogated, namely formal a n a l y s i s .  Here r e -  crudesces the e a r l i e r argument about the conceptualization of the "cons t r a i n t s " within the formalist t r a d i t i o n .  For Kapferer  (1976 : 16) avers  that the formal model of maximizing choices induced by an i n s u f f i c i e n c y of means i s accepted only i n a highly q u a l i f i e d form. ... change and continuity i s not seen as simply a crude function of external forces, or as merely the net r e s u l t of s h i f t s i n the strategies and decisions of i n d i v i d u a l s . Change and continuity i s seen as a function of both: strategies and decisions evolve as a response to one another and to external forces. (Kapferer, op. c i t . 19)  Neither i s i t to be supposed that i n reorganizing i t s perspecti v e s around low-level r e l a t i o n s h i p s and the notion of emergence that substantivism has necessarily abandoned i t s i n s i g h t s i n t o the modalities i n t e g r a t i n g transactional a c t i v i t y , though t h i s again Salisbury disputes. The monolithic proportions of the separation of market from non-market forms of integration continues to be t r o u b l i n g to him.  Polanyi (1968 :  I30-I)' maintained that a unique feature of exchange i n a market system of prices i s that i t i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y bargaining behaviour - " n i g g l i n g haggling" - and i s g a i n f u l only i f the partners enter i n t o the exchange i n a d i s t i n c t l y antagonistic attitude t o one another.  In the type of  -71-  society l a b e l l e d "reciprocative", r e c i p r o c i t y i s attained supposedly through exchange at set equivalences, gainful.  This neat dichotomization  and has drawn c r i t i c i s m .  and cannot properly be c a l l e d  i s both too general and too s i m p l i f y i n g ,  Belshaw (1965 : 88) denies that the f a c t of f i x e d  prices cancels out mechanisms of supply and demand, or.that the motive of maximizing advantage i s not s t i l l a fundamental p r i n c i p l e . (1968  Salisbury  : 480-481) has argued that transactions between i n d i v i d u a l s i n  s o c i e t i e s l a b e l l e d "reciprocative" are always unbalanced and revolve  on  a continual struggle to gain as much advantage over an opponent as possible, short of disrupting the r e l a t i o n s h i p altogether. equivalence  The f i c t i o n of a " f i x e d "  glosses a concealed or suppressed bargaining.  As i n Malinowski's  d e p i c t i o n of the Kula, each f o c a l exchange between partners occurs only against a background of s o l i c i t a t i o n s and subterfuge and the  balancing  of t h i s exchange o f f against a whole s e r i e s of others, a l l of which has a bearing on the terms of trade.  As Salisbury comments:  The same generalization could be made about exchanges between partners i n a monetary economy. The difference between " r e c i p r o c a l " and "market" exchanges i s not s u f f i c i e n t l y c l a r i f i e d by attempts to characterize t o t a l systems of which they are parts. Rather, they are better understood through closer analysis of the s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n s , i n both monetary and t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s where i t i s mutually advantageous to use recurrent rather than i s o l a t e d exchanges, or where Imbalances i n volumes tendered can be, or must be, tolerated f o r long periods. (Salisbury 1968 : 481) Belshaw (1964 : 222), too, considers that the s t a t i c  impression  given i n Polanyi's i d e a l descriptions of s o c i a l structure i s counterbalanced by the r e f l e c t i o n that wherever there are r u l e s , behind them l i e s the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of them, and t h e i r manipulation f o r personal and group  -72-  interest.  However, the nature of the " r u l e s " remains a c r i t i c a l  of a n a l y s i s .  This i s c l e a r l y indicated i n Sansom's  area  (1976) discussion  of the Pedi, a South A f r i c a n trihespeople, whose r e f u s a l to monetize hrideprices, or rather t h e i r r e f u s a l to t a l k about de facto monetized brideprices as equivalent to a commercial purchase, has led them to the extreme of describing various a r b i t r a r y sums of cash involved i n a payment as so many imaginary,or nominal, c a t t l e , sheep and goats.  By the  construc-  t i o n or " c u l t u r a l commentary" t h i s places on an event with the complex s i g n i f i c a n c e of a brideprice payment i s "no minor quirk of metaphor", and Sansom argues that there i s an opposition between market value and " s i g n a l " value.  The idiom of a " s i g n a l " transaction serves to suppress and  limit  behaviour with reference to market values i n a sphere of s o c i a l a c t i v i t y with the organizational importance of a marriage exchange ( c . f . Sansom 1976  :  143-144, 160; Kapferer  I976 : 10). He  claims that s i g n a l trans-  actions and s i g n a l value are notions with a general a p p l i c a b i l i t y beyond the Pedi s i t u a t i o n , and that the discrimination made with market exchange helps to r e c t i f y Mauss's treatment of t o t a l prestations as inherently undifferentiated. and Davenport  He instances other authors, including Burridge  (1961), who  have also been concerned to show how  (l97l) cash has  provided a departure from o r i g i n a l transactional forms, occasioning dilemmas about s o c i a l value.  Most s t r i k i n g l y , though, Sansom's d i s t i n c t i o n between s i g n a l and market values bears comparison with Paine's  (1976) discussion  " c o d i f i c a t i o n s " of transactional a c t i v i t y ( c . f . Kapferer 1976  : 10).  Market transactions are effected by the bargaining entailed by the t u t i o n of the p r i c e mechanism; they are pursued within an  of the  insti-  "elaborated"  -73-  code.  Where bargaining i s the d i s t i n c t i v e feature of exchanges, and  where, regardless of price-standardizing influences a r i s i n g say from aggregate market demand, i t i s assumed to be the process by which the p r i c e s a c t u a l l y paid are f i x e d , then the l o g i c of bargaining implies that a p o l i t i c a l l y powerful transactor should">be able to d i c t a t e terms to a l e s s powerful one.  Power enters as a d e f i n i t i v e f a c t o r i n the analysis  of such transactions because t h e i r outcome i s subject to negotiation ( c . f . Salisbury 1976  : 44).  Cohen and Comaroff (1976 : 87-89) note that  bargaining comports with a tendency i n recent p o l i t i c a l anthropology to adopt processual models of p o l i t i c a l behaviour, i n which " p o l i t i c s " i s given an increasingly d i f f u s e d d e f i n i t i o n by being dissociated from i n s t i t u t i o n a l frameworks.  T h e i r own perspective which concentrates  on  phenomenological dimensions of p o l i t i c a l behaviour, i s that the management of meaning must be regarded as a fundamental property  political  interaction.  Sansom's s i g n a l  Management, however, i s a variable element.  transactions, f o r example, operate within what Paine c a l l s a " r e s t r i c t e d " code.  This medium defines exchange items i n r e l a t i o n to highly s p e c i f i c  ends and t h i s implies a close circumscription of  bargaining and  negotia-  tion.  The basic issue r a i s e d by substantivists about the v a r i a t i o n i n the p r i n c i p l e s by which systems of exchange are integrated has by t h i s stage been transmuted into a concern with the variable properties of d i f f e r e n t communicative media.  A l l languages are highly abstract,  Carpenter (1976 : 59) observes, t h e i r grammars closer to mathematics than t o d a i l y experience.  Yet the combined e f f e c t of Sansom and Paine shows  -74-  that the relevance  of the choice of code i s more than that i t i s an  important cognitive instrument i n the mediation of meaning.  Proposi-  t i o n s about c o d i f i c a t i o n , Paine argues, are i n f a c t also i m p l i c i t propo s i t i o n s about r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and vice versa. The phenomenological r e l a t i o n s h i p between coding and control i s , of course, a close one. For i t i s not just messages that are passed i n communication, but encoded messages. Indeed, a code has been described as that which "controls both the creation and organization of s p e c i f i c meanings and the conditions f o r t h e i r transmission and reception" (Bernstein ...) C o d i f i c a t i o n (encoding) i s the attempt to ensure that a message w i l l be understood i n the precise way i t s sender intends; or as Bateson ... puts i t , c o d i f i c a t i o n i s "instructions on how t o interpret a given message". But as there are a l t e r n a t i v e kinds of messages or i n s t r u c t i o n s , so there are a l t e r n a t i v e codes to impart d i f f e r i n g kinds of control over messages. On the one hand, control may be directed toward uniformity and consensus: we can c a l l t h i s the closed message; on the other hand, control may be an arrangement to ensure that a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r pretations of a message are not l o s t or hidden or subjected: the open message. (Paine 1976 : 73» emphasis i n o r i g i n a l )  8. Power as Command Some a d d i t i o n a l comments need to be made about the r e l a t i o n of power to the r e a l forces of economic  production.  Embedded economies are communities i n which people tend to be born, marry and d i e , work and play, regulate conduct and support values within a close k n i t group.  In the circumstances, s o c i a l r o l e s are multi-  plex, they overlap and combine with no precise separation of purposes ( c . f . Nash 1966 : 23-24; Baric 1964 : 3 7 ) .  And where, as Bari'c comments, the  economic unit and i t s membership depend upon p r i o r sorts of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , economic transactions l i k e borrowing and lending, exchanging  -75-  goods and services, may  have wide implications i n other spheres. Reci-  procity becomes a generalized p r i n c i p l e of balancing out transactions of a l l v a r i e t i e s and of a c t i v e l y promoting the recognition of a s o c i a l nexus between participants i n transactions.  Moreover, the i n t e r n a l pres-  t i g e system i s e s s e n t i a l to.the economic l i f e of such groups.  Status i s  part of the mechanism f o r the accumulation of material goods and f o r the control over the way  i n which they are allocated to d i f f e r e n t ends. But  i t i s the f a c t of the " c o n v e r t i b i l i t y " of status into services that i s ultimately of importance: that i s , into control over people.  For  bedded economies are often "primitive" i n the sense of possessing enduring organization s p e c i a l i z e d f o r only productive tasks.  emno  In the  absence of sophisticated i n s t i t u t i o n s such as labour, exchanges, contract, companies, banks, and developed monetary instruments, the immediate f i e l d of economic a c t i o n f o r , say, the t r a d i t i o n a l Siane entrepreneur i s that matrix of personalized i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s formed by k i n and clan. basis of h i s economic competence i s h i s a b i l i t y ,  The  through the o b l i g a t o r i -  ness of such t i e s , to c a l l upon the services of others.  Wealth resides  not i n the retention of goods, but i n the control of t h e i r production  and  d i s t r i b u t i o n - i n other words, the p r i n c i p l e s of economic organization are p o l i t i c a l  at basis.  Cohen (1974  : 21-22) goes so f a r as to say that  he sees "economic anthropology" as only a r t i f i c i a l l y set o f f as a d i s c i p l i n e from p o l i t i c a l  sub-  studies.  Melanesian s o c i e t i e s , generally, provide a c l e a r exemplificat i o n of dynamic competition  f o r s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l status based upon wealth  to control s o c i a l relationships ( c . f . Belshaw 19&5  !  Uberoi 1 9 7 l ) «  -76-  Food exchanges, i n these s o c i e t i e s , frequently assume the force of a potent r e s t r i c t e d code, organizing the competition values and s o c i a l control ( c . f . Young 197l)»  over leadership,  It i s i n t h i s l i g h t that  Uheroi constructs h i s r a d i c a l reanalysis of Malinowski's depiction of a h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t a t i c Trohriand economy.  But the i n s i g h t i s not to  he confined to primitive and t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s where the i n s t i t u t i o n s of p o l i t i c s and production are unavoidably merged. Cohen remarks, man  and man,  of l i f e .  An economy anywhere,  at some point must imply organized r e l a t i o n s h i p s between  which are activated i n the process of extracting the means  For developed i n d u s t r i a l nations, as i s well known, Marx and  others have argued that economic r e l a t i o n s h i p s are r e l a t i o n s of power, and thus form a major part of the p o l i t i c a l order of these s o c i e t i e s . Belshaw makes a comparable assertion, employing the expression "command wealth" i n place of the p o l i t i c a l l y unrevealing terms - "services" and " l i q u i d " or " s o c i a l c a p i t a l " - favoured by F i r t h and Salisbury: Such a system works i n one form or another i n every society i n existence. It i s also the basis of our own economy. We are so accustomed to accounting f o r wealth i n terms of the abstract monetary value attached to physical objects plus paper c e r t i f i c a t e s that have exchangeability, that we neglect the underlying p r i n c i p l e s . Perhaps, to make myself clear, I should coin a new term - command wealth. This consists of the value of those goods and services that you can control, that you"can bring i n t o action, that you can command. Under some circumstances, you can do t h i s , even though you are i n debt to the f u l l value of the things you command. In other circumstances, you do not own a penny of the property, but you have l e g a l r i g h t s of control. Command wealth i s power and influence, expressed through the control of the property and actions of others. (1976 : 173r-Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l ) In the broader view, t h i s sounds a warning against t r e a t i n g the  -77-  economic issues i n developing underdeveloped countries i n p u r i s t i c i s o l a t i o n from considerations of power; just as i t conversely implies that p o l i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s who have concentrated t h e i r approach on the question of the ownership and management of property or c a p i t a l may  not  have recognized f u l l y that the a t t r i b u t i o n s of command wealth may remain very s i m i l a r regardless of the p r e v a i l i n g p o l i t i c a l ethos ( c . f . Belshaw ibid.)  The asymmetries i n the d i s t r i b u t i o n of valued resources, which  command wealth e n t a i l s , are as necessary f o r the maintenance of i n d i v i d u a l power relationships as they are f o r the operation of the system as a whole.  This i s because p o l i t i c a l authority depends upon the a b i l i t y  to command and accumulate resource by which i t can back up i t s claims to f o r c e f u l power, reward l o y a l t i e s and delegate.  As Belshaw (1965  :  84)  implies, such inequality forms an e s s e n t i a l part of the processes by which ongoing adjustments are made between the various component parts of a system.  And upon i t depends the p o t e n t i a l of a p o l i t y to grow and  maintain i t s e l f on an increasing scale, based upon a complex d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of s o c i a l r o l e s .  As regards the immediate context of Siane, i t can now be said that the enormous economic p o t e n t i a l of the s t e e l axe i s restrained by what amounts to a p o l i t i c a l d e c i s i o n to invest the resources of time l i b e r a t e d from subsistence tasks not i n any further expansion of material production, but i n the reinforcement of the state of the available s o c i a l capital.  I t i s a partisan decision, that i s , to strengthen the basis of  power, and t h i s i n the l a s t analysis, i s a function of i d e o l o g i c a l management.  -78-  III.  THE ORGANIZATION OF SIANE ECONOMY  1. The Moral Design The organization of an embedded economy e n t a i l s a p a r t i c u l a r system of moralities by which i s mediated the q u a l i t i e s of s o c i a l l i f e : a man's experience of h i s society as a whole, and of himself as an i n d i v i d u a l r e l a t e d to other individuals within i t .  The difference i n  p r i n c i p l e with complex market s o c i e t i e s i s fundamental, expected.  as i s to be  It i s thus i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of the l a t e r demonstration of  the power of one pre-eminent transactional medium - modern money to p r e c i p i t a t e s o c i a l and economic change, that t h i s chapter examines i n some d e t a i l the way the economic system i n Siane builds i t s e l f upon a basic moral conception. What i s d i s t i n c t i v e i n the contrast with the highly d i f f e r entiated, but interdependent, r o l e structure of a modern economy i s that in;-the l a t t e r , the i n d i v i d u a l f i n d s himself taking to lone tasks, or s p e c i a l i s t associations, but at the same time severally r e l a t e d to other lone i n d i v i d u a l s and other kinds of s p e c i a l i s t s . Burridge (1971  :  This provides,  146) says, an experience of "manyness" on the one  hand, and of the unitary on the other.  Full-time s p e c i a l i z a t i o n also  e n t a i l s a d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the q u a l i t i e s of man,  and a multifaceted  pattern of s o c i a l interchange i n which the exercise of the moral capacity i s complicated by the lack of any simple discrimination between r i g h t and wrong.  Ideas about vice and v i r t u e , good and e v i l , are them-  selves complex and d i f f e r e n t i a t e d , allowing no simple measure of the worth of a man.  Through d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n and complexity, virtue  -79-  becomes much more a matter of choice, Burridge (op. c i t . 1 4 9 ) continues;  f o r the mobility, the time, and the freedom implied i n  the possession  of money gives the i n d i v i d u a l the opportunity  h i s nature i n h i s own themselves i n a way  image of the good.  to mould  Individuals are authors of  that cannot be provided f o r i n primitive society  where : ... v i r t u e tends to be contained i n the nature of things, grows out of the organization of the s k i l l s and industry necessary to s u r v i v a l i t s e l f , i s v i r t u a l l y enforced by the implications of maintaining the community. (Burridge op. c i t . 1 4 8 ) The r e l a t i v e l y closed and s i m p l i f i e d organization of primit i v e s o c i e t i e s enforces a more rigorous and t i g h t l y defined conformity. Transgression  and evil-doing are more p a r t i c u l a r and manifest - made  graphic by the strongly a f f e c t i v e motifs of witchcraft and  sorcery;  but then so, too, i s v i r t u e more obvious ( c f . Burridge op. c i t . 1 4 7 148).  For here the moral engagement of human r e l a t i o n s h i p s i s cast i n  forms of r e c i p r o c i t y and a binary discrimination between r i g h t and wrong actions. ings.  The s e l f i s placed i n a larger context of s o c i a l p a i r -  Therefore,  to understand the s o c i a l world of Siane:  It i s important to d i s t i n g u i s h between the unit conceived as a p a i r of complementary halves, and the unit conceived as one. In the former case we are dealing with a system of binary opposites, and i n the l a t t e r with a f a c t o r i a l system i n which, though the idea of one i s f i x e d , each convenient unit i s d i v i s i b l e into an i n f i n i t e series of parts. (Burridge op. c i t . 1 4 6 ) The d i s t i n c t i o n informs the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Salisbury's >ethno-^ graphic  material.  -80-  2. The Clans and the P r i n c i p l e of Binary Opposition What are the operative categories of Siane society? Salisbury (1962 l o c a l i t y , some  :  11-12) records  15»000 people-van  that Siane l i v e i n a well-defined an area of 180 square miles; but that  t h i s c u l t u r a l t o t a l i t y never acts together as a cohesive s o c i a l group. I t i s an amorphous, acephalous assemblage: there i s no paramount chief, comparable to the Trobriands ( c f . Malinowski-:  1935)J  no centralized  authority or administrative machinery; no o v e r a l l system of segmentary lineages.  There exist only, so Salisbury says: "congeries of c u l t u r -  a l l y s i m i l a r t r i b e s " (1974  : 52)•  Apparently i t i s only i n very recent  times that there has grown up i n Siane even the awareness of themselves, as a r e g i o n a l e n t i t y , d i s t i n c t from other l i k e assemblages of people. There i s no mention made of an i n c i p i e n t nationalism, an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Siane with a l l black-skinned men i n New Guinea, i n opposition to whites - the Nai Kanafoatzir.' such as Burridge were wont to a f f i r m with some vehemence, "We  (i960 : 53) says  Tangu  are Kanakas, people of  New  GuineaI"  In the lack of larger s o l i d a r i t i e s , a man's conception of h i s p o l i t i c a l community always centres on h i s own v i l l a g e .  Salisbury (1962  37) states that c l e a r l y a major theme running through the whole of Siane l i f e i s the discreteness of the v i l l a g e units, and the self-contained nature of the s o c i a l relationships within them.  About 200 men, women  and children inhabit a v i l l a g e ; and the containment owes to a high degree of economic s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , as well as to a geography which enforces separateness by scattering the v i l l a g e groups on an average  :  -81-  two  miles apart, amongst mountain ridges and v a l l e y s (op. c i t . 12).  But the v i l l a g e i s more than merely an obvious r e s i d e n t i a l aggregation. I t l o c a l i z e s the one e f f e c t i v e bonded s o c i a l group - the p a t r i l i n e a l , p a t r i l o c a l clan - together with i t s wives, though lacking i t s adult daughters who  marry away into other clan v i l l a g e s .  t o r e a l i z e how  fundamental i s the unit;  I t i s important  of the clan to the make-up  and workings of t h i s society.  A clan may corporate and  not have a clear genealogical structure, but i t s  j u r a l s o l i d a r i t y i s indicated i n the idea of a common  name and a common place of residence,  by the use of complementary k i n -  ship terms, close and f r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s and acknowledged obligations of mutual support, by c o l l e c t i v e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s at r e l i g i o u s ceremoni e s and r i t e s de passage, and by what Malinowski (1926  ; 113-114) c a l l s  "the f i c t i o n of an overweaning interest i n one another's welfare, so that by a death ... the clan are considered bereft"'.  Since very  few  deaths are thought of by natives as unintended, that i s as a t t r i b u t a b l e t o natural causes, t h i s f i c t i o n e n t a i l s the duty to avenge the death of a member by a blood-feud against the k i l l e r ' s clan.  The  accompanying  implication i s that sorcery i s normally directed outwards from a clan group ( c f . Salisbury 1962 1971  ' 75» 85).  : 14, 15, 37, 123; Read 1964  : 240;  Uberoi  Uberoi considers that-the vendetta must be the most  dramatic element i n a native's conception of "purely internal"' and outer world", i n r e l a t i o n to h i s clan.  Sahlins  puts t h i s well:  don't have a boundary; we have an argument" (1964 : 194). (1962  "the  "We  Salisbury  : 25) c e r t a i n l y confirms a picture of the clans as sovereign  u n i t s e x i s t i n g within an environment of other clans, a l l of which are  -82-  potentially  hostile.  inter-village cleavage two:  disputes  between  relations  without  they  as  with  are  of a particular a  Malinowski*s  In  other  remarks,  order  posit  what  heritable  selves  i t  is  the  than that  is  which  he  of a  clans to  a kind  take are  sees  for  conceive  in  those  thus  clan  society"(1971 system, is  fixing  resolu-  the  attempts  starting  b r i c k s " , from  anarchy.  relations  a  interrelationships.  atomism as  larger  the  themselves  system Yet the  competitive relations  larger  between  way M a l i n o w s k i  "unit  o f any  o f permanent  intensely  this  of  an extreme  nevertheless  account  starkly  moving towards  i n the  isolates,  common p o l i t i c a l  antagonism  discovery of  pitfall  "the  of  friendly, with  i n their : 5, 41)  rank-ordering,  between  s 94,  of  co-  fact  is,  between groups  emphasis  Malinowski  which  the which  added).  was d r i v e n  a  quite  artificial  the  clans  within  as  notion  to of  a relatively  i n fixed  grid.  b l o o d f e u d i n g and the  an a l t e r n a t i v e  that  From the  incentive  difficult  However, to  that  (19?1  the  divides  lines  hostile.  for Melanesian societies  conceptual  point  are  clan  Uberoi  villas  to  same  to  becomes  members  thus  is  i t  are  The w o r l d  inclination -  expedient,  occur along the  molecular picture  point  different  they  or  of analysis  Uberoi  temporarily  composite  point  existence,  of the  in stressing  entities,  construct  clans.  formal or  the  are  c h r o n i c and  members  provides  separate  tion to  which  are  different  However, clans  Though a l l i a n c e s  are  the  structural  perspective:  primary forms, perspective,  i t  generalized pattern  that  i t  is  not  the  of  clans  between  antagonism in  them-  but  the  relations  them.  is  the  opposition of categories  that  -83-  i s elemental, and the "unit bricks" have no i n t r i n s i c i d e n t i t y outside of t h i s r e l a t i o n .  The "unit bricks" may not be s t r i c t l y homologous,  but the important point anyway i s that the oppositions between them are f l u i d rather than f i x e d ( c f . Uberoi op. c i t . 97)•  Malinowski, out of  h i s greater concern f o r the immobility of an almost feudal structure of rank, underestimated both the indeterminacies of clan p o l i t i c a l r i v a l r i e s , and the degree i n which these presuppose an e n t i r e l y dynamic p r i n c i p l e of s o c i a l organization.  The i n t e r c l a n p o l i t i c a l context may  indeed be l a r g e l y amorphous, but as Uberoi advises: "... the o v e r a l l unity which the r u l e s of the game s i g n i f y may be weak, but i t i s not nonexistent" (op. c i t . 110).  The game Uberoi i s i n p a r t i c u l a r r e f e r r i n g to  i s the exchange of women.  "They are our a f f i n a l r e l a t i v e s ; " the Siane  explain, "with them we f i g h t " (Salisbury 1962 : 2 5 ) .  The exchange of brides has consequences f o r the structuring of Siane economy which cannot be said to be given the f u l l emphasis i n Salisbury's argument.  He sees these a f f i n a l a l l i a n c e s as inherently  l a b i l e , with competition c r y s t a l l i z i n g i n the contention over the presentat i o n s which are supposed to determine the new allegiance of wives, i n the formal politenesses r e s t r a i n i n g deeper underlying f e e l i n g s of r i v a l r y and h o s t i l i t y , and i n the continual feuding and accounting f o r i n s u l t s which occurs even between nominally a l l i e d clans ( c f . Salisbury 1962 : 23-24, 3 7 ) .  Nevertheless, by the i n s t i t u t i o n of clan exogamy,  an ordinary monogamous marriage stands at the point of i n t e r s e c t i o n between two clan groups; a polygamous marriage brings into consociation more than two.  Internally the composition of the j u r a l groups i s thus  l a r g e l y dependent on rules of exogamy, while i t i s through k i n s f o l k  -84-  d e r i v i n g from intermarriages that l o c a l clans i n Siane can communicate with each other and s e t t l e disputes over transactions and sorcery without necessarily r e s o r t i n g to feud and physical violence ( c f . Uberoi  1971 :35i Burridge i960 : 121).-. Burridge (op. c i t . 49, 14?)  also comments that the stable marriage i s the major hinge of p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , economic and domestic r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  Looked at from the i n t e r n a l  vantage point of the clans, i t ..is the brother-sister r e l a t i o n s h i p that emerges as everywhere the most s i g n i f i c a n t exchange and trading nexus. So f o r example, the "paramount chief"' of the Trobrianders would have owed h i s p o s i t i o n less to a matter of inheritance, than to the f a c t that as a man with twenty-four presumably well selected wives, he stands i n r e l a t i o n to the whole community as a g l o r i f i e d brother-in-law ( c f . Malinowski  1935 '• 191-192, 199) • Polygamy on t h i s scale i s an immeas-  urable source of command wealth.  Here also, the economic issues of the  marriage exchange begin to take on a new c l a r i t y .  For the clans, i t was  said, are prepossessed with t h e i r j u r a l i n t e g r i t y ( c f . Uberoi 1971  3l)«  The boundary of the group i s upheld not only by t h i s impressive unity and s o l i d a r i t y of those within, but also by an emphatic exclusion of those without.  In the case of the p a t r i l i n e a l Siane, t h i s e n t a i l s that a man's  wife, though her entire married l i f e i s l i v e d out i n the company of h i s v i l l a g e community, remains always an outsider.  She can never be incorpor-  ated into her husband's clan; just as h i s s i s t e r or daughter, upon marriage to  a man of another clan with whom she then takes up residence, f o r the  r e s t of her l i f e , can never be disincorporated from her natal group. Her continuing membership i n that clan means a continuing l e g a l claim on i t s resources.  In the Trobriands, f o r instance, t h i s i s acknowledged  -85-  i n a practice c a l l e d urigubu, whereby a sizeable part of the crops harvested  by a man from h i s lineage lands i s ceremoniously presented  as an annual harvest g i f t t o his s i s t e r ' s household.  In Siane, as i t  w i l l emerge l a t e r , the exchange of apparently unproductive valuables, i n i t i a t e d "by the more basic exchange of women, provides the coordinati n g mechanism f o r a c r i s s - c r o s s i n g flow of goods of a u t i l i t a r i a n nature i n an economy f a r wider than the i s o l a t e , s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t clan.  3. Work and Residence : the P r i n c i p l e Confirmed Burridge  (i960 : 56-57) says, " I f a c e r t a i n kind of economic  r e l a t i o n s h i p i s implied i n a k i n r e l a t i o n s h i p , i t i s also true that a k i n r e l a t i o n s h i p i s implied i n an economic: the two kinds of r e l a t i o n ship belong together."  Though Salisbury does l i s t i t s elements, i t i s  t o be argued that he understates the oppositional pattern of kinship as the p r i n c i p l e r e l e n t l e s s l y structuring the l i v i n g environment of Siane, and t h e i r organization f o r work and economic production. The clan works together as a collaborative unit only f o r p e r i o d i c large-scale undertakings such as the r e b u i l d i n g of the men's houses, or government road-works.  Otherwise, Salisbury (1962 : 15)  records, the more routine tasks of.production devolve upon i t s smaller segments centred around the men's houses, which are also the basis of the pattern of residence.  There are about three to four men's houses  per v i l l a g e (op. c i t . 11). A number of cooperative duties are performed by even smaller u n i t s , the lineages, but evidently lineages are not greatly important to the Siane as they are not given e x p l i c i t recognition  -86-  i n the native terminology, and they do not constitute residence units since the male members of a lineage may sleep i n any of the various sections of a men's house or even i n d i f f e r e n t men's houses (op. c i t . 17). In Tangu, Burridge (i960 : 5&-57) f i n d s that the men's clubhouses  offer  the only community occasion when there i s some r e s p i t e from the tensions generated by the politico-economic process i n the larger society.  In  Siane, while i t might be true that the atmosphere between the men of the clans, meeting l i k e t h i s within  the clubhouse, i s warm and supportive,  the clubhouse system i t s e l f i s v i s i b l y part of the organization of i n t e r clan tension - indeed, i t i s an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of i t .  For the women  are segregated into t h e i r own l i v i n g quarters, there being twelve to f i f t e e n women's houses belonging to one men's house (op. c i t . 1 5 ) . The composition of each men's house group i s then t y p i c a l l y about t h i r t y males over ten year's o l d , twenty-three married' women, and eighteen unmarried g i r l s and young boys (op. c i t . 15-16).  But the evidence i s  c l e a r that i n the native conception, a men's house i s not paired o f f with i t s accompanying women's houses over and against the other l i k e pairs i n the v i l l a g e .  Though there are i n t r a - c l a n disputes i n which the men's  houses do oppose each other i n blocks, the overriding opposition r e created i n t h i s r e s i d e n t i a l apartheid of the sexes i s that between the l o c a l clan, c o l l e c t i v e l y present i n the persons of the men, against a number of a l i e n clans, represented variously i n the womenfolk.  Not sexism, so much as consciousness of clan permeates d a i l y activities.  I t i s active i n the rearing of children, who are of course  the wards of the p a t r i c i a n , a l b e i t subject to as much q u a l i f i c a t i o n as the mother's r e l a t i v e s can manage t o make e f f e c t i v e .  When they are young,  -87-  children l i v e with t h e i r mothers, hut the hoys are i n i t i a t e d at about seven to ten years old and go then t o l i v e i n the men's houses with t h e i r fathers ( c f . op. c i t . 15).  The t r a i n i n g of g i r l s and boys i s  undertaken by the women and men respectively; and i t i s a group responsi b i l i t y , so that except i n the case of the very young the  elementary  family has no unifying function here ( c f . op. c i t . 17-18).  Nor does -  the theme of separation allow f o r much of a family r o l e i n the practices of commensality.  Salisbury (op. c i t . 18) records that the wives cook  food outside t h e i r houses and eat there with the young children, while the men and adolescent boys eat what the women bring to them i n the men' house clearing - the women waiting outside.  In the gardens, too, man  and wife seldom work together i n the same garden: men work with men, while women work with women ( c f . op. c i t . 18).  In Siane there i s an absolute sexual d i v i s i o n of labour based on primary clan allegiance.  This does not invalidate Burridge's claim  about the s t r u c t u r a l importance  of the stable i n t e r - c l a n marriage. I t  i s just that t h i s need not e n t a i l f o r Siane, as i t apparently does i n Tangu, that the household i s therefore the basic and d e f i n i t i v e s o c i a l and economic unit, nor that man and wife are the i d e a l basis f o r a worki n g team ( c f . Burridge I960 : 5 ^ , 1^7).  The Axe as Badge In "pseudo-economies" a close i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s made between productive c a p a b i l i t i e s , prestige and power. clear:  Belshaw makes t h i s very  -88-  The f i r s t point to note i s that a g r i c u l t u r a l food production i s at the same time the most u n i v e r s a l l y d i s t r i b u t e d s k i l l e d a c t i v i t y i n the community and the one most basic to s u r v i v a l and prosperity. The man, or the family, which has produced the most food i n a season i s most favoured by the supernatural powers, has shown greatest prowess i n the necessary s k i l l s , has placed himself i n the position of maintaining h i s s o c i a l obligations to the greatest extent, and has i n a l l ways demonstrated h i s superiority according to the values of the people. To grow and accumulate a g r i c u l t u r a l food, then, i s the measure of a man's success and the road to the improvement of h i s prestige and status. But the food must be seen, known, and admired. (1965 : 14) In the circumstances of Siane, i t would be reasonable to expect food production and display to be p o l i t i c i z e d with the attitudes of clan f a c t i o n and competitiveness.  In addition to t h i s , Siane i s , by  the previous d e f i n i t i o n , a "pseudo-economy" i n which the focus of s t r a t egic action was seen to be the control of s o c i a l c a p i t a l , implying the a l l o c a t i o n of people into a functioning Interdependency of r o l e s .  So  i t might be expected that food production and associated a c t i v i t i e s w i l l be pressed into the service of e s s e n t i a l l y c l a s s i f i c a t o r y purposes that i s , to make "seen, known, and admired" the boundaries of the clan group and the d e f i n i t i o n of i t s i n t e r n a l constituents, to concretize an arrangement of r i g h t s and duties, and to publicize authority. The Siane axe can be assessed f o r p r e c i s e l y t h i s kind of i d e o l o g i c a l r o l e .  Oddly  Salisbury does not choose to develop t h i s , though i n r e l a t i o n to clan property generally he has n i c e l y stated the insight: In b r i e f , property r i g h t s i n Siane are t i o n of objects to persons so that the power or importance through possessing are r u l e s a l l o c a t i n g people to objects  not an a l l o c a persons gain objects, but ...  (1962 : ?5-?6)  -89-  By Salisbury's information the men, and the men only, do a l l the tasks i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l cycle that require the use of the axe, such as c l e a r i n g the garden s i t e s , building the fences, c u t t i n g the supporting poles f o r yams and sugar cane (which therefore become "male" crops), and chopping down banana trees f o r replanting. The women carry out the d u l l e r , more laboriously routine work of weeding, harvesting, carrying produce, cooking, drawing water, making s t r i n g bags, minding small children - any of which would be a great embarrassment f o r a man t o be forced t o perform ( c f . op. c i t . 4 9 ) . t h i s Salisbury again mentions without undue emphasis.  The key t o  Siane men r a t i o n -  a l i z e t h e i r monopoly of the axe out of t h e i r disregard f o r the women, whom they consider t o be rather stupid and unable t o master any degree of i n t r i c a c y such as i s demanded by axe-work, p o l i t i c s , making exchanges, or f i n e craft-work.  Women are also endemically  to do "unskilled work" under male supervision.  i r r e s p o n s i b l e , f i t only By contrast, the use of  the axe i s considered the basic s k i l l and i n Siane t o be " s k i l f u l " i s t o be important, that i s a responsible person ( c f . op. c i t . 4 9 , 5 7 ) .  Such i s the public explanation, but the underlying reasons f o r the monopoly of the axe by the men seem c l e a r l y enough t o be that i t embellishes  the separateness of the p a t r i - c l a n , adding at the same time  a t h e a t r i c a l element t o i t s productive prowess and v i t a l i t y .  Axes  are e s p e c i a l l y i n evidence when the entire clan comes together t o work, because clan work, Salisbury (op. c i t . 109) has noted, i s mainly of t h i s kind.  I t obviously would not do to grant women the recognition of having  made any e s s e n t i a l - that i s " s k i l l e d " - contribution to a major clan  -90-  project or harvest, out of the need t o f o r e s t a l l r i v a l clans from diminishing a major triumph by claiming, v i a the a f f i n a l l i n k , a measure of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i t .  This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n encounters an i n i t i a l discrepancy  i n the  information Salisbury (op. c i t . 57) gives, that the majority of men at any work s i t e are u n s k i l l e d workers, debarred from using axes.  Their  condition i s deprecated by Siane with the phrase f a i v y a we, such men are as "nothing men". Salisbury (op. c i t . 49) mentions elsewhere that men without axes, nothing men, are also said t o be " l i k e women". association begins t o resolve the problem.  This  Presumably the common element  i n the comparison i s that "nothing men" share with women the i n f e r i o r i t y within the clan context of having none of the mature r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of f u l l membership.  Nothing men are as yet too junior; women, of course,  can never look forward t o the assumption of any such r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , being obliged t o remain perpetual l i v i n g - i n e x i l e s from t h e i r own clan groups.  Salisbury (op. c i t . 4 9 , 57) confirms that youth s i g n i f y t h e i r  approaching manhood by carrying an axe at t h e i r b e l t s , which they eagerly use when permitted t o do so, as when an older " s k i l l e d " man r e s t s on a work party.  However i t i s important that i t does not seem t o be s e n i o r i t y  as such that confers the necessary q u a l i f i c a t i o n t o wield an axe.  Being  "adult" means, at the l e a s t , getting married, and t o do that a man must leave the confines of h i s own group and negotiate i n the i n t e r - c l a n ambience f o r a wife.  That i s , an adult man i s a tested p o l i t i c a l actor,  and such men only are owed prestige.  I f the axe indicates anything at a l l  about t h i s society, i t i s that the way the Siane organize themselves f o r  -91-  t h e i r productive a c t i v i t i e s , turns out t ofoean aspect of the way they are organized f o r the purposes of r e c i p r o c a l exchange. At a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l , Cohen (1974  : 5 , 3 0 , 135) invokes Parsons  who has called the phenomena of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n "the central concern of s o c i o l o g i c a l theory".  The axe i n i t s capacity t o communicate  to Siane certain ideas they hold afoout themselves, accentuates the extent t o which i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d r e g u l a r i t i e s of r e l a t i o n s h i p cohere about symbolic supports or f o c i .  Individuals may well be observable  e n t i t i e s tangibly present i n the word, Cohen says, but the r e l a t i o n s h i p s that hold between them, and which t h e i r actions presuppose are abstractions that can be apprehended only through the o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of a symbol. Where change i s endemic i n even r e l a t i v e l y stable s o c i e t i e s , symbols give enduring r e a l i t y to r e l a t i o n s that are perennially i n the process of becoming.  However, a further twist t o the semiotics of the axe  comes at the point where people themselves become aspects of the same system of c u l t u r a l expression: We have t o v i s u a l i z e that the message on one channel becomes i t s e l f the channel f o r messages. Levi-Strauss ... i m p l i c i t l y states the general case from the p a r t i c u l a r case of women: human beings speak, but they are themselves also symbolic elements i n a communication system. [Parkin 1976 : 187, emphasis i n o r i g i n a l ) The temptation at t h i s point i s t o transform s o c i a l relationships t o pure l o g i c : f o r i f the r e l a t i o n s between c u l t u r a l forms are i n t e r n a l r e l a t i o n s , then i t follows that s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s must be a species of i n t e r n a l r e l a t i o n too.  Cohen (1974  '• 27) however, expresses impatience  with the kind of anthropologist f o r whom the study of kinship forms  -92-  has become an end i n i t s e l f , t u r n i n g what i n f a c t i s an i d i o m u n d e r l y i n g t h e dynamic p r o c e s s e s  of i n t e r a c t i o n into a s t e r i l e  abstraction.  L e v i - S t r a u s s i s i n c l u d e d i n t h e c r i t i c i s m i n as much as symbols i n h i s s y s t e m are e x c l u s i v e l y l o g i c a l c a t e g o r i e s ,  having o n l y nominal q u a l i t i e s ,  " w h i l e i n t h e dynamics o f s o c i o - c u l t u r a l l i f e t h e y a r e  'valences',  being  n o t o n l y c o g n i t i v e , but a g i t a t i v e and c o n a t i v e " (Cohen o p . c i t . 5 ) . The p e r c e p t i o n o f c u l t u r a l meanings as a p o l i t i c a l element  or  r e s o u r c e p r o v i d e s t h e k e y which opens up t h e l a r g e r system o f economic relationships i n Siane.  5. Exchange Goods and t h e Exchange o f Messages The d e p i c t i o n o f t h e axe as a communicative event t h e a n a l y t i c p r i m a c y o f t h e concept o f exchange.  reiterates  I t i s thus t o the d i s -  t r i b u t i v e mechanisms o f S i a n e economy t h a t t h e b a s i c q u e s t i o n s must be directed.  A q u o t e , a t l e n g t h , from Belshaw j u s t i f i e s t h e  orientation:  I f we w i s h t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e economic f o u n d a t i o n s o f development, and t o r e l a t e c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l a n a l y s i s t o them, we can do no b e t t e r t h a n t o b e g i n w i t h t h e i n s t i t u t i o n s o f exchange. I f we d o , we w i l l f i n d t h a t our e x a m i n a t i o n touches i n one way o r a n o t h e r upon a l l spheres o f s o c i a l l i f e , b o t h e m p i r i c a l l y and a n a l y t i c a l l y . As a s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n , exchange p e n e t r a t e s t h r o u g h t h e s o c i a l f a b r i c and may be thought o f as a network holding society together . . . In a very r e a l sense, a l t e r a t i o n s i n t h e economy, and hence economic d e v e l o p ment c o n s i s t i n an a l t e r a t i o n i n the system o f exchange. Economic growth (an i n c r e a s e i n p e r c a p i t a income o r w e a l t h ) i s u s u a l l y based upon i n s t i t u t i o n a l changes, o f which t h e g r o w i n g c o m p l e x i t y and s o p h i s t i c a t i o n o f t h e exchange system i s t h e major i n d e x . Similarly, i f t h e term s o c i a l development i s t o have any meaning, i t must r e f e r t o an i n c r e a s e i n s o c i a l s c a l e and an a l t e r a t i o n i n the q u a l i t y of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . " (1965 : 6)  Salisbury's own approach to the Siane exchange system i s an extension of h i s formalism.  He hopes that by t r a c i n g out through the  the d i s t r i b u t i o n of goods and services exactly what competition of ends i s behind the structuring of t h e i r choices, he w i l l be able to f i t the a c a p i t a l resource, into a wider a l l o c a t i v e context.  To the  substantivist, however, what i s i n t e r e s t i n g about Salisbury's ethnography i s that i t exemplifies a pattern of what Bohannan (1967 : 124-125) c a l l s "multi-centric economy", that i s , an economy i n which a society's exchangeable goods f a l l into two or more mutually exclusive spheres, each marked by d i f f e r e n t i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n and d i f f e r e n t moral values. In some multi-centric economies these spheres remain d i s t i n c t , though i n most, Bohannan says, there are more or less i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d means of converting wealth from one into wealth i n another. In Siane, three r e l a t i v e l y independent spheres of exchange a c t i v i t y are i n evidence, involving d i f f e r e n t groupings of people at d i f f e r e n t locations, and s i g n i f i c a n t differences of behaviour and a t t i tude ( c f . Salisbury 5 - 6 »  3 9 4 l , 105). -  Apart from a few exceptions,  which Salisbury thinks are e a s i l y understood, goods i n any one category cannot be exchanged f o r goods i n another.  To suggest such a thing would  be quite without sense or purpose to a Siane.  Salisbury takes t h i s as  an i n d i c a t i o n that each category i s valued i n terms of i t s contribution towards the attainment of d i f f e r e n t ends. It might be more to the point to say that t h i s t r i p a r t i t e flow of goods moulds i t s e l f to the basic p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y of the antagonism between the clans.  One category of exchange i s e n t i r e l y i n t r a - c l a n ,  -94-  and  consolidates subsistence  activities.  Another i s a p r e s t i g e  which i n some measure f o r m a l i s e s i n t e r - c l a n p o l i t i c k i n g .  circuit  The t h i r d  i s an i n d i v i d u a l i z e d network o f s u p p l y f o r l u x u r y consumption items t h a t are unobtainable  w i t h i n t h e c l a n ' s own t e r r i t o r y , and i t e x i s t s i n e f f e c t  t o circumvent t h e p r e s c r i b e d embargo on f r e e d e a l i n g s a c r o s s aries.  c l a n bound-  Three c l a s s e s o f goods thus c o n s t i t u t e t h e m a t e r i a l l i n k a g e s i n  i n a d e c e n t r a l i z e d p a t t e r n o f exchange, t h e l o g i c o f which l i e s not w i t h t h a t f a c t a l o n e : r a t h e r t h e p r i n c i p l e i s , as Belshaw suggests, t o : ... t u r n t h e a n a l y s i s around, and s t a r t w i t h r e l a t i o n s h i p s r a t h e r t h a n commodities, and t h i n k o f exchange as e x p r e s s i n g o r b e i n g p a r t o f d i f f e r i n g q u a l i t i e s o f social relationships.  (1965  : 40)  T h i s f o r m u l a compares, i n c i d e n t a l l y , with T u r n e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n c l o s e connection 98,  116,  122,  t h a t e x i s t s between s t r u c t u r e and p r o p e r t y  134).  of the  ( c f . 1974  :  " S t r u c t u r e " , however, c r e a t e s an o f t e n m i s l e a d i n g l y  s t a t i c impression,  whereas i f exchange i s thought o f as t h e p r i m a r y form  o f i n t e r a c t i o n , i t i s t h e a c t i o n o f exchange t h a t s i g n a l s t h e i d e n t i t y and  exclusiveness  o f groups, and which d e f i n e s t h e i n t e r n a l r e l a t i o n s  o f members, and t h e nature o f t h e l i n k a g e s a c r o s s group b o u n d a r i e s ( c f . Belshaw 1965  • 78).  Exchange a l s o e n t a i l s a c o n s i d e r a b l e  modification  of Salisbury's s t a r t i n g point i n the a l l o c a t i v e decisions of i n d i v i d u a l s , as P a r k i n  explains: ... I suggest t h a t t h e t r a n s a c t i o n a l nature o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s o b l i g e s us t o t a k e i n t o account not o n l y t h e a c t o r ' s view o f means and ends as c o s t s and p r o f i t s , but a l s o t h e f a c t t h a t t h e s e means and ends, as "goods" t r a n s a c t e d and a c q u i r e d , a r e " t h i n g s " which, because t h e y f a l l i n t o c u l t u r a l systems o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , l o c a t e t h e a c t o r i n t h e s e systems. Where t h e p e r c e i v e d r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e " t h i n g " and t h e a c t o r i s v e r y c l o s e and even " i n t i m a t e " , as i n Mauss's view  -95-  of the g i f t , then the "thing" may he said t o provide the primary locus f o r the symbolic expression of the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . This i s most obvious i n i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d g i f t exchange but i s surely embryonic i n a l l i n d i v i d u a l cases of "pure g i f t " g i v i n g . S i m i l a r l y , there can be a perceived close r e l a t i o n s h i p between the actor and the goals or rewards of an exchange r e l a t i o n ship: goods and rewards valued by the actor are also c u l t u r a l l y valued; and so the actor's s o c i a l fortunes are t i e d up with the more general c u l t u r a l evaluations of these "things".  (1976  : 173-174)  Of related interest i s the place of power i n exchange.  View-  ing exchange as the communication of s o c i a l designations of value and r e l a t i o n s h i p , i t i s a f u r t h e r step to consider imbalances i n the way knowledge enters into a transaction as the possible e f f e c t of contrivance, that i s , as r e f l e c t i n g a balance of power between the sender of a message, as one mediator, and the receiver, as another.  The exchange nexuses i n  Siane w i l l be seen to embody routine procedures  by which i n t e r e s t groups  manipulate d i f f e r e n t types of symbolic formulations and resources t o achieve a number of basic organizational functions.  Their a n a l y s i s ,  leading up to the ambivalences i n the r o l e of Big Men,  arrives at a  point of agreement with Cohen and Comaroff (1976), who urge that the "management of meaning" i s the key component i n the phenomenology of p o l i t i c a l interaction: It i s becoming widely accepted i n s o c i o l o g i c a l discourse that s o c i a l r e a l i t y i s constructed through s o c i a l process; the meanings which people attach t o elements i n t h e i r universe are products of t h e i r s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l circumstances. One might elaborate on t h i s by suggesting that a c r u c i a l variable i n the construction of r e a l i t y l i e s i n the management of meaning: actors compete t o contrive and propagate interpretations of s o c i a l behaviour and r e l a t i o n s h i p s ... The management of meaning i s an expression of power, and the meanings so managed a c r u c i a l aspect of p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s . (op. c i t . 102, emphasis i n o r i g i n a l )  -96-  6.  Food C l a n s o l i d a r i t y and c o o p e r a t i o n has i t s most immediate economic r e a l i z a t i o n i n d a i l y subsistence a c t i v i t i e s .  E x p e c t e d l y enough, t h e  symbolism p a r e x c e l l e n c e o f t h i s nexus i s f o o d .  Food e n t a i l s a c e r t a i n  q u a l i t y o f moral r e l a t i o n s h i p - what R a d c l i f f e - B r o w n r e f e r r e d t o as t h e " s o c i a l value" o f food ( c f . S a l i s b u r y  I962 : 188).  Most u s u a l l y , t h i s  i s an i n d i c a t i o n o f common membership, c o n t i n u i n g a s s o c i a t i o n , and r e c i p r o c a t i o n f o r g i f t s o f l a b o u r , s e r v i c e s o r m a t e r i a l goods.  Salisbury  ( o p . c i t . 188) comments t h a t f o o d g i v e n t o s t r a n g e r s s i g n a l s t h a t f o r t h e moment t h e s t r a n g e r i s b e i n g t r e a t e d as a member o f t h e same group.  The  c l e a r e s t r i t u a l e x p r e s s i o n o f t h i s i s t h e wedding f e a s t , he s a y s , where g i f t s o f f o o d symbolise village.  t h e b r i d e ' s becoming a member o f h e r husband's  Siane g i v e v e r b a l form t o t h e e t h i c : "namo wenene wenenta f a i v y a " ,  t h e y e x p l a i n , "we h e l p our own people f r e e l y w i t h f o o d " ; and t h e y r e g a r d t h e items o f f o o d so exchanged as " f a i v y a n e t a " , " t h i n g s o f no account" ( c f . op. c i t . 74, 188).  The meaning o f t h i s needs t o be made c l e a r e r .  Siane r e g a r d t h e t a s k s o f g a r d e n i n g and h a r v e s t i n g as r o u t i n e , performed w i t h no e s p e c i a l excitement: ( c f . op. c i t . 40).  "Ronoma wone", " I j u s t go t o work"  When t h e y t a l k about such a c t i v i t i e s , t h e y s t r e s s t h e  "help" that i s mutually goods ( c f . op. c i t . 86).  g i v e n , and minimize t h e a c t u a l i n t e r c h a n g e o f The r a t i o n a l e and t h e i n c e n t i v e t o l e n d t h e i r  l a b o u r t o each o t h e r f o r t h i s purpose i s t h a t w i t h i n t h e c l a n a l l men a r e b r o t h e r s and have an o b l i g a t i o n t o h e l p one another.  T h e i r word f o r " h e l p i n g "  i s umaiye, and t h e exchange o f s e r v i c e s and p r o p e r t y items on t h i s  account  i s always f a i v y a n e t a - not a matter f o r " a c c o u n t i n g " because i t can s e t  up no new obligations f o r making a returnj i t i s what each owes to the other as an automatic fact of t h e i r shared clan allegiance.  Only a  persistent r e f u s a l to help, or the abuse of the help of others with no r e c i p r o c i t y attempted, could put a person beyond the pale of t h i s obligation ( c f . op. c i t . 58,  74).  Salisbury (op. c i t . 59»  78) points out that i t i s no contra-  d i c t i o n of t h i s ethic that food i s given f o r example at the end of a day's work, when work i s anyway a clan obligation.  The food given a f t e r  that kind of assistance does not discharge obligations, i t serves as an acknowledgement of t h e i r existence.  And these tokens of food are more  than merely " d i a c r i t i c a l " , Salisbury (op. c i t . 188-189) avers, i n that sense Nadel intended f o r items used to indicate status, but not necessa r i l y involved i n carrying out the duties of that status.  Indeed, the  exchange of food enables each i n d i v i d u a l to f u l f i l the sorts of obligat i o n s that b e f a l l him i n h i s capacity as a member of h i s clan, as well as demarcating h i s p a r t i c u l a r accepted status i n that environment and maintaining him i n i t .  In the same connection, however, i t may well be wondered i f Salisbury does not exaggerate the harmony of umaiye r e l a t i o n s h i p s , or at least simplify the symbolism of food.  There are i n t r a - c l a n disputes,  as he mentions ( c f . op. c i t . 30-31)J and as Burridge (i960 : 83»19l) has pointed out, where moral behaviour i s c h i e f l y r e f l e c t e d i n behaviour over food, food becomes the conventional pretext f o r a quarrel. Just as i t i s the primary expression of amity, so the d e n i a l of amity can be formulated i n terms of withholding food.  Transgressions, where  -9.0-  possible, are related t o an individual's potential f o r producing foods t u f f s i n exchange, which i s a conventional way of making public issues out of personal quarrels which otherwise might too e a s i l y turn rancorous and sorcerous. Uberoi (1971 '• 7^0 warns that the cohesion of a society i s not to be sought i n any simple sentiment of s o l i d a r i t y , i t resides rather i n the c o n f l i c t i n g allegiances which i t s customs impose upon i t s members,  Siane behaviour over food indicates a c o r o l l a r y :  that the chief symbolisms of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s u f f e r an e s s e n t i a l ambivalence.  This i s a discovery that recurs i n the case of the more  p o l i t i c a l l y v i t a l i z e d concerns of the Siane valuables.  7. Luxuries Luxury exchanges turn on such items as tobacco, r o i palm o i l , pandanus nuts, s a l t , f i n e stone f o r axe blades, and nowadays, some European a r t i c l e s .  As Uberoi (1971 > ' 15&) sums up the phenomenon: the  d i f f e r e n t areas have specialized products, and by trade, a l l areas are supplied with a section of the products of each area. mainly destined f o r physical consumption,  These are items  e s p e c i a l l y i n the entertainment  of v i s i t o r s , and they thus constantly require t o be replaced.  In t h i s  t h e i r s c a r c i t y owes i t s e l f to d i f f e r e n t causes than that of the Siane valuables which c i r c u l a t e without being destroyed ( c f . Salisbury 1962 : 88, 198).  In the native mind, exchanges of t h i s category are "between  f r i e n d s " , but the r e c i p r o c i t y i s r e a l l y based upon s e l f - i n t e r e s t , with both parties obtaining an approximately equivalent p r a c t i c a l u t i l i t y from exchanges.  Where there i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n over the r e l a t i o n s h i p i t can  be discontinued, quite simply.  No a d d i t i o n a l obligations have been set  -99-  up since items i n the luxury exchange are classed as "kevora neta", "small things" - which implies that they are things that could be accounted f o r and are thus not "things of no account", but at the same time they are not important things f o r which accounting ive  (op. c i t . 90).  would be imperat-  For "friends" are r e a l l y strangers of a kind i n that  they are not from the same clan v i l l a g e , but since exchanges of luxuries are not usually public events implicating whole clans, they are not p o l i t i c a l l y consequential.  Kevora neta  are therefore considered as a  form of personalty, disposable according to the whim of the owner.  They  activate only d i f f u s e personal r e l a t i o n s between i n d i v i d u a l s i n s i t u a t i o n s where no clan obligations e x i s t ( c f . op. c i t . 84, 89-90,  106).  There are two factors of further importance about the trade.  The one i s that a man  may  i n t h i s way  luxury  be engaged i n an i n d i v i d u a l -  i z e d capacity i n a f a r - f l u n g network of personal transactions, transecting the more usual dimensions of clan antagonism.  Secondly, several  features of these exchanges indicate that something akin to a  simple,  i n d i v i d u a l i z e d , "buying" and " s e l l i n g " arrangement exists here. and the high consumability  This,  of luxuries, contrasts markedly with the  valuables, p a r t i c u l a r l y with regard to future developments, as Salisbury indicates: In these terms, cash, as i t becomes easier to consume through use at trade stores, and easier to produce through wage labour or cash crops, i s becoming a luxury i n Siane rather than a prestige token. (op. c i t . 198)  -100-  8. Valuables It i s above a l l the concentration of a c t i v i t y about the exchange of valuables which has earned Siane the appellation of "pseudoeconomy".  "Valuables" covers a limited stock of n o n - u t i l i t a r i a n objects,  t r a d i t i o n a l l y comprising various types of s h e l l , ornamental green-stone axes, necklaces of dogs' teeth, b i r d of paradise plumes, headdresses of cassowary feathers, beads, and pigs (which, once exchanged, can have no further u t i l i t y to the donor, either f o r eating or breeding) ( c f . op. c i t . 99,105)«  Valuables are neta, "things", and unlike kevora neta, neta are  "things s t r i c t l y accounted f o r " ( c f . op. c i t . 90, 105)  95)•  Salisbury (op. c i t .  notices the d e f i n i t e element of c a l c u l a t i o n i n the way these items  are exchanged, but he r e g i s t e r s a d i f f i c u l t y i n t a l k i n g about the "ends" t o which they contribute, since they produce nothing material, and they r e s u l t i n l i t t l e change i n the aggregate stocks of any group.  In f a c t the ends of t h i s nexus are manifest i n the context i n which valuables are customarily exchanged.  Valuables are given i n  formal public presentations c a l l e d gima or gimaiye, which involve clans p a r t i c i p a t i n g as corporate groups.  To exchange valuables presupposes  s o c i a l distance, the independence of the clans means that no obligations of "help" are mutually acknowledged.  Instead, Malinowski comments on  the " h i s t r i o n i c anger" with which custom requires such g i f t s to be given ( c f . Uberoi 19?1  : 13).  Salisbury (1962  : 101)  says "Gimaiye marks the  l i m i t of clan cooperation, f o r where i t occurs, umaiye cannot".  To  receive i n t h i s kind of r e l a t i o n s h i p i n f a c t stresses the non-membership of the r e c i p i e n t i n the donor's clan (op. c i t . 102,  128).  But i t would  -101-  be wrong t o conclude from t h i s that the system of gimaiye  exchanges as  a whole serves as r e a l l y nothing more than a ceremonialised public affirmation of the separateness of the clans, each as i t s own sovereign entity.  Uberoi (1971 : 135) puts across the e s s e n t i a l point that at  whichever stage of t h e i r patterned movement these valuables are observed whether being exchanged upon marriage, paid i n compensation, or handed down from one generation t o the next - they appear always along the interface of two or more clan groups, and never simply as the emblems of corporate s o l i d a r i t y .  The clans are not i s o l a t e s : i t was argued before  that t h e i r i d e n t i t i e s derive from the balancing of oppositions, brought i n t o being ultimately by the exchange of women. And i n short, i t i s the clear aim of gimaiye exchanges t o obtain women from other groups (Salisbury i n people.  I962 : 103). The valuables hold the power t o e f f e c t r i g h t s This i s demonstrable at peacemaking ceremonies, where valu-  ables exchanged as compensation are considered t o liquidate the obligat i o n the offended party has t o avenge a k i l l i n g of i n s u l t , while, conversely, the group making the reparation f o r the offence committed now has the r i g h t t o expect immunity from vengeance ( c f . op. c i t . 189)• However, i t i s i n the b r i d a l exchanges, as i n no other aspect of l i f e , that i t i s e s s e n t i a l t o accentuate the s o c i a l bonds that r e l a t e the respective groups of bride and groom.  Because they are thus exchanged  across the a f f i n a l l i n k , the valuables become the material symbols of "the more general r e l a t i o n s h i p between clans of opposition or h o s t i l i t y , a l t e r n a t i n g with c a l c u l a t i n g politeness and a l l i a n c e " (op. c i t . 104; also c f . Belshaw 1950 : I8l).  -102-  Macroscopically, Salisbury (1962  : 103-104) explains, t h i s  s i t u a t i o n i s one of echange generalise, and i t s mechanisms are s e l f regulating.  In f a c t , i t i s the s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n of the system which  explains the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which was considered problematic from the standpoint of Salisbury's d e f i n i t i o n of " c a p i t a l " , namely the f a c t that valuables are i n constant c i r c u l a t i o n at steady numbers, yet they produce no discernible augmentation of stock.  Valuables can be seen to flow out  of a clan-village as wives come i n from other groups, i n matching but opposite movements.  On the one hand, the l i m i t a t i o n on the t o t a l supply  of valuables and the fact that they are i n perpetual c i r c u l a t i o n ensures a balanced movement of women between groups.  On the other hand, the  p o s s i b i l i t y of exchanging valuables f o r r i g h t s over women i s the incent i v e and the momentum behind the balanced d i s t r i b u t i o n of valuables throughout the society, and behind the r e c i p r o c i t y honoured i n the exchange of r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Rights i n people, that i s , as Belshaw (1950  : 175-176) remarks  of s i m i l a r items i n the Solomon Islands, the s o c i a l power attaching to the possession of valuables, i s so great that owners are prepared to give them up only i n return f o r very special services. Salisbury's phrase f o r them, "power tokens" (1962  : 197),  i s very apt..  The implication i s that  as purchasing power, these valuables are limited to very high exchange values.  By t h i s i t i s possible to make sense of the decomposition  of the  Siane economy into three mutually exclusive spheres, with proscriptions p a r t i c u l a r l y attaching to the conversion into, or out of, the gimaiye network.  What t h i s amounts to i s a rigorous defence against the devalua-  t i o n of the valuables through improper d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of t h e i r e l i t e  -103-  status concerns from the consumption-biased purposes transacted i n the other two categories.  At the same time, i t debars wealth or value from  e i t h e r the subsistence of luxury spheres from being converted, e i t h e r d i r e c t l y , or v i a the purchase of valuables, i n t o r i g h t s over women, or to other forms of power. The issue of conversion w i l l return at a l a t e r stage when i t w i l l be found that the separation of the nexuses i s not as absolute as Salisbury has supposed.  For the moment i t should be noticed that the  " s o c i a l power" of the valuables i s quite unlike the " s o c i a l value" spoken about i n connection with the symbolism of food.  The g i f t of food i s  predicated upon pre-existing moral obligations binding people by v i r t u e of t h e i r membership i n a common clan - something that, i n the nature of things, i s not a matter f o r choice.  In other words, food can only  confirm an e x i s t i n g order of r e l a t i o n s h i p s ; but valuables s e l e c t i v e l y create them, and whether or not to i n i t i a t e a set of continuing obligat i o n s , and on what terms, enters i n t o t h i s class of exchanges very much as a function of choice.  Gimaiye exchanges are part of the constructive  processes of a s o c i a l system.  As Belshaw (1965  : 30,32) notes, they  define the r e l a t i o n s between the persons involved and enable them to f o r e see each other's behaviour i n given s i t u a t i o n s because the payments evoke  behaviour. Here i s t o be found the explanation that of a l l the exchange-  able goods i n Siane, only valuables should be considered neta, "things s t r i c t l y accounted f o r " . For the accounting keeps track, not so much of the valuables, as the constantly changing configuration of r e l a t i o n s h i p s  -104-  brought into effect by t h e i r mediation.  I t i s a s o c i a l bookkeeping to  balance a s o c i a l , or "pseudo", economy.  Mair (1964  : 225)  i n speaking  of the lack of w r i t i n g among primitives, has claimed that "... where people cannot keep records they can only carry out very simple economic transactions."  It i s to be objected, then, that the lack of written  records.as such enforces no necessary s i m p l i c i t y onto "pseudo-economies". The analyses of Rossen Island money, the s o c i a l economy of Siane, the Kula, and presumably an i n d e f i n i t e number of other cases, would confirm huge and ramifying complexities of operation, co-ordinated by various accounting procedures, a l b e i t not quite "bookkeeping" i n a recognizably Western fashion.  In Siane the precise d e t a i l s of gimaiye transactions,  what payments were made and who were the contributors, are recorded by a system of bamboo t a l l i e s c a l l e d uma, long ( c f . Salisbury 1962  : 95)•  Uma  of "shoots", each about one inch f i x e s the public memory of the  event, externalizes i t i n a kind of rudimentary archive which i s consulted even on the occasion of disputes involving payments made many years ago.  9.  The record o b j e c t i v i f i e s the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p .  P o l i t i c i z e d Economy In embedded economies, the t r a n s a c t i o n a l patterns effected through the exchange of goods or values are a primary focus f o r the ideologies of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p .  Although i n Siane the clans are  organized under the myth of p a t r i l i n e a l descent, men are i n f a c t held together through the exchange of r i g h t s and obligations i n r e l a t i o n to the s i s t e r s and daughters of one another.  A p o l i t i c a l change i s  -105-  therefore always implied i n exchange i n the pattern of marriage, and the arrangement of every marriage involves p o l i t i c a l manoeuvring on clan and v i l l a g e l e v e l s .  I t i s i n the process of arranging a marriage that  the p o l i t i c a l order and the symbolic order act on one another.  For i f  the marriage i t s e l f i s but the i n i t i a l stratagem - the courtship of women, Uberoi (1971  '• 141) aptly comments about Trobrianders, i s r e a l l y  the courtship of a kula partner - i t i s the subsequent flow of valuables which provides f o r both the active continuity of the r e l a t i o n s h i p ,  and  f o r a more manageable expression, of the p o l i t i c a l objectives intended by the marriage a l l i a n c e .  By the very f a c t of symbolising the i n t e r -  connections between groups, the gimaiye valuables become a p o l i t i c a l idiom, a language i n which people can assert, and argue about, the r e l a t i v e merits of each other's clans and v i l l a g e s .  The importance  of t h i s i s immeasurable.  For a people without a  government, without c l e a r l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d i n s t i t u t i o n s of authority, there must be some s t r i k i n g custom, a p o l i t i c a l mechanism which can take account of changing circumstances, make e x p l i c i t the necessary -E-e^evaluat i o n s , and bring together i n d i v i d u a l perceptions and decisions.  The  gimaiye nexus generates the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r there t o occur the continual challenge and adjustment  of c o l l e c t i v e status and influence, within an  o v e r a l l regulation or normative agreement about the l i m i t s of p o l i t i c a l action ( c f . Burridge i960 : 262; Salisbury (1962  : 190)  Cohen 1974  : 48-49; Uberoi 1 9 7 1  : 82).  brings out the main objective of the  gimaiye as the r a i s i n g of the prestige stakes of one group r e l a t i v e to  -106-  another.  But he has a curiously f l a t view of t h i s as a p o l i t i c a l process.  He says: In Mauss's terms ... giving valuables puts the donor i n i n a superior or magister p o s i t i o n and the r e c i p i e n t i n an i n f e r i o r or minister p o s i t i o n , from which he can escape only by returning an equivalent of the valuables. The power t o control may be a c t i v e l y exercised or merely asserted i n a 'holier-than-thou' attitude by the donors u n t i l t h e i r valuables are returned. In i t s most general form t h i s power i s prestige; when people informally recognize others as superior i t constitutes ' s o c i a l ranking'. (ibid.) Indeed, an "equivalent", that i s , a supposedly matching return i s enjoined on partners by the protocol of the gimaiye, and a temporary cachet attaches thus to the donor p o s i t i o n . But where the clans are locked i n a perpetual antagonism, none permanently conceding s u p e r i o r i t y to any other, i t i s manipulability that i s the more r e a l i s t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of such exchanges.  As Malinowski was aware, valuables, such things as s h e l l s ,  dogs' teeth necklaces, plumes, cannot be measured, or even compared with one another by an exact standard so that considerable room f o r bad blood i s l e f t i n the matter of equivalence  ( c f . Uberoi"1971 : 35) • To obtain  a very f i n e valuable may mean that others f e e l thwarted and f u l l of malice, or that there w i l l be deep resentment on the part of a gimaiye partner who suspects he has been undercut i n the exchange.  Moreover,  t h i s may be p r e c i s e l y the i n t e n t i o n . For valuables are "power tokens", as Salisbury quite r i g h t l y c a l l s them, and what i s at issue i s a r e a l t r i a l of strength between the men and the clans engaged i n exchange r e l a t i o n s h i p s , a f e e l i n g out of each other's c a p a b i l i t i e s and weaknesses. Since the f i x i n g of the value of a s h e l l r e l a t i v e to that of another s h e l l , or a p i g , or plume, or dog's teeth necklace, can ultimately only ever  -107-  be imprecise, questionable and a r b i t r a r y , so of necessity the exchange of such items leaves a margin f o r manoeuvre.  Whatever ostensible exchange  rate r e s u l t s , the point to be taken i s : Rather, these values must be looked at as s t r a t e g i c components of attempts to contrive an image of the i n t e r a c t i o n . Values, then, are not always given; nor are they just the vehicles of i n t e r a c t i o n . They may, rather, be an expression of the terms within which one party wishes the i n t e r a c t i o n to be viewed. The t r a n s a c t i o n a l game should not be seen as consisting just of the competition to acquire values; i t involves s t r a t e g i c attempts to attach meanings to the r e l a t i o n s h i p within which i t takes place. (Cohen and Comaroff 1976 : 102) The rate of exchange - with the p a r t i c u l a r balance of power struck t h e r e i n - must be given public endorsement i n the gimaiye ceremonies themselves,  and i n the device of the bamboo t a l l i e s , f o r i n a  consensus-based society the public i s the f i n a l witness and trustee to the arrangement.  But to reach t h i s consummatory point i n any i n t e r -  clan exchange i s a feat of s o c i a l engineering f o r which i t requires a s p e c i a l kind of t a l e n t : a Big Man's t a l e n t , drawing on h i s every a b i l i t y t o activate clan r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , to cajole and encourage cooperation and support from k i n and a l l i e s , i n opposition to h i s exchange partner's group.  And i t takes a canny d e x t e r i t y with the gimaiye valuables them-  selves, which means nothing less than a w i l f u l a b i l i t y to c a p i t a l i s e on the c r u c i a l ambiguities i n the medium of competitive one-upmanship. As Burridge (i960 : 109)  has said, maintaining equivalences demands  constant disputing, and i t i s clear that with a d i f f e r e n t kind of symbolism t h i s could not work.  In Tangu, apparently, the more thoughtful and  sophisticated Christians, aware that the Brotherhood  of a l l mankind cuts  -108-  across t r a d i t i o n a l gimaiye  s t y l e sectionalisms, were beginning t o r e j e c t  the managerial i d e a l out of a moral distaste f o r the divisiveness by which i t f l o u r i s h e s .  . Management and the Modal Personality Who are Big Men?  Or rather, how are the actions of men of  t h i s type to be seen as i n t r i n s i c to the function of Siane s o c i a l organization? Any society involves some degree of organization of e f f o r t and resources, investment of c a p i t a l , a l l o t t i n g of time and tasks, ahead, taking r i s k s , making decisions and r i s k i n g consequences. Belshaw (1965  planning As  : 109) says, the entrepreneurial function i s omnipresent  and a condition of any form of s o c i a l l i f e .  A n a l y t i c a l l y speaking, the  entrepreneurial r o l e i s a matrix of organizational functions that can be r e a l i z e d through a variety of s o c i a l agencies, l i k e committees, bureauc r a c i e s , councils, conclaves.  The prototypical association of the term  with the i n d i v i d u a l c a p i t a l i s t i s an accident of European h i s t o r y , though, as i t happens, i n New Guinea too, entrepreneurs are i n d i v i d u a l s . Salisbury (1962  : 28-30) r e f e r s to them by the common expression "Big Men";  Burridge  (i960 : 57,  74-80) prefers the connotations of "managers";  while Siane themselves c a l l them bosbois.  Such people have a l o t to do  with the adequacy of a society's i n s t i t u t i o n s i n providing a coherent mode of l i f e .  There may be a tendency to overlook t h e i r contribution,  Goldschmidt (1964  : 483, 485) suggests; such i s the West's investment i n  modern technology that " s k i l l e d " manpower i s r e a d i l y equated with  -109-  "techniclan".  In any case, as Siane's exemplary decision  makers, boisbois  provide a l o g i c a l point of reference f o r Salisbury's model of economic individualism.  The supposition i s that the elements of a new society w i l l  take shape around the men most l i k e l y and able t o assume some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r c o n t r o l l i n g change.  Given the f a c t of encroaching world c i v i l i z a t i o n ,  bosbois may reasonably be expected t o become what F a l l e r s has termed, "the bearers of the new c u l t u r a l syntheses" (1964 : 281; c f . also Burridge  i960 : 259). Salisbury records that there are usually s i x or seven B i g Men  t o any men's house, and i t i s here that most discussion takes place about the important matters of ceremonial, gardening or payments. a l l y equal, and a l l jealous of the power of the others.  A l l are nomin-  But i n f a c t the  men's house speaks c o l l e c t i v e l y through only the single mouthpiece of the bosboi who represents the house when occasion requires. He i s primus i n t e r pares among the Big Men, and h i s name i s used to designate the house with i t s group of men.  Authority within the clan follows a s i m i l a r pat-  t e r n with three or four bosbois from each men's house group discussing clan a f f a i r s and being present at ceremonies, though only one w i l l be the spokesman f o r the whole clan.  These are not hereditary or otherwise established p o s i t i o n s . Like most of Melanesia, management i n the Siane context i s leadership without the recognized formality of an o f f i c e or a procedure of appointment.  Both the q u a l i f i c a t i o n f o r Big Manship, and i t s techniques are  diffuse.  Anyone may become a Big Man: i t i s a question of prestige,  -110-  depending upon personal a b i l i t y and notable achievements that command the respect of others.  Hence a primary c r i t e r i o n i s h i s gardening competence.  His capacity t o provide foodstuffs i n quantity implies both industry and a mastery of the techniques f o r abundant crops.  - mystical and pragmatic - which are necessary  I t e n t a i l s , too, that he i s married, with a wife or  wives and children i n supportive r o l e s i n the d i v i s i o n of labour. above a l l , the Big Man depends upon oblique suasion.  But  Belshaw (1955 ' 19»  60) notes that Melanesian s o c i e t i e s r e s t r a i n people from acts which lead t o too great a d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n - s e t t i n g oneself apart whether by a tendency to command, or by f l a u n t i n g success and conspicuous consumption or adherence to new c u l t u r a l forms, f o r these are actions which r e s u l t only i n jealousy, possibly provoking envious sorcery.  So a leader must work  by making h i s opinions f e l t through q u i e t l y spoken words, weighted by the strength of h i s prestige.  To give way t o anger or unreasonableness, to  be prematurely impatient, or t o arrogate the r i g h t t o impose decisions, w i l l cause people to melt away from a Big Man, even t o oppose him. In t h i s e s s e n t i a l l y e g a l i t a r i a n society, the i d e a l i s that decisions should express the consensus ( c f . Read 1964 : 245). 16,  Thus, as Salisbury (1962  :  28) describes, i f i t i s the case that i n whatever he does he normally  receives the enthusiastic support of a l l members of the men's house, then t h i s i s because h i s performance redounds to t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e c r e d i t ; and because, as a r e s u l t of long discussions i n the men's house during which he has sensed the cast of i n c l i n a t i o n and opinion i n the community, he can be sure that he i s doing what the group wishes.  And, of course, i t  i s only with the f u l l backing of the group that he can perform at h i s best.  Without a s o l i d a r i t y of public opinion behind him, a manager  -111-  cannot l o n g r e t a i n h i s i n f l u e n c e .  R e s i d e n c e can he t r a n s f e r r e d  to  another  men's house t o t a k e advantage o f b e t t e r l e a d e r s h i p , and a manager who f a i l s t o s e t t l e d i s p u t e s o r r e c o n c i l e t h e many d i f f e r e n t  p o i n t s of view  p r e s e n t , who no l o n g e r e x c e l s as an example because o f o l d a g e , or over-assertiveness,  w i l l be q u i c k l y d e s e r t e d by h i s  infirmity,  support.  I t can be i n f e r r e d from t h i s t h a t B i g Man l e a d e r s h i p i s  not,  i n t h e end, t o be a t t r i b u t e d t o any i n d e f i n a b l e c h a r i s m a ( c f . B u r r i d g e I960 : 57,  76-77).  Cohen (1974  : 80) anyway m a i n t a i n s t h a t c h a r i s m a  i s l a r g e l y a group f u n c t i o n not an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c t r a i t ,  and t h a t  l y i n g t h e s y m b o l i c p r o c e s s e s by which c h a r i s m a d e v e l o p s i s t h e of normative o b l i g a t i o n s .  creation  The c o n c e n t r a t i o n s h o u l d be not so much on  t h e p e r s o n s who a r e s i n g l e d out as l e a d e r s , he a r g u e s , ship process.  as on t h e  T h i s argument t e n d s t o an a l t e r n a t i v e way o f  : 136),  I n t h i s mode o f a b s t r a c t i o n ,  leader-  stating  t h e concept " i n d i v i d u a l " , u n d e r s t o o d e s s e n t i a l l y as a s t r u c t u r e W i l l i s 1974  under-  (cf.  not o n l y can t h e  " i n d i v i d u a l " be a p e r s o n o r a c o l l e c t i v i t y ( s u c h as a c o m m e r c i a l c o r p o r a t i o n ) , but i t can undergo h i s t o r i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n w i t h o u t l o s i n g i t s i d e n t i t y as an " i n d i v i d u a l " .  No l i c e n c e i s g i v e n i n t h i s t o t h e k i n d o f  epiphenomenenalism l a t e n t w i t h i n M a l i n o w s k i ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e T r o b r i a n d paramount  c h i e f d e s i g n a t e d by t h e f u n c t i o n o f a p y r a m i d a l  h i e r a r c h y o f c l a n - v i l l a g e s , t h e b a s i c o r d e r i n g o f which i s g i v e n i n an i n v a r i a n t r u l e o f rank ( c f . U b e r o i 1971  '• 35)•  The " p e r e n n i a l problem  o f s e l f h o o d " e n t e r s i n as an a c t i v e v a r i a b l e o f s o c i o - c u l t u r a l p r o c e s s , o f e s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h e case o f systems not i n e q u i l i b r i u m but undergoing h i s t o r i c a l transformation.  T h i s i s when, as G e e r t z (1957)  -112-  demonstrates, s o c i a l structures and c u l t u r a l patterns may vary i n dependently of one another: but both s t i l l have t h e i r locus i n the behaviour of individuals ( c f . Eggan 1 9 6 4 : 4 6 8 ) .  Entrepreneurs are a  category of i n d i v i d u a l who have a: p a r t i c u l a r association with adjustments made under conditions of t h i s sort, not primarily out of any consciously formulated altruism, but because as "structures", they embody i n themselves the c r u c i a l dilemmas and contradictions originating i n the environing s o c i a l structure.  This supports a method such as Salisbury has adapted to the case of the Siane, which sets out to review s o c i a l systems from the standpoint of the l i f e h i s t o r i e s of the central i n d i v i d u a l s who move through them, and which accepts that through the decisions of these people i n p a r t i c u l a r , the c r e a t i v i t y and inventiveness of men are factors d i r e c t l y involved i n change.  At the same time however, i t tempers the commitment  of formal economic theory to the v i s i o n of homo oeconomicus based on hypothetical Robinson Grusoes ( c f . Salisbury 1968  : 4?8).  For i n d i v i d u a l  decisions cannot make sense except i n the context of wider c o l l e c t i v i t i e s : allocative logic i s situational.  In i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y formless  conditions l i k e Siane, people behave p o l i t i c a l l y by a l l y i n g themselves t o the prominent p e r s o n a l i t i e s , bosbois; but there i s a mutuality by which the manager who l a s t s longest i s he whose experience of the people amongst whom he l i v e s , whose knowledge of t h e i r i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s and the a c t i v i t i e s they engage i n , amounts to a f i n e percipience of the web of community interest and a sound judgement about the probable or poss i b l e consequences  of p a r t i c u l a r acts or events ( c f . Burridge i960 :  -113-  75, 76-77)• the  political  contoured to  Burridge also  help  actor  by the  him, but  of  large  valuables.  which  might  an  argued,  Siane  impedes a l l  his  his  sisters'  role,  for  these  keep  an  (cf.  op.  express  is  suggest of  on the  clan  or  the  of the  involving  between  food as  or a  are  also  assets,  that  prestige  exchange  that  assistance to  with  not  as  political  who  enemies  must  "investments" personalty, therefore  interest. clans  strength,  partners.  structural their  a l l i e s  brothers  pre-  Salisbury, the  basis  continuing suppression  1962  objectives  of  with  help  the  "help", work.  aware  that  i n a democratic  between  valuables  is  c i r c u l a t i o n they  authority  balance  the  : 208)  by t h e i r  and  political  group  inevitably  of  i t  upon context  behind  valuables.  Salisbury (cf.  104)  wives'  b e i n g owned as  opposition of This  is  for  advertising his  and h i s  lineage  that  provide him  disposal is  inevitable  intra-clan obligations of  clan  perception  approximate  giving  their  founded.  9^,  and  principal  of their  that  economy i s  c i t .  his  affines  regardless  understates  powerful social  connections  that  considerations  transactions  husbands  fact  The B i g Man needs  opposition to  qualities  are  the  of action  c a l c u l a t i o n s B i g M e n make a b o u t  Obviously are  exercising his  otherwise  has  which  must  is  This  by  been  also  circumstance  disposed  field  have  i t  i n the  the  he  classically  loom  societies  back t o  opposition.  and  The  point  clan  opportunity for  this  i n these  the  principle of  the  constitute  brings  can  groups.  create society  on o c c a s i o n be same  For instance,  i t  his  the and  However, he  i n much t h e  groom w i t h  valuables  wedding  used  way a s is  says to the  incumbent  payments,  -114-  there being no formal o b l i g a t i o n incurred i n accepting the "help".  He  does note that these contributions of valuables does set up some addit i o n a l , r e l a t i v e l y s p e c i f i c obligations, and i t i s by v i r t u e of such obligations, along with the reputation f o r public spiritedness, that advance t h e i r p o l i t i c a l careers.  men  He therefore sums up:  There i s a c t u a l l y a continuum between 'help' and 'payment ', the obligation created by the presentation of valuables being made more ceremonially as the pree x i s t i n g obligations between the two parties to the transaction decrease i n number - i n Evans-Pritchard's terms ... as the s t r u c t u r a l distance between them increases." (op. c i t . 101) But contributions of valuables within the clan are never "help" naively interpreted; and there i s no j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the supposition that the movement of gimaiye valuables i n t h e i r i n t r a - v i l l a g e and i n t e r v i l l a g e contexts implies two q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t phenomena, or two opposite poles on a "continuum".  Malinowski  ( c f . 1967  : 177-178)  sponsored just t h i s erroneous view i n h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the g i v i n g of Kula vaygu'a by a man to h i s son.  The Trobrianders are m a t r i l i n e a l  so that what t h i s father/son transaction confirms i s c l e a r l y the constant and c r u c i a l factor that at whatever l e v e l of r e l a t i o n s h i p t h e i r exchange occurs, vaygu'a are always part of the i n t e r l i n k a g i n g of clan a f f a i r s . The a c q u i s i t i o n of such a valuable,'plus the accompanying magic, which i s how a young man upon reaching maturity i s able to enter Kula i s i n f a c t h i s f i r s t serious experience of debt, and debt i s a form of p o l i t i c a l leverage.  Malinowski, however, i n h i s overriding attention  to individuals rather than to t h e i r s t r u c t u r a l s i t u a t i o n s , searches f o r  -115-  a psychological explanation i n the domestic and sentimental side of relations.  Hence the f a c t that the son often receives the  sponsoring  g i f t from h i s father, rather than as an inheritance from h i s mother's brother, h i s own  clansman, Malinowski uses to prove a bogus point about  the greater power of "father-love" over "mother-right".  But i t w i l l be  noticed that i n the former instance the g i f t brings into conjunction two clans, those of father and son respectively, and s o c i o l o g i c a l l y i t i s to be seen not as an expression of affectionate paternal s o l i c i t u d e , but as part of "the p o l i t i c s of keeping up an a f f i n a l a l l i a n c e which requires /the f a t h e r / to bestow favours on h i s wife's sons, i n much the same way  as he gives g i f t s to h i s wife's brothers" (Uberoi 1971  :  103)•  Sentimentality i s e n t i r e l y compromised by the f a c t that his r e l a t i o n s h i p t o h i s son, l i k e h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to h i s wife's brother, i s mediated through his wife - a stranger, i n clan terms.  The Siane are p a t r i l i n e a l though, which means that here, surely, the subventions of valuables a young man receives from h i s own  father  are immune from the t a i n t of p o l i t i c a l expediency - that they are t r u l y "help", as Salisbury has maintained?  To the contrary, i t would appear  that clan opposition i n Siane f i n d s one of i t s more f r a c t i o u s outlets i n the competition  over the r i g h t s which the mother's clan t r i e s to exercise  over her children.  A marriage exchange apparently  s e t t l e s the r i g h t s  i n uxorem, that i s , the women's sexual, domestic and economic c a p a b i l i t i e s become the property of the clan she marries i n t o .  What  continues  t o be contested are the r i g h t s i n genetricem, the r i g h t s to f i l i a t e a woman's children to the s o c i a l group of the husband.  Siane themselves  -116-  r a t i o n a l i z e t h i s ty the notion that an i n d i v i d u a l at conception i s composed of s p i r i t material from his own  clan, derived from the semen  of the father, and s p i r i t material from h i s mother's clan, located i n her blood ( c f . Salisbury  1962  : 34~35i 37).  The mother increases her  contribution of s p i r i t material by the milk and cooked foods she provides f o r the c h i l d to eat.  But i f the c h i l d i s to become a f u l l  member of i t s father's clan, and to be acceptable to the s p i r i t s of the father's clan who  alone ensure that i t grows strong and  healthy,  then i t must have a soul composed only of i t s father's s p i r i t material. The mother's contribution must be diminished. t i o n e s p e c i a l l y , provide f o r t h i s .  Various r i t e s , at i n i t i a -  They involve the consumption s o l e l y  of foodstuffs cooked by the father's clan, and various bloodletting practices to shed the blood the mother provided at conception.  A  series of payments are also made by the father's clan to the clan of the mother, manifestly to annul the r i g h t s claimed by the l a t t e r ( c f . op. c i t , 14).  But only when an i n d i v i d u a l dies are the l a s t traces  of foreign s p i r i t material f i n a l l y eliminated, and the l a s t compensation paid.  Children are turned into a b a t t l e f i e l d because t h e i r l o y a l t i e s are ambivalent.  Though a young man  belongs by b i r t h to the clan of h i s  father, and normally l i v e s i n the v i l l a g e where h i s father l i v e s , he nevertheless has a network of personal kinship t i e s cross-cutting t h i s primary allegiance ( c f . op. c i t . 24-25).  His t i e s with his mother's  brother, or with h i s s i s t e r ' s children are. chief among these, and h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s with these people are close and affectionate, often  -117-  i n v o l v i n g the giving of mutual g i f t s and assistance ( c f . op. c i t . 24, 37-38).  Faced with the prospect of l o s i n g i t s sons at maturity t o t h e i r  mother's lineages, an i n f l u e n t i a l p a t r i - c l a n w i l l seek to suborn t h e i r l o y a l t i e s by the inducement of a subsidised entry ("help") into the prestigious gimaiye c i r c u i t . i s not i n competition  The point i s that with h i s sponsor a man  ( c f . Uberoi 1971  : 86).  In Malinowski*s apt ex-  pression: "the son becomes i n some sort h i s father's lieutenant" ( c f . op. c i t . 101).  I f as regards the sons of the p a t r i - c l a n , the accent i s on d i v e s t i n g as much as possible of the claims of the maternal side, f o r i t s daughters the preoccupation,obversely,  i s with asserting claims.  This takes the oblique form of preventing the loss of her s p i r i t material, which belongs to her father's clan, and which can be endangered by such things as menstruating on "foreign" s o i l , and e s p e c i a l l y by her marriage. Marriage means the loss of her physical body to her own clan. But throughout her married l i f e her brothers r e t a i n t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n the clan soul, which s t i l l resides i n her, and which i s i n h e r i t e d i n part by her children, who thereby come within the j u r a l i n t e r e s t of the mother's brother - at least to the extent that the soul i s not driven out and compensated f o r by the children's father. Looked at p o l i t i c a l l y , transactions of valuables across the generations  are either disingenuous celebrations of clan s o l i d a r i t y on  the part of i t s leaders, or attempts at s e d i t i o n by t h e i r r i v a l s . s o l i d a r i t i e s are not automatic, they are manipulated.  Clan  The shrewd Big Man  -118-  works to c r y s t a l l i s e the emotions and the awareness of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n hy activating the r a l l y i n g c a l l of gimaiye.  Such action i s e s s e n t i a l l y  symbolic, and t h i s a b i l i t y to so manage the l i v e s and allegiances of others i s inconceivable outside of i t s r e l a t i o n to the medium of the ceremonial valuables.  -119-  IV.  MONEY AND THE INTEGRATION OF SOCIETY  1. The Valuables - Treasure or Money? The gimaiye  valuables a r t i c u l a t e a series of r e l a t i o n s h i p s  between the clans, giving r i s e to a loose p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and economic federation.  I t was said at the end of the f i r s t chapter, where the per-  formance of s o c i a l organization was under discussion, that the linkages between components and the manner i n which reactions are transmitted throughoug the system, draws attention to the r o l e of one type of struct u r a l l i n k i n p a r t i c u l a r : money.  The "development" of t r i b a l or sub-  sistence economies of necessity presupposes consideration of the r e l a t i o n s between society and money. The gimaiye valuables c i r c u l a t e extensively without themselves being objects of consumption and t h e i r behaviour i n v i t e s the question about the status of t h i s class of exchange tokens as a possible p r i m i t i v e "money".  What, i f any, s o c i o l o g i c a l i n s i g h t s are l i k e l y t o be gained  from t r y i n g t o argue the native valuables into t h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n ? One s u p e r f i c i a l problem clouding the issue i s the odd feature about the valuables, that they are treasured inordinately without  being  d i s c e r n i b l y u t i l i t a r i a n (except f o r the p i g s ) , nor being made out of any substance which i n i t s e l f i s worth treasuring.  Gold and s i l v e r would  appeal to a Western notion of a treasure item, and of course h i s t o r y i s replete with instances of money coined i n gold or s i l v e r , or else upheld i n value by reference to a standard set by either of these metals.  But  as Neale (l976 : 10) warns, the sometimes close overlapping of money  -120-  uses with treasuring, or with the u t i l i t y of things, may confuse the thinking about money.  Because a treasure i s a store of value, or.  because i t i s occasionally used i n payment, i s no assurance that i t has other money uses.  In any event, i t i s not the nature of the physical  " s t u f f " that establishes the value of a money.  Money as an e n t i t y has  to assume some or other f u n c t i o n a l form, such as coinage, but as Belshaw (1964  : 86) says, i n the economist's sense i t i s a quite abstract e n t i t y . ... money can be used as a c l a s s i f i c a t o r y empirical referent, denoting a class of commodities or accounting values used i n s p e c i f i c ways t o f a c i l i t a t e an exchange system. Arguments then abound as to whether t h i s or that commodity or accounting value f a l l s within the d e f i n i t i o n of money, hence whether money can be found i n a society, hence whether the society i s monetary or not ... The reason I used the phrase "commodity or accounting value" ... i s that even i n c a p i t a l i s t society the notion of money i s not r e s t r i c t e d to the commodity, cash. Credit i s part of the money supply, and t h i s can be an abstraction. And i t i s generally accepted that the quantity of money i s the resultant of many forces including the v e l o c i t y of i t s c i r c u l a t i o n . In other words, money i s not a physical thing i n essence ... i t i s a compendium of functions. (Belshaw I965 : 9» emphasis i n o r i g i n a l . ) It i s the idea of money, Neale (1976 : 14) says, which i s used  i n comparing the values of two things or events, or to add together d i s s i m i l a r items by expressing them i n the common denominator of money values, or to state the extent of an obligation i n terms of a monetary debt.  And i t i s i n t h i s abstract or i d e a l capacity - not as a physical  " s t u f f " as such - that money f a c i l i t a t e s the processes by which obligat i o n s are liquidated, debts paid, or promises f u l f i l l e d . Within t h i s argument, can any room be made f o r the Siane valuables as a "money"? Malinowski thinks not.  In h i s appraisal of  -121-  the Trobriand Kula, a p a r a l l e l system turning on the exchange of treasured items c a l l e d vaygu a, he reveals his scepticism; The tokens of wealth have often been c a l l e d 'money'. It i s at f i r s t sight evident that 'money' i n our sense cannot e x i s t among the Trobrianders ... Any a r t i c l e which can be classed as 'money' or 'currency' must f u l f i l c e r t a i n e s s e n t i a l conditions; i t must function as a medium of exchange and as a common measure of value, i t must be the instrument of condensing wealth, the means by which value can be accumulated. Money also, as a r u l e , serves as the standard of deferred payments ... we cannot think of vaygu'a i n terms of 'money'. ( c i t e d i n Dalton I 9 6 7 : 255) Dalton (op. c i t . 256), however, complains of a tendency i n Malinowski, and i n other writers such as F i r t h , t o use the bundle, of a t t r i b u t e s or functions that money possesses i n Western market economies t o comprise the model of a "true" money, as though there can be a single all-purpose d e f i n i t i o n of money.  On t h i s supposition, money-like items  In p r i m i t i v e economies are always l i k e l y to perform some of the functions of Western money, but r a r e l y a l l .  But to go on to assert on the basis  of such a p a r t i a l resemblance that these primitive monies cannot " r e a l l y " be money i s , as Dalton remarks: ... a strange procedure f o r anthropologists, who would never use the bundle of a t t r i b u t e s of the Western family, r e l i g i o n or p o l i t i c a l organization i n such a way ... The question i s not - as i t i s conventionally put - are s h e l l s , woodpecker scalps, c a t t l e , goats, dog teeth, or Kula valuables " r e a l l y " "money"? I t i s , rather, how are the s i m i l a r i t i e s and the differences between such items and d o l l a r s r e l a t e d t o s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences i n socio-economic structure? (ibid.) Neale (1976  :  3-4,  45-46,  92,  95),  too, i s quite emphatic that  -122-  monies axe parts of a larger system of economic and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and that, there i s no d e f i n i t i o n or "essence" apart from the uses money objects serve.  I f there i s wide v a r i a t i o n from society to society i n  the functions, t r a i t s and processes money may r e a l i z e , then t h i s must obviously be a warning not t o expect a money necessarily, or even usually, to acquire a l l or any of the functions and uses Westerners associate with t h e i r money.  Nor can i t be assumed that Western money has a l l the func-  tions and consequences another money has, or which some future money may one day have. plural.  In short, there i s no one money: only monies i n the  And unless a money i s interpreted i n terms of the purposes i t  serves within the p a r t i c u l a r socio-economic system i n which i t occurs, the mere presence of coins, or cowries or beads, i s not of i t s e l f going to reveal very much of i n t e r e s t about the organization of an economy, or about the r o l e of money within i t .  Certainly i t does indicate that 1  payments are made i n coin or cowrie or bead; but i t w i l l not t e l l who uses the money and f o r what; whether the money i s e s s e n t i a l t o l i v e l i h o o d i n that society; whether i t s purchasing power over goods and services i s very great or very l i t t l e ; whether i t i s a "money of kings", or of the common man?  This i s b a s i c a l l y a substantivist l i n e of argument.  Indeed,  the persistent i n s e n s i t i v i t y to the v a r i e t i e s of s o c i o l o g i c a l condition i n which, empirically, monies operate owes, as Hammond (1964  : 96)  implies, to an i n a b i l i t y to transcend considerations of the market. Oddly, t h i s has not been properly corrected i n the course of the formali s t / s u b s t a n t i v i s t debate.  Neale (1976  : 18,  29, 30, 98) notes that i n  -123-  contestlng the way to state and interpret economic phenomena, both sides have argued over themes to do with r a t i o n a l i t y , trade and markets, hardly touching at a l l on the subject of money.  In modern times, Neale adds,  the assumption has been that money, markets and trade are so c l o s e l y associated that they have been taken to constitute, together with product i o n , a single sphere of a c t i v i t i e s - the "economy", comprehensively speaking.  But whatever the truth of t h i s as a depiction of a Western  economy, c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y i t i s c l e a r l y an error to assume such a close intermeshing as the paradigm.  These are notions which must be d i f f e r -  entiated: f o r trade can occur without money, just as there are moneyish uses of things without money being used i n trade.  There can be trade  without a market, as indeed money can be employed f o r non-commercial payments, as i n bride prices and bloodwealth.  Dalton  (1967) i s aware  of the confusion.  He takes up on  the "embeddedness" of primitive economic i n s t i t u t i o n s because i n h i s view, i t i s the compression of economic with non-economic variables i n those communities which are marketless, or f o r which the market i s at best peripheral, that turns out to be the c r u c i a l f a c t o r i n explaining how t h e i r money and money uses can d i f f e r so widely from money and money uses i n a market-dominated Western economy.  For i n a subsistence economy  l i v e l i h o o d cannot depend upon production f o r sale.  Where no market p r i n -  c i p l e e x i s t s , transfers of labour, resources, material goods and services have to depend upon such e s s e n t i a l l y non-commercial practices as obligatory g i f t s to k i n and friends, obligatory payments to chiefs and p r i e s t s , bridewealth, bloodwealth, fees f o r entering secret s o c i e t i e s , corvee  -124-  labour, mortuary payments, and so on. As a r e s u l t , such transfers are often concentrated and intermittent.  As f o r any money present, i t s  performance i s fashioned according to the norms and i n s t i t u t i o n a l s o l i d a r i t i e s of kinship or t r i b a l l i f e ! Items such as c a t t l e , goats, spears, Yap stones, and pig tusks take on r o l e s as s p e c i a l purpose money i n non-commercial transactions: they become means of ( r e c i p r o c a l or r e d i s t r i b u t i v e ) payments, as i n the case of bloodwealth and mortuary payments; or media of (reciprocal) exchange, as i s the case with bridewealth . (op. c i t , 265) These items are appropriately termed " l i m i t e d " or " s p e c i a l purpose money" i n the l i t e r a t u r e , i n the sense that a s e l e c t i v e number of the d i f f e r e n t possible functions of money are " c a l l e d f o r t h " by the normative requirements and transactional p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s of an underlying socio-economic system, functions which are then separately i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d around these s p e c i a l i s e d monetary symbolisms.  "Money t r a i t s d i f f e r where  socio-economic organization d i f f e r s , " Dalton (op. c i t , 264, 280) sums up. So when Malinowski decrees that Kula valuables are d i f f e r e n t from Western currency, he r e a l l y only succeeds i n pointing out that r e c i p r o c a l g i f t g i v i n g i s d i f f e r e n t from market purchase and sale.  That difference i s quite profound.  In i t s c l a s s i c a l private-  enterprise version, market purchase and sale means that the demand i n money f o r one good or another determines which goods w i l l be produced, and therefore how the factors of production w i l l be used and which kinds of industry w i l l expand capacity. paid i n cash.  People work f o r wages or s a l a r i e s ,  From t h i s derives t h e i r purchasing power, so that items  -125-  of consumption are d i s t r i b u t e d among f a m i l i e s as they buy them from stores with t h e i r money.  The market dominates man's uses of nature,  himself, h i s t o o l s ( c f . Neale 1976  : 3U).  Where market exchange i s  ubiquitous, to the point where a l l money uses r e l a t e to i t , i t becomes f e a s i b l e , and indeed necessary, to i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e a l l uses of money within a single monetary instrument ( c f . Dalton I967 '• 256-257,  260).  Money i n modern market-integrated economies has, i n consequence, a l i q u i d i t y across a very wide range of transactions.  Accordingly, such  currencies have been termed "general purpose money", though Neale (1976 : 3) more circumspectly c a l l s them "multipurpose" as a reminder of the l i m i t s upon the uses of even t h i s money, whatever v e r s a t i l i t y i t might have i n contrast to s p e c i a l purpose monies.  2. Arithmetic and S o c i a l Change Money i s a powerful s o c i a l device, none more so than modern general or multi-purpose money (cf. op. c i t . 32,  86,  95)•  Money can  induce performance; inflows and outflows of money can be used to measure and to regulate performances. the  It i s often possible to substitute f o r  performance of an action with a payment i n money.  Such i s the  practice of accepting i n the place of k i l l i n g one of another's clan out of obligations of revenge. are  By a monetary r e n d i t i o n of values, people  able to compare things with events or with performances.  Muses  Neale: " I can compare a herd of cows to a skyscraper, and either with scything a f i e l d of hay or with an operation performed by a surgeon. Any of these I can compare with the r i s k of a shipwreck i n New York harbour."  -126-  Price i s the relevant mechanism.  Part of the function of  p r i c i n g i n a Western economy i s to f a c i l i t a t e comparison of price quotat i o n s , so that a p o t e n t i a l consumer can "shop around" as between d i f f e r ent s e l l e r s of the same products,  or between d i f f e r e n t products altogether.  L i q u i d money means unfettered choice.  There i s no meaningful equivalent  of t h i s i n Siane, or any other primitive society.  A brideprice hardly  implies the l i b e r t y to shop around; and the multi-centric format of the Siane economy i s by i t s e l f an i n d i c a t i o n that choices are hedged i n with respect to what can be paid f o r or measured by t h e i r gimaiye money, or who  can or must make the payments, when and i n what circumstances  payments are made or values measured, and how,  that i s i n what form and  with what procedures, t h i s must be done.  These r e s t r i c t i o n s of choice, imposed by s p e c i a l i z e d monetary agencies, are to be understood as surface r e f r a c t i o n s of underlying socio-economic r e a l i t i e s .  Then not only may  a money be expected to  y i e l d important clues as to the present organization of r e l a t i o n s h i p s , but i t s s p e c i a l i z e d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s should also provide a way  of a n t i -  cipating the reaction of that organization to the impingement of Westerns t y l e market economy and money. Western money does rather more than merely replace the t r a d i t i o n a l money-stuffs i n c i r c u l a t i o n , as i s the somewhat s i m p l i f i e d impression Davenport (1961) creates i n h i s a r t i c l e dealing with just t h i s meeting of monies i n a Melanesian community. Multi-purpose money, accruing i n native hands from such market sources as cash-cropping and wage labour, may  well come to be used i n the place  of the t r a d i t i o n a l exchange items f o r the purposes of discharging  -127-  various non-commercial obligations i n the native context.  In doing  so, i t can play an important part i n creative a c t i v i t i e s , e s p e c i a l l y because i t expands the e f f e c t i v e freedom of i n d i v i d u a l s .  I t can also  be destructive of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , helping to introduce changes f a s t e r than the people of that society can adapt t h e i r ideas and s o c i a l processes to cope with them ( c f . Neale 1976  : 76).  E i t h e r way,  something  fundamental i s happening: In economies which formerly were marketless or had peripheral markets, a s t r u c t u r a l l i n k - Western cash now exists between spheres of a c t i v i t y which formerly were separate. Western money therefore has i n e v i t a b l e repercussions on t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l organization and cultural practices. (Dalton 1967 : 280) Multi-purpose money i s part of the architecture of the modern world economy: the "development" of primitive economies confronts the i n eluctable f a c t of money.  H i s t o r i c a l l y , there have been occasions when  modern money has been made a deliberate instrument i n t r a d i t i o n a l economies.  Neale (1976  of s t r u c t u r a l change  : 77-8l) describes a c o l o n i a l  instance, that of B r i t i s h Central A f r i c a , where the Pioneers  conceived  of a u n i f i e d system of society and economy r e l y i n g on money to coordinate the l a r g e l y European sector of production and d i s t r i b u t i o n of commodities with a projected Bantu contribution of wage labour and cash-fed consumerism. The costs of Government would be met out of taxes. t i o n , money was the l i n k between man,  In the Pioneer assump-  work and material welfare.  Not so  f o r the Bantu, who found himself deprived by conquest of s u f f i c i e n t land t o continue s a t i s f a c t o r i l y with h i s t r a d i t i o n a l economic a c t i v i t i e s and who had no f a m i l i a r i t y with modern money, and l i t t l e or no incentive to  -128-  work f o r Europeans to earn i t .  Added to t h i s was the contradiction that  i t was B r i t i s h C o l o n i a l Office p o l i c y to i n t e r f e r e as l i t t l e as possible with indigenous customs, and to give over reserved areas f o r the natives to continue t h e i r older way economy.  of l i f e when not engaged i n the monetized  Given the design of the Pioneers, t h i s p o l i c y i f anything  created a b a r r i e r to further adjustments on the part of the Bantu. I f c u l t u r a l misunderstandings and d i s l o c a t i o n are a v i r t u a l i n e v i t a b i l i t y i n situations such as t h i s , i t i s because modern money i s an i n t e g r a l operating part of the European system of ideas.  It belongs  t o a society which has been commercialized f o r generations, i n whose view of the world i t i s inconceivable that people do not o r d i n a r i l y work f o r money or s e l l what they produce f o r money.  One thing i n p a r t i c u l a r i s  remarkable about the i d e o l o g i c a l climate which sustains modern money, and i t i s the one thing which above a l l points to i t s uniqueness as a medium compared with p r i m i t i v e monies.  It was  This i s arithmetic.  said that money i s an abstraction, i n essence an idea,  or c o n s t e l l a t i o n of ideas.  Following i n t h i s connection, i t i s important  that the r e l a t i o n s h i p s among the functions of money are l o g i c a l ones, and not h i s t o r i c a l ones ( c f . Neale op. c i t . 8). 9)  Moreover, Belshaw (1965  explains that a l l the functions of money - medium of exchange, store  of value, purchasing power, u n i t i z a t i o n of value, l i q u i d or short term c a p i t a l , l i q u i d reserves i n general - are l o g i c a l l y dependent on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of l i q u i d i t y .  L i q u i d i t y i s the r e l a t i v e ease with which  a commodity (or entry i n an account book, even) can be exchanged.  But  :  -129-  what i s the cognitive basis of t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , as i t i s found i n a modern multi-purpose money?  What i s the formal property which gives  to t h i s transactional medium i t s protean powers of exchangeability? The simple answer i s that i t i s f a c t o r i a l , and thereby amenable to systematic and precise a r i t h m e t i c a l operations of d i v i s i b i l i t y , multip l i c a t i o n , summation, and so on. The bamboo t a l l i e s which Siane use to compute various aspects of t h e i r exchange of valuables nowhere nearly approximate to t h i s degree of arithmetical system.  Nor are the gimaiye  valuables fungible, which i s another e s s e n t i a l product of f a c t o r i a l i t y , and an important t r a i t of a highly l i q u i d money.  Money i s fungible when  any one u n i t , or several u n i t s , of the money i s substitutable f o r any other units of the same value or denomination i n the monetary system ( c f . Neale 1976 : 8, 94). Four quarters and a d o l l a r b i l l are "the same" f o r monetary purposes; just as i t makes no difference whether f i v e ten cent stamps are stuck on an envelope, or one f i f t y cent stamp. But without the common measure and abstract calculus of value given by arithmetic, on what possible grounds can Siane determine say that two pigs have the equivalent value i n exchanges as four s h e l l s and one plume, or some other combination?  Without q u a n t i f i c a t i o n , there i s ambiguity  and argument which, i t has already been seen, i s almost exactly the point of gimaiye.  Interestingly, f u n g i b i l i t y also requires anonymity i n the money-stuff.  When, f o r instance, quasi-monetary items l i k e stamps  become c o l l e c t o r ' s pieces - treasures or valuables, i n other words -  -130-  t h e l r interchangeability i s no longer automatic.  Now  i f someone i s  offered f i v e ten cent stamps i n exchange f o r a f i f t y cent stamp i n h i s possession, he i s certain to ask "Which ten cent stamps exactly?" I f he were offered f i f t y cents cash, however, he would say "Yes" or "No"  of "Maybe", but hardly "Which f i f t y cents?"  That question would be  incongruous, Neale comments, so fungible i s modern money.  But i t i s  exactly the type of question that gets asked i n the context of a primit i v e money system.  As Malinowski has recorded:  It must be noted that each one of the f i r s t - c l a s s arms h e l l s and necklaces has a personal name and a h i s t o r y of i t s own, and as they a l l c i r c u l a t e around the b i g r i n g of the Kula they are well-known, and t h e i r appearance i n a given d i s t r i c t always creates a sensation,  (1967  :  174)  Even i n the case of Rossel Island money ( c f . Armstrong 19^7,  Baric  1964)  where the r e g u l a r i t i e s of equivalence between s h e l l s of higher and  lower  denominations has developed to a degree that i s unusual i n Melanesia, the money i s not completely fungible. The exceptions pertain to the higher-valued s h e l l s , and seem to be f o r the reason of protecting t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y or d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s i n exchange. come clearer i n due  The point of t h i s w i l l  course.  3. Purchasing Power as "Real" Wealth This presentation of money as a cognitive set, having formal properties of one sort or another from which derive the organizing p r i n c i p l e s i n a system of socio-economic  r e l a t i o n s h i p s , i s l i k e l y to incur  d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n amongst some f o r i t s love of abstraction. It i s an approach overly given to intangibles, i t might be objected, whereas  -131-  what counts i s the way money and material wealth combine and i n t e r r e l a t e i n a r e a l world economy. Behind the c r i t i c i s m i s the considerat i o n that a l l the functions money performs can i n f a c t be expressed i n terms of the idea of money as a means of payment.  In newer books, money  i s often simply defined as the means of u n i t i z i n g purchasing power. "Purchasing power" amounts t o more or less the same thing as "means of payment", but i t i s the preferable term because i t highlights the truth that to hold money i s to be endowed with the a b i l i t y to command goods and services or to r e f r a i n from commanding them ( c f . Bohannan 196? : 123;  Neale 1976  : 7,  53-55).  Money values inhere i n the context of  the productive economy. A f t e r a l l , i t was Adam Smith who proposed that the wealth of a nation l i e s i n the productivity of i t s resources and population.  In doing so, he marks a t r a n s i t i o n from the mercantilist period  from the sixteenth through to the eighteenth centuries i n Europe, when s i l v e r was sought from the New World f o r the coinage to make payments, i n the misdirected b e l i e f (though i t i s a s i m p l i f i c a t i o n t o state i t thus) that the value a money transmits owes to the money substance i t s e l f being valuable.  Rather, i f money i s an alternative f o r a system  of exchange by d i r e c t barter, then, to borrow Neale's (1976  : 85)  metaphor, money i s a " v e i l " disguising the " r e a l " prices of goods and services i n terms of each other.  Applying the argument to. the understanding of the gimaiye valuables, i t should greatly advance the understanding of t h e i r s o c i a l r o l e f a r beyond the idea that they are merely the symbolic counters i n an elaborate pseudo-economical charade of status competition, and clear  -132-  up once and f o r a l l the l i n g e r i n g perplexity as to why the natives devote excessive attention to objects which contribute nothing obvious t o t h e i r material welfare, i f one would penetrate to the core of economic r e a l i t i e s "veiled" by the p o l i t i c a l ceremony. There i s evidently s u f f i c i e n t reason to i n s i s t upon the l i k e l y presence of material i n t e r e s t s concealed i n s o c i a l custom.  It i s an  anchor f o r analysis, detached from which Malinowski, f o r one, tends to lapse into bizarre psychologism.  The very high value of vaygu'a, he  expounds grandly, emanates from: ... the fundamental human impulse to display, to share, to bestow ... the deep tendency to create s o c i a l t i e s through exchange of g i f t s . Apart from any consideration of whether the g i f t s are necessary or even useful, giving f o r the sake of giving i s one of the most important features of Trobriand sociology, and, from i t s very general and fundamental nature, I submit that i t i s a universal feature of a l l primitive s o c i e t i e s ... The Kula i s the highest and the most dramatic expression of the native's conception of value, and i f we want to understand a l l the customs and actions of the Kula i n t h e i r bearings, we must, f i r s t and foremost, grasp the psychology that l i e s at i t s basis.  (1968  Against t h i s , Uberoi (1971  :  1^8,  158)  :  37)  c r i t i c i s e s Malinowski f o r being  so concerned to emphasise the n o n - u t i l i t a r i a n and seemingly economically i r r a t i o n a l ceremonial side of Kula, that he greatly minimized the importance of the "trade which follows the f l a g " . (1955  !  27),  It i s confirmed by Belshaw  i n another Melanesian example, that normal trade goes hand  i n hand with p o l i t i c a l partnerships, i t s connections much more widespread i n fact.  And Stein (1963) t a l k s of Radin's a b i l i t y to see the balance  In primitive l i f e between u t i l i t y and ceremony, rather than taking i t  -133-  t o be lopsided i n the d i r e c t i o n of the l a t t e r , as western society i s towards the former.  He quotes Radin:  In general, the tendency has been to speak of a l l aspects of primitive economics connected with transfer, barter and purchase, as i f t h e i r main function was to serve as an outlet f o r the expression of s p e c i f i c human emotions and as i f there was not a rigorous r e s t r i c t i o n of purely personal a c t i v i t y i n such matters.... What apparently Fortune, Malinowski and Thurnwald seem to have f a i l e d properly to understand and stress i s that one of the primary r o l e s , i f indeed, i t i s not a c t u a l l y the primary, of a transfer and exchange i s to v i s u a l i z e , dramatize and authenticate the existence of certain f i x e d r e l a t i o n s subsisting between s p e c i f i c people and that t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p has a "monetary" value. The actual reaffirmation of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p may take an exceedingly short time and the non-material emoluments flowing from i t a very long time. That i s , a f t e r a l l , true of every type of exchange and t r a n s f e r . It i s an u n j u s t i f i a b l e procedure to relegate the u t i l i t a r i a n aspect of a t r a n s f e r among primitive peoples to a secondary position because of the richness and durat i o n of i t s n o n - u t i l i t a r i a n accessories, just as unj u s t i f i a b l e as i t would be to do the same i n our own civilization.  (op. c i t . 199-200) Returning to the Siane, these arguments can c l e a r l y be applied t o reveal some of the l e v e l s on which a complex phenomenon l i k e gimaiye functions.  F i r s t i n the matter of the "trade which follows the f l a g " .  Salisbury (1962  : 86)  indicates that Siane are c a r e f u l to f o s t e r r e l a t i o n s  i n areas producing a desired item unobtainable l o c a l l y .  Inter-district  trade i s an important business, but the degree of p o l i t i c a l i n s e c u r i t y p r e v a i l i n g amongst a consociation of h o s t i l e clans makes i t a t r a d i t i o n a l necessity to combine a trading r e l a t i o n s h i p with a k i n r e l a t i o n s h i p ( c f . Burridge i960 : 52).  Sometimes t h i s can be organized through clear clan  connections - mother's brothers and s i s t e r ' s sons.  Owners of r o i trees  -134-  might thus pay a v i s i t t o kinsmen owning pandanus trees to help  harvest  the nuts and from whom they receive nuts, and the nut-owners l a t e r v i s i t the roi-owners and receive o i l .  Salisbury says that though a system  resembling barter seems t o be struck up, i n the native mind t h i s i s "help", umaiye.  However, such kinship r e l a t i o n s can be extremely tenuous, even non-existent,  whereupon e i t h e r legendary kinship attachments are  or another device i s resorted t o .  invented,  This amounts t o "adopting" s t r u c t u r a l  enemies under the r u b r i c of emona we.  In pidgin the term translates as  pren, " f r i e n d " , though l i t e r a l l y i t means "my male s i s t e r " , and i t i s applied t o a s i s t e r ' s husband, a wife's brother, a daughter's husband's father, a son's wife's father, or to more d i s t a n t l y r e l a t e d persons whom i t i s expedient t o acknowledge as " k i n " . r e l a t i o n s h i p , Salisbury claims.  Emona we i s generally a nebulous  Their importance consists c h i e f l y i n the  exchange of goods i t f a c i l i t a t e s , and a man w i l l often have one emona we i n each area where an out of the way commodity, l i k e python skins, i s obtainable.  It i s t o be noted that these g i f t s or presentations of  harvest are termed gimaiye, not umaiye.  Trade r e l a t i o n s i n t h i s category  are c l e a r l y set up through gimaiye channels - Salisbury mentions that c h i l d betrothals, f o r instance, often i n i t i a t e the exchange. (1971  Uberoi  : 9 - 10) stresses that by the a l l i a n c e s formed by the ceremonial  g i v i n g of valuables, the exchange partner becomes the main guarantee of safety on trading expeditions away from the clan v i l l a g e .  In other words,  the luxury trade i n the r a r e s t items i s a Big Man prerogative, f o r as Thurnwald ( c f . 19&7  !  242)  confirms,  only the man with the prestige and  -135-  p o l i t i c a l standing of a chief, or an established gimaiye or Kula partner, i s able t o carry on "foreign" business beyond h i s community.  It i s not made clear by Salisbury how c l o s e l y the luxury trade i n Siane i s bound, i n the fashion Malinowski describes f o r the Kula, into the cycle of ceremonial exchanges through the i n s t i t u t i o n of numerous s o l i c i t a r y g i f t s leading up to the more f o c a l and formal giving of the gimaiye valuables themselves.  There i s the possible implication  i n t h i s , that with p a c i f i c a t i o n the need f o r constant ceremonial r e affirmations of the p o l i t i c a l a l l i a n c e behind the exchange f a l l s away somewhat, leaving only the "pure" trade. (1971  Nevertheless, with Uberoi-  '• 153)» i t can be assumed that the tone of commercial morality i s  thus set by the decorum of the gimaiye proper, and, importantly, that the p o l i t i c a l tension i s what, i n the f i n a l analysis, ensures the o v e r a l l equivalence i n the flow of goods works i t s e l f out i n the long run. • A second and more fundamental way i n which the exchange values of gimaiye are grounded i n r e a l productive capacity concerns what Bohannan (1967  !  128-129) c a l l s "conversion".  Bohannan uses the term  s p e c i f i c a l l y with regard to multi-centric economies, such as Siane, or, i n the case of h i s own i n t e r e s t , the T i v of central Nigeria, and i t applies to those exchanges of items from one category t o another. I t i s distinguished from "conveyances", a single category.  which are exchanges of items within  Given that the spheres of exchange usually involve  a moral ranking, Bohannan says that conversions have a strong moral q u a l i t y i n t h e i r r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n and that they imply a s i t u a t i o n which leaves one party to the exchange i n a good position and the other i n a bad one.  -136-  Conveyances meanwhile are morally neutral. On both counts, Bohannan's terminology i n i t i a l l y seems i r r e l e v a n t to Siane.  "Morally neutral" i s incorrect i n view of the native idea that  conveyances within the subsistence sphere are "help", the symbolism of the primary i n t r a - c l a n ethic; while conversions, by the r a d i c a l separation of the categories, are ostensibly impossible.  Nevertheless they do occur,  and i n two ways: Vegetables are given i n gimaiye, though t h i s anomaly i s "morally r a t i o n a l i z e d " , as Bohannan would put i t , by presenting the food uncooked and i n very great quantities ( c f . Salisbury 1962  : 103).  This removes  any ambiguity about t h e i r being "help", since vegetables given i n umaiye are cooked and i n small enough quantities to be immediately the i n d i v i d u a l to whom they are given.  usable by  It i s therefore a corporate trans-  action, Salisbury concludes, a presentation of goods to be stored and a l l o c a t e d as the r e c e i v i n g clan wishes.  The more s i g n i f i c a n t form of conversion i s pigs.- Pigs are valuables unequivocally, unlike vegetables - but pigs feed on yams and other gardening produce.  Moreover pigs and wives have an e s s e n t i a l a s s o c i a t i o n .  Wives nurture a man's pigs, quite l i t e r a l l y with her own breast milk when they are young, and also by tending the gardens which grow the yams. Wives are exchanged f o r pigs, so that the more pigs a man has, the more wives he can hope f o r . And more wives means more pigs, and an augmented purchasing power i n the gimaiye network.  This c i r c u l a r i t y i s behind  Malinowski's  comment, "Gardening, and e f f e c t i v e gardening at that, with a large surplus  -re-  produce, l i e s at the root of a l l t r i b a l authority" ( 1 9 3 5  5 6 ) .  From the individual's point of view, to convert subsistence wealth into prestige wealth, and both into women, i s a p r o f i t a b l e and s e l f - v a l i d a t i n g endeavour.  Put into economist's terms: conversion i s  the ultimate type of maximization  ( c f . Bohannan  I967  :  Looked at  129).  macroscopically, through conversion v i a the intermediation of the v a l u ables, the p o l i t i c a l cycle absorbs the accumulation from the production cycle.  The production cycle brings i n a material r e s u l t and gives out  a prestige r e s u l t .  This influences i n turn the p o l i t i c a l standing (read  "purchasing power" or "command wealth") of the s i g n i f i c a n t actors within the system, and t h i s again has effects on the production cycle, there to be further strengthened and consolidated with more investment result.  f o r maximal  Quoting from Izikowitz, "The two cycles together form a l i f e  stream i n time, and a l l actions f l o a t along through the canals which are made by the r e l a t i o n s h i p s , that i s , by the structure" ( 1 9 6 3  : 1 3 3 , 148).  4. Money as Promise: Credit Farming To r e s t the question of the power of money at t h i s point would, however, be woefully i n s u f f i c i e n t .  Uberoi ( 1 9 7 1  '• 1 5 8 ) who introduced the  c r i t i c i s m of Malinowski that h i s approach to phenomena l i k e Kula lacks economic "realism", nevertheless i n s i s t s that there i s a f u l l e r explanation than t h i s f o r the high value attached to the Kula objects, and i t requires that the s p e c i f i c a l l y s o c i a l value of the Kula must be understood.  This  comment connects with what Bari6 has a l l along been saying, that these are embedded systems and therefore s o c i o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s coalesce i n the  -138-  operation of such economic variables as money, investment, saving, c r e d i t , and so on. The clue i s found i n Malinowski himself, as i t happens.  Having  apostrophized about vaygu'a that items of t h i s type are transacted out of the primitive's putative "impulse to bestow", to share, to create s o c i a l t i e s through exchange of g i f t s , he r e f l e c t s i n a contradictory vein that "through a p r a c t i c a l l y useless g i f t , a burdensome o b l i g a t i o n i s imposed, and one might speak of an increase of burdens rather than an increase of u t i l i t i e s " (1968  : 37)•  This afterthought conforms much more c l o s e l y to  the s p i r i t of Mauss's e l u c i d a t i o n of gift-exchange  ( c f . B a r i c 1964 : 50)»  He r e a l i z e d that what i s an apparently generous and d i s i n t e r e s t e d g i f t g i v i n g not only sets up a duty to repay ( f a i l i n g which there remains a perpetual s o c i a l obligation to the g i v e r ) , but that i t also e n t a i l s both that i t i s a duty to give ( i n order to maintain authority and p r e s t i g e ) , and that i t i s a duty to receive (or else cut o f f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s ) . Salisbury would c e r t a i n l y assimilate the Siane gimaiye ceremonial exchanges to t h i s type, f o r he i s e x p l i c i t that when a clan accepts a presentation of valuables they are p u b l i c l y assuming the o b l i g a t i o n to give value f o r what they receive and to return an equivalent ( c f . 1962 : 95)• In t a l k i n g about money, Neale (1976 to avoid the ideas of o b l i g a t i o n and debt.  s 4) claims, i t i s d i f f i c u l t  This i s because they are fund-  amental to the way a money l i n k s i n with s o c i a l a c t i o n .  The point i s  obscured by the popular conception that what makes money i s i t s associat i o n with a tangible and valuable s t u f f .  There i s much i n Western monetary  -139-  h i s t o r y to lend support to t h i s notion, f o r i n other times there have been monies hacked by s i l v e r or gold, or by a productive asset l i k e the productivity of land, or some other material e s s e n t i a l to generate an income of "proper" money s t u f f with which to redeem a paper money ( c f . op. c i t . 16).  On the other hand, Neale counters, there are h i s t o r i c a l  examples too of money (both of paper and base metal tokens) backed by nothing except the power of the state.  I t was l e g a l tender by f i a t ,  purchasing power c e r t i f i e d by government authority. important s i m i l a r i t y with modern money.  In t h i s there i s an  Nowadays, with the volume of  money i n c i r c u l a t i o n i n countries l i k e England and the United States, i t would be absurd t o expect that every pound note or d o l l a r b i l l could be redeemed f o r the gold f o r which the paper "stands": there just i s not that much gold i n either country.  Like f i a t monies of times past, the  point i s that the paper and the tokens "stand f o r " nothing except what they can do f o r t h e i r owners, which i s t o make payments to payees who w i l l accept the paper and tokens.  In other words, the key to t h i s money  i s to be found i n a process, not i n any substance.  I t i s consistent with  t h i s f a c t that the bulk of modern money resides not i n the actual physical currency c i r c u l a t i n g i n a society, but i n the form of "demand deposits", or chequing accounts, i n commercial banks.  In t h i s form money i s c o n s t i -  tuted by a set of l e g a l l y binding statements about r i g h t s and obligations ( c f . op. c i t . 14-15)•  For a demand deposit i s e s s e n t i a l l y a promise (and  thereby an obligation) by the bank to pay the depositor, or whomever the depositor orders the bank to pay, i n a form s a t i s f a c t o r y to the payee; and to own a demand deposit i s to have the r i g h t , the l e g a l power, t o act so  -140-  as t o set i n motion a series of events (payments) that w i l l a l t e r the state of l e g a l r i g h t s and obligations, including the r i g h t s (demand deposits) and obligations (debts, payments owing) of the owner.  Payment i s made  by reducing the amount promised by the bank to the cheque-writing depositor, and increasing the amount promised to the r e c i p i e n t (payee) of the cheque, at the same or at a d i f f e r e n t bank.  There i s no " s t u f f " i n t h i s , corres-  ponding to the demand deposit, which the bank must have i n i t s possession i n order to substantiate i t s promises and obligations.  What backs up the  system of demand deposits i s no thing as such, but the process of enforcement of the law of contract.  The demand deposit i s a l e g a l l y binding con-  t r a c t , Neale explains: The records w i l l prove that the actions /of e f f e c t i n g a payment by cheque/ occurred and the courts w i l l enforce the new state of obligations (debts and c r e d i t s ) . It i s the actions taken - the processes of banking, with t h e i r l e g a l consequences - that have "paid my debt". No s t u f f has been paid (handed over). In f a c t , a p e c u l i a r i t y of our system of payment by process i n the banking system i s that the only moveable s t u f f - the check - returns at the end of the process to the payer." (op. c i t . 15? emphasis i n o r i g i n a l ) Where promises are the basis of the monetary system, c r e d i t i n a c a p i t a l i s t society can e a s i l y be seen to extend the conception monetary supply ( c f . Belshaw  1965 : 9,  Neale  I976 : 92-92).  of a  Credit i s a  name f o r a v a r i e t y of arrangements f o r postponing payment of a debt u n t i l the future, a l l of which, Neale says, have i n common some variant of the statement by one party, the creditor, that he w i l l believe the promise of the debtor that the payment w i l l be made. Neale i s preoccupied with comparing and contrasting c r e d i t with money i n terms of the difference that promises i n the former instance are not usually negotiable by t h i r d  -141-  p a r t i e s , whereas hank promises concerning demand deposits or bank notes are transferable to t h i r d as, indeed, t o fourth and f i f t h parties i n f u l l and f i n a l payment.  But whether t h i s makes credit properly "money" or  not i s l e s s relevant here than the obvious consideration that creditors "believe" the promises of t h e i r debtors, because such obligations invoke control.  I t i s of paramount i n t e r e s t to emphasise how debt, c r e d i t ,  c o n t r o l , and the managerial function conveyed by the notion of "command wealth", can come together i n the manipulations  of a monetary  instrument.  In the circumstances of an extensive system of promises and outstanding debts what i s c a r d i n a l l y important to i t s operation i s that there be a record, some way of keeping track of a kaleidoscopic s i t u a t i o n : Siane's bamboo t a l l i e s considerably amplified. That i s what Neale (op. c i t . 15-1?) c a l l s "stuff-as-evidence". Some of the forms i n which money e x i s t s - d o l l a r b i l l s , pound notes, and the ledgers, bank statements and megnetic tapes on which demand deposits and credit extensions are recorded - are best regarded as evidences of promises t o pay, or, obversely, of the courts' commitment to f o r c i n g the c r e d i t o r to accept payment i n the banknotes of the nation's c e n t r a l bank . It i s i n t h i s capacity as a notation recording information about deferred payments, or about any money valuation or transaction,that money can be used to enforce the r i g h t s and duties of i n d i v i d u a l s and groups within a society.  Neale discusses the r o l e of money i n the planned economy of the  Soviet Union, where prices do not emerge as the r e s u l t of the free play of i n d i v i d u a l i z e d supply and demand. They are set to r e f l e c t the aims  -142-  and p r i o r i t i e s of the c e n t r a l planners, and are then used to monitor the p r o f i t a b i l i t y and performance of plants i n r e l a t i o n to the objectives of the Plan.  Payments are made between plants and other enterprises by  t r a n s f e r s through the State Bank, primarily on the basis of c r e d i t s such enterprises are authorized to have by the Plan, rather than by means of cash receipts from sales to other enterpsises.  While e x h i b i t i n g much of  the appearance of a means of payment or medium of exchange, Soviet money i s largely, a money of account and a means of massive s o c i a l c o n t r o l . market economies, Neale (op. c i t . 23)  In  concludes, "money-as-purchasing-  power gives the possessor great power; i n the Soviet Union power gives the possessor money-as-purchasing-power to carry out public p o l i c y i n many aspects of l i f e . " Modern money, p a r t i c u l a r l y by i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s i n g debt, has thus a demonstrable r e l a t i o n to s o c i a l control, and the suggestion control can be more or less planned or deliberate.  i s that  Whatever the  appearances of primitive monies, the p r i n c i p l e i s the same.  outside  It i s clear  from the pattern of customary delay between exchanges that the gimaiye valuables, along with the supporting t a l l i e s , are the standard  of deferred  payment f o r the debts which organize Siane society p o l i t i c a l l y (of. op. c i t . 36).  Siane investment i n s o c i a l c a p i t a l was  c a l l e d pseudo-economics.  before disparagingly  In f a c t , i t i s nothing l e s s than a ramifying  system of credit i n which i n f l u e n t i a l creditors f o s t e r s o c i a l l y useful obligations by debts a r i s i n g from the g i v i n g of valuables.  Credit i s a universal phenomenon, i n other words, e s p e c i a l l y  -143-  where i t i s agreed that making a loan can occur i n a non-monetary form, and neither party need measure the credit extended i n monetary forms. What t h i s has i n common with the sort of credit advanced or measured i n monetary terms i s the c r i t e r i o n that there are obligations to make payments i n the future rather than r i g h t away ( c f . op. c i t . 92). t i o n i s a sociological'notion.  Obliga-  Indeed, from the point of view of t h e i r  s o c i a l concomitants, Mauss saw g i f t exchange and credit as i d e n t i c a l Bari6 1964  : 50.  Baric, more circumspectly, claims only that there are  many s i m i l a r i t i e s between the two. (1964  : 32)  {c.f.  •'• Nevertheless  both she and F i r t h  accept the'necessity of i n t e r p r e t i n g credit s i t u a t i o n s s o c i -  a l l y as well as economically, p a r t i c u l a r l y with respect to the multiplex r o l e s of t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s where what may  appear to be an ordinary exchange  of commodities i s made to do a great deal of work i n other axeas of r e lationship. t h i s may  In e f f e c t , i n the i n t e r v a l i t takes to repay a debt (and  extend even to years), a r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s which may  be of  much wider s o c i a l dimensions than the creditor/debtor r e l a t i o n s h i p i n a Western economy.  The returns may therefore be d i f f u s e rather than s p e c i f i c .  As F i r t h says, though i n a narrow economic or material sense the debt cannot a l l be serviced, i n the wider s o c i a l context some forms of s o c i a l service, recognition, or other benefit may  be regarded as providing a  measure of equivalence to the o r i g i n a l loan.  It implies e s p e c i a l l y that  the c r e d i t o r can exercise control over the debtor's actions by c a l l i n g i n , or threatening to c a l l i n a loan, or by otherwise p u b l i c l y embarrassing him with reminders of h i s debts.  In such circumstances,  an early  return could be undesirable from the point of view of the c r e d i t o r , who  -144-  might prefer t o maintain the kudos and the attitude of s u p e r i o r i t y which h i s a b i l i t y to lend brings.  BariC' draws attention t o the p o s s i b i l i t y  that i t may even amount t o an i n s u l t to attempt to repay a c r e d i t o r . In s o c i e t i e s i n which r o l e s have t h i s multiplex dimension, a complete s e t t l i n g up means that good r e l a t i o n s are being broken o f f .  I t becomes  a d e l i c a t e task then to steer between f i n a n c i a l p r o f i t and k i n s o l i d a r i t y . In any event, when Salisbury (1962  : 152) says that much of the wealth  of present-day Siane i s i n valuables, and time and energy i s spent i n amassing stocks of these objects, the a n a l y t i c a l point to be made i s that wealth i n these s o c i e t i e s i s not i n the material possessions "Real" wealth i s e n t i r e l y incorporeal.  held.  More intangibly and dynamically,  i t consists i n power over people's actions, i n command wealth. Armstrong (1967  :  2 5 l ) uses the term "broker" as the most f i t -  t i n g t r a n s l a t i o n of the native word denoting a class of persons on Rossel Island who deal i n a s p e c i a l i s e d fashion i n the borrowing and lending of t h e i r s h e l l money. The term i s aptly extended to the r o l e of the Siane Big Man i n r e l a t i o n t o the gimaiye valuables. i n d i v i d u a l ' s point of view, Salisbury (1962  For from the  : 101) indicates, to have  a reputation f o r frequent disposal of valuables does not necessarily mean owning large stocks.  I t i s t o create the circumstances where he  always receives most valuables i n any ceremonial d i s t r i b u t i o n , so that he thereby puts himself i n a p o s i t i o n t o r e d i s t r i b u t e munificently. This can be achieved through public activism, Salisbury (op. c i t . 100) says, by taking the i n i t i a t i v e i n contributing one or two valuables on occasions l i k e betrothals and marriages, when payments are being made.  -145-  For the man  who  contributes most often to the payments of h i s clan-  mates, by the mechanisms of r e c i p r o c i t y , i s also the man  who  gets the  largest return i n the r e d i s t r i b u t i o n of any valuables received by the clan. The essence of t h i s role of brokerage i s to e s t a b l i s h a reputat i o n f o r creditworthiness.  Herein l i e s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the  t i o u s display of valuables as ornamental clothing.  ostenta-  This, as Salisbury  (op. c i t . 99-100) says, i s not l i k e an advertisement of large stocks that the wearer could consume i n use i f he so wished. demonstratively the Big Men  to bruit i t about that these have been given to a man  of other v i l l a g e s who  f a i t h f u l return.  Rather, they are worn by  t r u s t i n his c a p a b i l i t y to make a  What Malinowski s t y l e s as "the fundamental human impulse  to display" i s r e a l i s t i c a l l y seen asaa self-aggrandizing p o l i t i c a l s t r a t The more so once Salisbury (op. c i t . 92)  agem.  mentions that there i s a  need f o r such a man to cloak what he himself r e a l l y owns i n the way pigs and other assets, so as to avoid excessive borrowing.  of  Display i s a  v i t a l part of the potency of the gimaiye valuables, which i s also an i n sight into the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c that they are valuable only i f kept i n constant  circulation.  They are not a means of s t o r i n g value  because i t i s only by conspicuously  indefinitely,  t r a f f i c k i n g i n the valuables that a  Big Man's public standing becomes a matter of common knowledge and begins t o a t t r a c t numerous extra-clan r e l a t i o n s h i p s . This i s the point at which a man  can carry on "foreign business" beyond h i s community, f o r only t h i s  kind of man has the power to convert, v i a gimaiye, s t r u c t u r a l enemies i n t o allies. c i t . 101).  He can "walk unharmed a l l over the v a l l e y " , Siane say ( c f . op. To have a reputation established on t h i s basis i s to be  -146-  greatly respected.  I t i s the i d e a l i n Siane  eyes.  5. Managers and the Making of Money I f Siane money i s hut a system of promises and obligations, more exactly a convention than a thing or s t u f f , how i n the end i s i t upheld?  Without law courts and enforceable contracts, how are people  s o c i a l i z e d into an acceptance of i t s p a r t i c u l a r demands and p r i n c i p l e s ? Why, anyway, i s i t so rigorous, trammelling people i n a web of unending debt when, f o r instance, a few more valuables i n c i r c u l a t i o n would greatly a l l e v i a t e the pressure? Mary Douglas (1967  : 116),  who discusses a system of r a f f i a  c l o t h money among the Lele i n the former Belgian Congo, makes the comment that c a p i t a l investment  i n economies l i k e Lele or Siane may be as s t a t i o n -  ary as any other primitive economy. But from the point of view of an i n d i v i d u a l within who s t a r t s lending and borrowing valuables, i t appears as a temptingly expanding f i n a n c i a l system. material goods, h i s investments  Not d i r e c t l y productive of  are i n h i s own prestige.  Since h i s youth  a man has been drawing on the stocks of h i s elders, and has been made aware of a sense of o b l i g a t i o n when they helped him. As soon as he acquires any surplus stock of h i s own, he s t a r t s t o create obligations toward himself by helping a kinsman with marriage payments, or other dues. But i t becomes a treadmill, as Douglas describes: He gets drawn i n t o a s o c i a l game i n which, i f he cannot give the impression of generosity, he loses not only prestige but the opportunities of obtaining c r e d i t when he needs i t . A man's d i g n i t y as a member of a v i l l a g e , able to pay h i s way and help h i s k i n ,  depends on c r e d i t , f o r the contributions of clansmen to one another's r a f f i a / c . f . gimaiye/.needs are l a r g e l y a matter of g i f t s made i n the expectation that the r e c i p i e n t w i l l be equally generous when t h e i r turn comes to ask his help," (ibid.) Such hoped-for generosity does not a l t e r the a c t u a l i t y that the s i t u a t i o n i s generally one of an asymmetry of indebtedness between younger newcomers to gimaiye and older, established p a r t i c i p a n t s .  It i s an  e f f e c t of the proscriptions against free conversion of assets from the other two nexuses into purchasing power, or valuables, i n the gimaiye network, that the Big Men,  who  alone operate the gimaiye, are able to control  access to i t by the practice of sponsorship.  By s e l e c t i v e exclusion, they  r e t a i n v i r t u a l monopoly on the monetary instrument. apparent why  This makes i t very  the number of valuables i n c i r c u l a t i o n i s not increased to  ease the debt s i t u a t i o n entailed i n gimaiye.  Shortages i n the money supply  necessitate accelerated borrowing and extended c r e d i t , something Siane's most accomplished brokers must f i n d wholly congenial. Dalton (1967 manipulation.  : 262)  might balk at the suggestion  of purposeful  He remarks that i n contrast to r a t i o n a l market economies  where there i s deliberate control by governments of the quantities of money i n c i r c u l a t i o n , i n primitive economies t h i s feature of calculated control i s usually absent.  P a r t l y , he says, t h i s i s a t t r i b u t a b l e to the sources  of the primitive money-stuff i t s e l f , which are often contingent f a c t o r s of a v a i l a b i l i t y .  upon natural  More importantly, though, he considers that the  need f o r the deliberate v a r i a t i o n of the supply of money i s not e s s e n t i a l i n the case of a non-commercial money, f o r the reason that i t normally  -148-  lacks the immediate connection with production and d a i l y l i v e l i h o o d which a multi-purpose  money i n a market economy has.  The transactions i t  mediates are only occasional events, such as f i n e s , marriage payments. On the contrary, i t must he argued that gimaiye money i s subject to f i s c a l controls of some considerable ingenuity, and Dalton only misleads by the suggestion of haphazardness i n the money supply. i s to be appreciated i n Mary Douglas  1  This much  pointed remark that where "the  v i l l a g e budget i s run on a d e f i c i t , the l a s t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s a matter of accountancy, not of keeping valuables under ... hand" (1967  : 118).  The punctilious attention the Siane give to t h e i r bamboo t a l l i e s i s an i n d i c a t i o n of how  closely they monitor the changing gimaiye stakes f o r  the movement of the valuables keeps the balance of power i n constant  flow.  In addition to the t a l l i e s , monies of the gimaiye and Kula type evince another d e f i n i t e contrivance regulating the quantities i n c i r c u l a tion.  This same c h a r a c t e r i s t i c also acts to l i m i t the l i q u i d i t y of t h i s  kind of money (and therefore i t s o b t a i n a b i l i t y ) by putting up b a r r i e r s against the f u n g i b i l i t y of the valuables.  It w i l l be remembered that  there i s no anonymity i n the transaction of valuables; i t i s hardly an impersonal money market where anyone may  borrow or exchange from  anyone else at the going i n t e r e s t rate ( c f , Dalton 19&7  !  272).  Every  movement of these a r t i c l e s , every d e t a i l of the transactions i s f i x e d and regulated by a set of t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e s and conventions ( c f . Malinowski 1968  : 2l).  In t h i s s i t u a t i o n every valuable i s well-known  and, i n f a c t , i n d i v i d u a l l y named.  In contrast to a modern,  multi-purpose  -149-  money, the tokens of which are undifferentiated by anything other than the monetary value they symbolise, gimaiye valuables and vaygu'a are invested with what Dalton (1967 '• 225) ities" .  c a l l s "pedigrees" and "personal-  This i s fundamental to the creation of t h i s monetary system and  t o the bargaining power of the brokers which depends upon i t .  For one  thing, no forgery could break these conditions of controlled s c a r c i t y . Douglas (1967 : 116-118) explains the e f f e c t .  The s i t u a t i o n becomes one  i n which too few monetary items are chasing a f t e r too many debts and promises.  No sooner i s a valuable paid over than i t i s transferred again  to liquidate debts incurred elsewhere: an I-owe-you s i t u a t i o n quickly transforms into a you-owe-me one and back again.  Depending upon the  nature and urgency of the debt, repayment may be postponed f o r years, so stacking up outstanding scores to s e t t l e between transactors.  The. over-  a l l r e s u l t i s that pressures on the available money are q u a s i - i n f l a t i o n a r y . The demand f o r valuables can only be met by increasing the v e l o c i t y of c i r c u l a t i o n , given that the supply i s kept more or less constant.  No  one, Douglas concludes, can be expected to be anything but quick i n making claims, or ruthless i n pursuing debtors.  This i s probably true of  Siane, and i f so i t i s an apt r e f l e c t i o n on the taut Bigmanship.  competitiveness of  Yet the whole point i s that i t i s only by borrowing  from  others that a man establishes that he i s admired, i s of good c r e d i t , possesses d i g n i t y - and which i s why forgery i s not just impossible, i t would be f u t i l e ( c f . Neale I976 : 34).  S i m i l a r l y , the valuables are  valued primarily f o r the sake of the prestige won i n parting with them. There i s thus nothing to be gained by slowing down t h e i r v e l o c i t y of c i r c u l a t i o n , which would be the effect both of hoarding, and of increasing  -150-  the actual numbers of money items i n supply. So long as the Big Man can make a l l the payments he has promised to make, he i s f u l f i l l i n g h i s obligations and can continue to stay i n business lending valuables.  As the volume of loans increases, so step  by step, within a credit c e i l i n g , do the Big Men finance t h e i r lending i n e f f e c t by borrowing from others.  In other words, as the volume of  loans increases, so proportionately does the volume of demands f o r payments . In the context of modern-day banking, Neale (op. c i t . 62-63, 6^-66) says that economists c a l l such a process "money creation". Money i s created whenever a bank agrees to exchange i t s promise to pay (which demand deposit i s money) f o r the promise of a borrower to pay i n the future.  This procedure, i n Neale's opinion, creates a r o l e and a power  f o r money i n modern economies which i s lacking i n s o c i e t i e s with l i m i t e d purpose monies.  For money creation, plus the f a c t o r of l i q u i d i t y , allows  participants i n a monetized economy to gain control over enormous quant i t i e s of productive resources, and t o rearrange the uses of a v a i l a b l e human and natural inputs t o bring about changes i n the d i s t r i b u t i o n of wealth and income i n a society. Siane money i s admittedly i l l i q u i d , and neither are i t s factors of production accessible through market purchase and s a l e .  But would  there not appear t o be a comparison i n the one e s s e n t i a l respect that as an engineered  system of debt, the gimaiye disposes most e f f e c t i v e l y  over the human element i n economic production?  But Neale holds to a  -151-  basic difference between t h i s kind of native credit system and the indebtedness implied i n the process of creating money i n modern economies.  I t i s that when banks make promises i n the course of creating  money, those promises themselves become negotiable instruments, transferable to t h i r d p a r t i e s .  As he understands i t , where payments are made  i n monies l i k e cows, pigs or cowries, then the capacity to pay, to f u l f i l obligations, to purchase inputs ( i f indeed they are purchasable), requires g e t t i n g possession of quantities of the actual money s t u f f .  Borrowing  i s possible of course, but only where a creditor can be found who happens to have the necessary stocks physically a v a i l a b l e . be promises to pay i n the future.  So, too, there can  However, Neale argues:  ... such promises do allow people i n money systems t i g h t l y t i e d to physical money items to make payments i n excess of the actual physical items a v a i l a b l e , but the accounts we have of special-purpose monies seem to portray systems i n which the actual items rather than the promises to pay them make up the substance of the monetary system. Whereas the accounts do imply, at l e a s t , that the t o t a l number of "pigs" owned i n Oceania at any time exceeded the number of actual pigs, the p i g debts - the promises to pay - d i d not themselves c i r c u l a t e as negotiable instruments equivalent to money. One cannot, i n Oceania or East A f r i c a , borrow promises to d e l i v e r money items and then use these promises t o buy power and prestige; but what a modern corporation does when i t goes to banks to build f a c t o r i e s i s p r e c i s e l y to borrow promises which w i l l give i t control over great quantities of productive inputs. (op. c i t . 66, emphasis added.) Neale i s suggesting that the l i m i t a t i o n s on transactional a c t i v i t y i n Siane thus turn on the a v a i l a b i l i t y of a certain kind of physical good a f t e r a l l .  A more complete version of t h i s argument can  be found i n Douglas (1967: 1 2 l ) .  Big Men cannot "create money" ad l i b i t u m .  -152-  They cannot do t h i s because they must be able t o honour t h e i r promises, and w i l l themselves only lend on assurances of the other's capacity t o produce valuables i n return.  Siane money does not work simply because  Siane "believe" i n each other's promises t o repay, and because a payee •can be s a t i s f i e d that the obligation h i s payment sets up i s s u f f i c i e n t to guarantee an eventual return.  Beyond the pervasive fact of outstanding  obligations, i t i s t o be remembered that gimaiye valuables keep t h e i r high value because they give command over people, pre-eminently  women. Women  are always scarce i n a polygamous society, and they function i n t h i s kind of system as the reserve currency.  Consistently with Neale's phys-  i c a l i s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of native monies, i f a man's gimaiye debts threaten t o overwhelm him, he can cancel them by r e l i n q u i s h i n g r i g h t s over women i n favour of h i s creditor.  When t h i s happens, Douglas claims,  no comparison with bankruptcy could be apposite, f o r the s o c i a l bonds of c r e d i t o r and debtor have been replaced by kinship t i e s .  She considers  that t h i s f i n a l equation of valuables f o r r i g h t s over women i s what c l a r i f i e s the difference between the working of organized debt i n an embedded economy, and a market-oriented, system.  bank-created, modern monetary  I t explains, too, some of the apparent anomalies i n the p r i n c i p l e s  and attitudes underlying the d i s t r i b u t i o n of native valuables.  In p a r t i -  cular, the p o t e n t i a l l y disruptive trend towards i n f l a t i o n i s not controlled s o l e l y by the l i m i t s of the lender's c r e d u l i t y .  In the absence of a law of  contract and a j u d i c i a l establishment, a man i n Siane who advances valuables t o a debtor does so against the s e c u r i t y of the s i s t e r s and clanswomen of the borrower who are, often at a very young age, pledged as s e c u r i t y f o r loans.  Were the debtor t o refuse payment, or otherwise  -153-  default, public opinion would sanction extreme measures, such as s e i z i n g one of them by f o r c e .  I t follows, Douglas concludes, that the i n f l a t i o n -  ary trend i s transferred t o r i g h t s over women.  6. Money and the Native Theory of E v i l There i s s t i l l something deeper to the analysis of the valuables that has yet t o be reached.  Malinowski ( c f . 1968 : 26-27) contin-  ues t o voice uncertainties about how such systems can succeed and survive at a l l .  I f i t i s the main p r i n c i p l e underlying the regulation of actual  exchanges that the return of an equivalent must proceed only a f t e r a (sometimes considerable) lapse of time, what forces can r e a l l y keep partners to the terms of the bargain?  What i s t o stop a pressured  returning less than i s due, i f not defaulting altogether?  partner  How does i t  remain an equitable system when i n f l a t i o n a r y lending creates  circumstances  i n which debts become too onerous, and may even verge on servitude?  What  puts the brake on unscrupulous Big Men augmenting t h e i r powers by r u i n i n g debtors, who are anyway clan enemies, t o become petty tyrants l o r d i n g i t over f i n a n c i a l empires?  At the bottom of Malinowski's concern i s a r e a l i z a t i o n that wealth and women are not the ultimate end of "economic" phenomena l i k e Kula and gimaiye.  However he loses track of the insight i n the course of  a crusade against the r u l i n g assumption of the economic theory of h i s day, namely the idea that Economic Man i s an unremitting, s o l i t a r y s e l f aggrandiser.  In i t s place he enthroned a f i c t i o n of h i s own invention:  Primitive Man, a being whose "natural" s e l f - i n t e r e s t i s f o r f e i t e d i n  -154-  an unquestioning  obeisance to custom ( c f . L e C l a i r and Schneider 1968 :  4).  The r e s u l t i s a l e s s than edifying v i s i o n of native bad f a i t h : Here we come up against a very important feature of the native's mental attitude towards wealth and value ... Although l i k e every human being, the Kula native loves to possess and therefore desires to acquire and dreads to lose, the s o c i a l code of r u l e s , with regard t o give and take by f a r overrides h i s natural a c q u i s i t i v e tendency ... i t must be c l e a r l y set f o r t h that the r e a l force which binds a l l the people and t i e s them down i n t h e i r tasks i s obedience to custom, the t r a d i t i o n . " (Malinowski 1968 : 27, 30) Elsewhere Malinowski writes: The main s o c i a l force governing a l l t r i b a l l i f e could be described as the i n e r t i a of custom, the love of uniformity of behaviour ... A s t r i c t adherence to custom ... i s the main r u l e of conduct among our natives i n the Trobriands.  (1922 : 326-327)  Malinowski i s here indulging a purely ad hoc reason f o r the frequently remarked f a c t that natives often show a resistance to innovation, and a perplexing unconcern to i n i t i a t e of t h e i r own accord new l i n e s of investment that would improve the provision even f o r the near future.  What  i s more, i t begs exactly the question Salisbury i s asking as t o why should the Siane's "customary" commitment to gimaiye have confounded h i s expectat i o n s that they would prefer t o take f u l l advantage of the novel opportunities made available by the s t e e l axe.  productive  To invoke "the dead hand  of custom" i s both a f a u l t y f i g u r e of speech and a tautology, not a comprehensive  explanation ( c f . Yamey 1964 : 376, Goldschmidt 1964 : 4 8 6 ) ,  Culture i s a l i v i n g , changing, transformative thing, constantly energised by the actions i t mediates. has regrettably obscured.  Douglas recovers the point which Malinowski In Lele, the d i s t r i b u t i o n of women and r a f f i a  -155-  c l o t h wealth enunciates a c u l t u r a l theme: the complex game i n which these goods are the counters has "become f o r them an end i n i t s e l f : ... the Lele d i d not even seem to think of the system as one which gave e x t r i n s i c advantages to the winners, or disadvantages to the l o s e r s . They always spoke as i f s u f f i c i e n t explanation of the moves they made i s contained within the rules of the system i t s e l f , as i f i t were a game played f o r i t s own sake. (1954 : 144) To bring the discussion back to Siane two things must be said immediately: Firstly l i k e Siane.  there i s the pervasive problem of order i n a society  Ordinarily language might be expected to provide the basis  by which a set of primary c u l t u r a l meanings i s shared i n common, r e t a i n i n g a degree of constancy over time.  But Salisbury (1974  : 52-53) has recorded  that the Siane language, which i n i t s e l f has three d i a l e c t s , i s only one of a family of languages i n the broad area; so i t i s clear that language alone does not explain the f a c t that there e x i s t s , as Salisbury affirms there does i n spite of the l i n g u i s t i c d i v e r s i t y , a general c u l t u r a l and i n t e r a c t i o n a l homogeneity with no sharp d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s .  In f a c t , i t would  seem that the stock of key c u l t u r a l agreements i s encoded by a medium other than the verbal language, f o r what Siane everywhere hold i n common are the rules of gimaiye, the operation of which transcends the provincialism of language, v i l l a g e and clan, providing a modest pan-Siane unity of understanding and i n t e r e s t .  The second point relegates Malinowski to the ranks of those action t h e o r i s t s who tend to take the rules of the game, the symbols governing s o c i a l behaviour, as being outside the "arena" i n which the struggle f o r  -156-  power t a k e s p l a c e , when I n f a c t t h e s e symbols are d r a m a t i c a l l y i n the whole p r o c e s s a t e v e r y one Barth  involved  '•  o f i t s s t a g e s ( c f . Cohen 1974  42).  developed h i s p a r a d i g m a t i c t r a n s a c t i o n a l model i n o p p o s i t i o n t o  the  n o t i o n o f a s t a t i c moral system e x i s t i n g p r i o r t o b e h a v i o u r ( c . f . K a p f e r e r 1976  : 13)«  The  i n f l u e n c e o f a c l e v e r and  a m b i t i o u s B i g Man  has  seen t o depend d i r e c t l y upon h i s a b i l i t y t o manipulate r u l e s and by i n t e r p r e t i n g and r e - i n t e r p r e t i n g them. s o l u t i o n f o r the l a c k o f any  a r i t h m e t i c a l system behind S i a n e money, f o r o f the gimaiye t r a n s a c t i o n a l  precisely quantifiable.  t h e r e would be l i t t l e power and  no g r e a t  On the o t h e r hand,  s o c i a l consequence i n h i s r o l e  were i t not t h e case t h a t the meanings a r t i c u l a t e d through the of the valuables  symbols  Here f i n a l l y i s t h e f u n c t i o n a l  management c o u l d not proceed were the v a l u e s game e x p l i c i t , u n i v o c a l and  been  symbolism  t o u c h upon the p r o f o u n d e s t l e v e l s o f f e e l i n g and  under-  standing.  Indeed, f o r Siane the r u l e s o f t h i s game are u l t i m a t e l y meta-  physical.  F o r what i s t o be r e a l i z e d i s the e x t e n t  is  counterpointed  Put  by the n a t i v e c o n c e p t i o n  n e g a t i v e l y , and  debts f o r f e a r of sorcery. and  i n the  Douglas  p o l i c e functions that notions  t o which S i a n e money  o f a moral  order.  b l u n t e s t terms, S i a n e honour t h e i r  (1966  : 74-93) d i s c u s s e s the l e g a l  o f m y s t i c a l punishment have i n p r i m i -  t i v e s o c i e t i e s i n t h e i r e f f o r t s t o overcome t h e weakness o f t h e i r  social  organization.  of  In the modern world w i t h i t s enormous c o m p l e x i t i e s  economic i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e and d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , i t i s easy t o t a k e f o r g r a n t e d a whole p a r a p h e r n a l i a  o f s o c i a l c o n t r o l which would never be  c e i v a b l e i n s m a l l - s c a l e u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d economic c o n d i t i o n s . s o p h i s t i c a t e d awareness o f s o c i a l p r o c e s s e s ,  and  con-  Without a  lacking a military,  -157-  s p e c i a l i z e d p o l i c e , overseers and progress men scanning performance, s p e c i a l monetary incentives t o conform, and other developed of  agencies  s o c i a l control and punitive sanctions, primitive s o c i e t i e s resort to  the control of men's minds.  Ideas about witchcraft, magic and sorcery  enter into the commitment men and women make t o s o c i a l norms because i n New Guinea, as Burridge principle.  (i960 : 63, 69) says, sorcery i s no abstract  The b e l i e f that the sorcerer i s a man of f l e s h and blood,  and a moral being however immorally he may behave, provides a palpable referent i n day-to-day l i f e , and a contrast i n terms of which people may grasp the issues of l i f e and death, good and bad, wrongdoing and r i g h t doing, g u i l t and innocence, and the development of s e l f i n r e l a t i o n to society. If equivalence i s the c r i t i c a l norm by which natives judge a l l transactions, the balancing out of equivalences might be expressed, abstractly, merely i n terms of interest ( c f . op.ocit. 81, 8 3 , 107). But i n action on the ground, the ever-present fear of i l l - w i l l f i n d i n g sorcerous outlets e n t a i l s a constant s h i f t i n g of relationships u n t i l the mutual obligations contained within them can approximate at least to an overt conformity with equivalence.  Excessiveness by way of reciprocations  would only incur suspicion of the presumption  of a superior moral stance  i n virtue of what may only be a simple, productive competence.  An  h a b i t u a l l y weak response i n exchanges i s equally a contempt of the s o c i a l worth of the partner.  To disengage e n t i r e l y  from the constant p u l l of  r e c i p r o c i t i e s i s unthinkable, probably s u i c i d a l , f o r i t would mean the f a i l u r e of a l l the s o c i a l bonds by which a man i s expected to establish  -158-  himself i n l i f e , as a husband, father and producer.  Since a sense of  grievance cannot imply a moral equality between transactors, the s i t u a t i o n i s one, as Burridge makes clear, i n which a l l transgressions come to be interpreted as attacks on equivalence and related t o personal integrity.  A man f i n d s himself driven to constant moral watchfulness,  and the b e l i e f i n sorcery forces him to forward h i s i n t e r e s t s while a l l the while searching h i s conscience.  I f i t i s agreed that a man died  because he had caused "the jealousy of the mighty", Uberoi says i n a passage that reveals how a man who f l o u t s the accepted morality i s deserted by the normal sources of support, then his k i n are "relieved of the burdensome duty of vendetta", because the resentment of "men of rank and wealth" i s righteous and t h e i r r e t r i b u t i o n j u s t .  Sorcery thus points up the nature of Siane money, just as Siane money reveals the f u n c t i o n a l r o l e of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s e d sorcery b e l i e f s . Evidently F i r t h would have no d i f f i c u l t y with t h i s contention.  He spec-  i f i c a l l y recommends economists to adopt the widest possible purview when working i n non-Western contexts: In considering incentives t o repayment of credit o b l i gations i n a peasant economy, one expects to f i n d prominently f i g u r i n g the economic sanction - that f a i l u r e t o repay w i l l lead to a cutting o f f of a l l future sources of c r e d i t . In addition, there may well be some l e g a l sanctions through resort to the courts. But the whole question of seeking of credit and r e payment involves a theory of obligation not comprised merely i n terms of economic and l e g a l sanctions. In the simpler economic systems sanctions of a s o c i a l , moral and even r i t u a l order may be invoked.  (1964 : 32)  Interestingly, Salisbury (19&2  : 193) footnotes a suggestion  -159-  to him by Dr. D . l . O l i v e r that t r a n s a c t i o n a l patterns i n Siane might be examined i n terms of the sanctions compelling uniformity, rather than, i n the formalist mode, by the standards by which categories of goods are evaluated.  To t h i s Salisbury r e p l i e s :  ... such a s o c i a l analysis would complement the present economic analysis, e s p e c i a l l y where i t treats the s o c i a l functions of a c t i v i t i e s , but i t w i l l not be made here. (ibid.) It i s d i f f i c u l t to appreciate the advantages of t h i s d e c i s i o n . The organizational functions money achieves i n t h i s society - and t h i s i n cludes the organization of economic a c t i v i t i e s - owe largely to i t s power as a condensed symbolism to focus the moral c r i t e r i a of transactions. Evans-Pritchard argued f o r the i n c l u s i o n of anthropology ities.  within the human-  In the same l i n e of argument, the attempts to appropriate methods  and i n s i g h t s from the science of economics are perhaps most inadequate where they ignore the unspoken p r e s c r i p t i v e dimensions i n a l l exchange behaviour, d e r i v i n g from ultimate conceptions about men's r e l a t i o n s t o each other.  7. Money and the Redemptive Process I f the sorcerer i s the contradiction of the moral man, h i s immorality consists i n the pride of assuming abnormal a n t i - s o c i a l powers: by being unprepared to be bound by the community conventions. ... t y p i c a l l y arrogant and unobliged by morality, u usurps, and i s therefore touched by what i s divine; who i s culpable because he causes trouble, because h i s s e l f - w i l l , instead of transcending, eschews the community moral. (Burridge 1 9 6 I : 71)  He i s  -160-  For the moral man, by contrast, the experience of l i v i n g i n society implies both a general sense of indebtedness, and an inadequacy i n r e l a t i o n to the enormous variety i n the kinds of claims and obligations a r i s i n g from the community.  From b i r t h to the moment of death - and long  a f t e r i n the native r e l i g i o u s expectation - the i n d i v i d u a l i s enmeshed i n a never-ending web of dependencies,  upon other people and upon a  v a r i e t y of natural and supernatural forces that l i e behind the processes of growth, change and decay i n h i s world. i s also an experience of obligation.  This experience of contingency  In any society, Neale (1976  : 4)  notes, the way i n which obligations come about are many indeed: from parentage, from undertaking a p a r t i c u l a r r o l e (teacher,..leader), from commission of a crime, from omission of the performance of a duty, from contracts (express or implied), from c i t i z e n s h i p (taxes, voting), or from luck (conscription by b a l l o t ) .  Obligations can arise i n some s o c i -  e t i e s which have no apparent couterparts i n other s o c i e t i e s ; but what remains universal i s the imperative that obligations are f u l f i l l e d . In the nature of things, t h i s i s ultimately unobtainable, 37>  1961  Burridge (i960 :  : 6) discusses the origins of g u i l t , the emotional r e g i s t e r of  inadequacy, and the need f o r atonement provided f o r i n what he terms a "redemptive  process".  Admittedly an a l i e n expression to s o c i a l science,  he explains, i t concerns those a c t i v i t i e s and c u l t u r a l l y prescribed processes whereby individuals attempt to discharge t h e i r obligations, with the implication that these represent the accepted measures of manhood, of worthiness, self-respect and s a t i s f a c t i o n .  Though i n one sense a  constraint upon freedoms, the codes and t a c i t c r i t e r i a which order t h i s process are at the same time the very p o s s i b i l i t y f o r an i n d i v i d u a l t o  -161-  dlscover a sense of s e l f , and t o a t t a i n the i n t e g r i t y which goes with the  approved gaining and retention of a p a r t i c u l a r status.  What i n Siane might provide the conditions f o r a process of redemption?  There i s f i r s t l y the " s o c i a l value" of food.  The obliga-  t i o n s on Siane t o "help" fellow clan members, and the incentives t o produce gardening surpluses r e l a t e t o the f a c t that food i s both the symbolism of a l l those nurturing, sustaining q u a l i t i e s i n a man's community, and a means f o r him to make good h i s r e q u i t a l . (1971  But Burridge  : 13) connects the redemptive process p a r t i c u l a r l y t o the competi-  t i o n f o r prestige - that i s , an acclaimed i n t e g r i t y - which therefore brings i n the p o l i t i c a l r i v a l r y and the r o l e of money.  To propose that redemption, a t h e o l o g i c a l desideratum, i s cond i t i o n a l upon the instrument of Mammon seems perverse, though only superf i c i a l l y so.  I t i s a question of the nature of the•symbolism.  As Neale  (1976 : 4 - 6 , 31-32) indicates, the ideas of money, payment, debt and "obligation have an inevitable i n t e r - a s s o c i a t i o n .  An obligation, of course,  need not involve the payment of a thing, that i s , be a debt.  And c e r t a i n l y  : i n no society can money be used t o f u l f i l any and a l l obligations, just as there i s no money that can be used as payment to acquire every sort of good or performance.  Nevertheless, Neale notes that i n the commercial-  i s e d ethos of Western capitalism, multi-purpose money i s thought of as a usual (but not exclusive) means t o l i q u i d a t e debts.  In Siane, money pay-  ments cannot pertain t o obligations a r i s i n g from a c t i v i t i e s of a commerc i a l nature, and obviously i t i s important not t o assume that the consequences of payments i n t h i s society are s i m i l a r to the consequences  -162-  that follow money payments i n a Western context.  Most pertinently,  r e l a t i o n s h i p s effected purely f o r a limited commercial purpose i d e a l l y terminate with a f i n a l cash payment, the obligation incurred on the part of payer to payee being precisely r e f l e c t e d i n the sum transacted. The v e r s a t i l i t y of the market system has a l o t to do with the s p e c i f i c i t y of transactions.  In Siane, i t i s the reverse.  Relationships are d i f f u s e  and intended t o l a s t , and i n the system of g i f t and counter-gift a payment discharges the indebted party only while simultaneously obliging the payee to make further payments i n the future. Money makes t h i s society, i t might seem, by a process of perpetuating obligations, the extremity of which prompted Malinowski t o comment, "that the whole t r i b a l l i f e i s permeated by a constant give and take; that every ceremony, every l e g a l and customary act i s done to the accompaniment of material g i f t and counter-gift" (1968 : 3 1 ,  emphasis i n o r i g i n a l ) .  This allows Uberoi to  put forward a provocative summary of how he accounts f o r the ultimate s o c i a l value of a r t i c l e s l i k e the Kula money, as well as f o r the almost numinous quality which suffuses t h e i r handling, storage and display. At length, then: With i t s s t r i c t decorum and public ceremonial, i t s 'annually repeated miracle' of extensive c r e d i t , and i t s p o l i t e adjustment of obligatory equivalence without haggling, the Kula g i f t and counter-gift represents par excellence a l l that give and take should be at home or abroad. I t symbolizes, i n f a c t , the r e c i p r o c i t y which sustains a society at home, as well as that which maintains i t s v i t a l a l l i a n c e s abroad. And to say that the Kula exchanges symbolize r e c i p r o c i t y i s to say that they symbolize the prime organizing p r i n c i p l e of small scale s o c i e t i e s which lack government and are composed of homologous segments ... the key to the ultimate s o c i a l importance of the Kula valuables; that they represent to the normally kin-bound individuals of these small stateless s o c i e t i e s ... the interest of the widest p o l i t i c a l association of which they a l l partake. (1971 : 154-160)  -163-  The view i s incomplete as i t stands, perhaps even fundamentally wrong.  In Uberoi's emphasis, the valuables break through the i s o l a t i o n  of clans e s s e n t i a l l y by i n t e n s i f y i n g the awareness of - indeed by hallowing - the moralities of an obligatory r e c i p r o c i t y . The alternative view i s that i n i t s purest form, the r e c i p r o c a t i o n mediated by the valuables u n i f i e s by transcending a l l obligation.  Turner (1974  : 104) would  see t h i s as a "communitas" s i t u a t i o n - the emancipating e f f e c t s of a n t i structure suspending the i n d i v i d u a l from segmented status encumbrances and the l i a b i l i t i e s of conventional morality.  Burridge's word f o r t h i s  i s "amity", and he explains i t thus: Amity i s i t s e l f most s i g n i f i c a n t l y manifested i n the idea of equivalence; i n the idea that individuals are i n a state of moral equality, one human being, as a whole, being neither morally worse nor morally better than another ... the concrete symbol of true amity i n the heart i s the exchange which both parties deem to be equivalent, and concerning which neither party i s swayed by the malicious gossip and pinpricks of others. In a more absolute sense such an exchange which no one else questioned or t r i e d to mar, would stand as a model f o r a l l , the exchange par excellence. Carried to i t s l o g i c a l conclusion the implication i s that i n the best of a l l possible worlds, since a l l exchanges would be equivalent and true amity reign over a l l , there would no longer be any need to make exchanges. And p r e c i s e l y t h i s i s involved i n being ... t r u l y equivalent.  (I960 : 81, 8 5 )  Whereas i n day to day r e a l i t y gimaiye i s t y p i c a l l y a moral transaction, evoking r e l a t i o n s of power between people i n a c u l t u r a l idiom of equivalence and amity and r e f e r r i n g these ideals to an act, i n the absolute sense that act transcends what i s "merely" moral.  Money  no longer indebts: i t exonerates, expiates* Gimaiye becomes that which makes man more than he i s , whole and g u i l t l e s s .  Since atonement i s  -164-  absolute, i t can proceed only from the divine at the w i l l of the d i v i n e : i t i s beyond anything moral man i s i n a p o s i t i o n to command or a l t e r . Equivalence (1962  then i s a p r i n c i p l e writ into the cosmos at large. Salisbury  : 32-33) confirms that f o r Siane, the prosperity of the clan, the  health of i t s children, i t s future strength, the flow of riches i n pigs and valuables, the f e r t i l i t y of land, a l l affirmations of l i f e , that i s , depend upon f i n d i n g the i d e a l r e l a t i o n s h i p with the s p i r i t s , with whom balanced r e c i p r o c i t i e s are necessary through the appropriate ceremonial acknowledgements.  The power gimaiye money has to validate control over  women, and various r i g h t s and duties of clans and i n d i v i d u a l s , derives from the b e l i e f that i t s p r i n c i p l e s imitate the conditions of divine or cosmic power, and divine power has the quality of being ultimate.  irresistible,  Magic, on the other hand, though also a category of power  originating from the d e i t i e s - which fact accounts f o r i t s power inspires anxiety and suspicion exactly because i t lacks the concept of r e c i p r o c i t y inherent i n relationships with d e i t i e s and s p i r i t s of the dead ( c f . McSwain 1977 '• 27).  Hence sorcery i s e v i l , and the a n t i t h e s i s  of good gimaiye; money i s t r u t h .  In fairness to Uberoi, he does see the Big Man as a kind of free agent, or prototypical universal s p i r i t ( c f . 1971  '• 146-147, 159)•  For Kula breaks through the s o l i d a r i t y which one d i s t r i c t assumes when opposed to another, and thus, he claims, at the same time as i t bridges the e s s e n t i a l h o s t i l i t y between two strange tribesmen, i t suspends the p o l i t i c a l i d e n t i t y between two fellow tribesmen. t h i s freedom he leaves unexamined.  But the q u a l i t y of  For the Big Man within the  -165-  t r a d i t i o n a l c o n t e x t , f l u c t u a t i n g and p r e c a r i o u s though h i s c a r e e r may be, i s perhaps the c l o s e s t a p p r o x i m a t i o n a.nd embodiment o f the reality.  redemptive  S k i l l e d i n magic and i n t h e p r o t o c o l s and monetary medium o f  i n t e r - c l a n a l l i a n c e , p r o f o u n d l y aware o f the o b l i g a t i o n s b i n d i n g people and groups, and o f the g r i e v a n c e s a r i s i n g from f a i l e d r e c i p r o c i t i e s moral s h o r t f a l l i n g s , he a l o n e knows how  and  t o b r i n g order t o a f r i g h t e n i n g  chaos o f c l a n a n i m o s i t i e s , pay-back k i l l i n g s , war and m y s t i c a l a t t a c k . To be a b l e t o "walk unharmed a l l over the v a l l e y " has a r e l i g i o u s message i n essence.  The B i g Man  must be touched by some d i v i n e a f f l a t u s .  His  s u c c e s s i s t h e p r o o f o f the c a p a c i t y o f goodness t o p r e v a i l over t h e worst elements o f ambivalence same time as i t demonstrates  and d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s i n human n a t u r e , a t the t h a t the w o r l d i s not a b l i n d l y  o r d e r but i s i n some fundamental way t o h i s inner c a l l i n g s of m o r a l i t y .  mechanical  r e s p o n s i v e t o man's endeavours And i f t h e s t e e l axe s u r p r i s e d  and Salisbury  by l e a d i n g t o more gimaiye r a t h e r t h a n t o t h e expected i n v e s t m e n t s i n t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f more m a t e r i a l wealth, t h e n perhaps t h i s must be understood a t i t s deepest l e v e l as a c h o i c e by S i a n e t o i n v e s t i n t h e i r own  humanity.  8. Money Symbols and the Management o f Meaning l a y i n g a s i d e the r e l i g i o u s i s s u e s , some b a s i c q u e s t i o n s remain about t h e gimaiye money: about i t s p r o p e r t i e s as a symbolism, r o l e o f brokerage, and about t h e way t h e s e symbols  about t h e  operate w i t h i n patterns  o f b e h a v i o u r t h a t form t h e c e n t r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i n S i a n e .  I t was  s a i d t h a t gimaiye p r o v i d e s p o l i t i c a l groups w i t h a  common i d i o m i n which they can a s s e r t and argue about t h e m e r i t s o f t h e i r  -Ir-  respective clans and v i l l a g e s .  Its semantic organization r e s i s t s pre-  c i s i o n and e x p l i c i t n e s s because, i n the nature of Siane p o l i t i c a l l i f e , any measure of order and continuity that emerges owes to the f l e x i b i l i t i e s of meaning. Ambiguity, Leach  (1964;:  346)  explains, i s a common feature  among i l l i t e r a t e peoples who are trained to think p o e t i c a l l y , whereas Westerners, because of t h e i r experience of l i t e r a c y , tend to credit words with exact meanings, dictionary meanings.  The ordinary speech of the  educated man i s expected to conform to the canons of prose rather than poetry.  Ambiguity of statement i s deplored: the tendency of education  i s to make language a precise s c i e n t i f i c instrument.  But among primitives,  a f a c i l i t y f o r making and understanding highly symbolic and ambiguous meanings may even be c u l t i v a t e d .  Certainly Campbell (1963  : 29) would  argue that the procedures of a written, propositional theology destroys the emotional and metaphysical tenor of native thought, changing mythology to d i r e c t history or science, symbol to f a c t , metaphor to dogma. goes a step further.  Leach  He recognises from h i s Burmese studies that ambiguity  of thought i s f o r an i n t r i n s i c s o c i a l purpose: The ambiguity of native categories i s absolutely fundamental to the operation of the Kachin s o c i a l system... It i s only because the meaning of h i s sundry s t r u c t u r a l categories i s , f o r a Kachin, extremely e l a s t i c that he i s able to interpret the a c t u a l i t y of h i s s o c i a l l i f e as conforming to the formal pattern of the t r a d i t i o n a l , mythically defined, s t r u c t u r a l system.  (1965  : 106)  It i s argued that the Siane corroborate Leach's contention: the discrepancy between an i d e a l parity and moral equivalence and the  -167-  de f a c t o i n e v i t a b i l i t i e s of i n e q u a l i t y and opportunism b e i n g r e c o n c i l e d i n the ambiguity of the monetary measure.  However, S a l i s b u r y  (1962  : 197)  would o b j e c t t h a t Siane money must imply s t r i c t measurement i f c o n f u s i o n is  to be a v e r t e d about who  has bought r i g h t s over whom.  But t h a t book-  k e e p i n g aspect of gimaiye i s r e l e g a t e d to the bamboo t a l l i e s , w h i l e the exchanges themselves  e n t a i l b a r g a i n i n g , a degree of m a c h t p o l i t i k , and  t u r n s on the c a p a c i t y of the medium to f a c i l i t a t e unequal with f i c t i o n a l i z e d e q u i v a l e n c e s may  equivalences.  And  occur a t d i f f e r e n t  the f a c t  exchanges  l e v e l s of a l l i a n c e between c o r p o r a t e  i n g a c l e a r s t r u c t u r e of segmentation,  i s not t o be sought  exhibit-  the p a t t e r n i s n o n e t h e l e s s t h a t  enemies at one l e v e l must be a l l i e s a t a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l . seem, but as U b e r o i (1971  though  i s t h a t arguments over  groups, and indeed w i t h i n the c l a n s themselves, so t h a t without  i t may  this  Paradoxical  : 74) says, the c o h e s i o n of a s o c i e t y  i n any simple sentiment of s o l i d a r i t y ,  i t resides  r a t h e r i n the c o n f l i c t i n g a l l e g i a n c e s which i t s customs impose on i t s members.  Thus Gluckman (1963) s p e c i f i c a l l y d i r e c t e d the study of  and c e r e m o n i a l away from the s i m p l i f y i n g assumptions  of Durkheim and  R a d c l i f f e - B r o w n , t h a t they a r e of " s o c i a l v a l u e " and c e l e b r a t e of s o l i d a r i t y " , flicts  towards the p o s s i b i l i t y  can be both a l l i e s  contradiction repetitively  "sentiments  that they exaggerate r e a l  of s o c i a l r u l e s w h i l e a f f i r m i n g u n i t y d e s p i t e these  That men  ritual  con-  conflicts.  and enemies a t one and the same time i s a f a c e d and r e s o l v e d mainly through the " m y s t i -  f i c a t i o n " generated by symbolism  ( c . f . Cohen 194  : 32).  What the gimaiye money does i s t o o b j e c t i f y , and t h e r e f o r e 1  momentarily  to a r r e s t , o r , r a t h e r , g i v e form to a s t a t e of  affairs  -168-  perpetually i n f l u x .  The nature of the medium a f f e c t s the way t h i s  happens. F o r - l i t e r a t e s thoughts and reactions to a public event may become f u l l y self-apparent only i n the e x t e r i o r i z a t i o n achieved by written words (a newspaper, f o r instance), which thereafter become a point of reference f o r a r t i c u l a t e thought.  In gimaiye, money i s sim-  i l a r l y a form of public expression over and against which people come to r e a l i z e the c o l l e c t i v e mood and d i s p o s i t i o n .  But as Burridge (i960 :  34) observes, where natives have no other instruments: no written language, no formal l o g i c , no s c i e n t i f i c t o o l s , they can only use t h e i r emotions to f e e l t h e i r way towards t r u t h .  Gimaiye r i t u a l s reveal  values at the emotional l e v e l , but since the form of expression i s conventionalised and obligatory, i t i s the values of the group that are revealed.  These are transformative experiences i n the way Turner sees  a l l " s o c i a l dramas".  Working on i n d i v i d u a l psyches, on the attitudes  and perceptions of participants, gimaiye recreates against the t i d e s of change, the b e l i e f s and category discriminations on which the group order i s based.  I t i s the point at which a r t and ontology converge ( c . f .  Diamond 1963 : 186-187; Turner 1974  : 89, 104). " A l l r i t u a l s have t h i s  examplary model-displaying character;" Turner says, " i n a sense they might be said to 'create' society, i n much as the same way as Oscar Wilde held l i f e to be an imitation of a r t . "  An important consequence of gimaiye i s that i t i s a process which turns t r u t h into pure phenomenology, that i s into what most people experience i t to be.  "Right" i s i n no way a t h e o r e t i c a l absolute; the  only "objective" c r i t e r i o n checking the whim of an i n d i v i d u a l , i s  -169-  community consent ( c . f . Burridge i960 : 32-34, 105).  I t i s only by  l o c a t i n g the areas of consensus that the r e s t of the environment can be made into an i n t e l l i g i b l e unity: ... once the p r i n c i p l e s are established, and have become axiomatic, subsequent experiences tend to r e i n f o r c e or are pulled into conformity with, those truths that a l ready e x i s t . (op. c i t . 177) Being p l a s t i c , t r u t h i s vulnerable to manipulation. only that there i s no s t a t i c moral design.  As F a l l e r s (1964  It i s not : 280),  c i t i n g Weber, points out, ideology does not work by i t s e l f ; ideologies only develop and become dominant when there are groups within society capable of, and interested i n , promoting them.  The Big Man  sways the  consensus by demagoguery, cloaking his d u p l i c i t y " i n large numbers of s t o r i e s and a l l u s i o n s which a clever orator knows how  to marshal i n r e -  l a t i o n to contemporary events - and which a leader must be able to recognize when they are brought up by other leaders" (Strathern 1976  Culture commonly e x i s t s , as Schutz (1977  : 284).  : 18-20) showed, as  a framework of unquestioned constructs, quite anonymous i n i t s taken-forgrantedness: but t h i s i s subject to q u a l i f i c a t i o n .  Burridge  (i960 : 30,  108) argues that i t cannot be assumed that there i s any homogeneity of the quality of thought.  Some minds are more aware of themselves and  t e r n a l problems, and though a Big Man men,  may  ex-  have no more knowledge than other  h i s need to manoeuvre or else perish p o l i t i c a l l y induces i n him  an  unusual degree of o b j e c t i v i t y onto the c u l t u r a l conditions of action. His i s a r o l e bound up i n the purveyances of the culture's core  classi-  f i c a t i o n s ; and since selfhood, the only concept of " I " i s a communicative  -170-  a c t , a c q u i r e d , as Cohen (1974 : 41) says, by a.man through with  other men,  interaction  i t i s to the B i g Man's own s e l f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g  t i o n should be drawn.  that a t t e n -  For i n h i s p e r s o n the i d e a l and the r e a l must  fuse:  ... a manager not o n l y knows o t h e r s , he must know hims e l f as a moral b e i n g . . . Managers should weld a c t i v i t y to n o t i o n : i n t h e i r b e h a v i o u r they should demonstrate the u n i t y . Managers may a c t , but without moral unders t a n d i n g they cannot make t h e i r a c t i o n s m i r r o r an i d e a l . ( B u r r i d g e 1960 : 81)  The occurrence (1964 and  : 243) adds, w i l l  prestige.  of i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s i n a c u l t u r e ' s i d e a l s , Read thus most l i k e l y a f f e c t  B i g Men a r e indeed  those who a s p i r e to power  s o c i a l a c t o r s who combine i n themselves  a d i s t i n c t i v e paradox which can be seen i n a t e n s i o n o r ambivalence i n the v a l u e s  c h a r a c t e r i z i n g " t h e t r a n s a c t i o n s i n which they a r e p a r t i c i p a n t s .  Underlying  a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n Siane,  S a l i s b u r y (1962 : 38)  says, i s an i d e o l o g y of the autonomy and assumed e q u a l i t y of a l l people. " E q u a l i t y " i s the e t h i c m i l i t a t i n g a g a i n s t the assumption of any permanent a u t h o r i t y i n Siane, and i t g i v e s the impetus to b a l a n c e dealings.  So p e r v a s i v e and accepted  the t r a d i t i o n a l b l o o d no one won.  a l l reciprocal  i s the p r i n c i p l e t h a t i t c o n t r o l l e d  f e u d i n g and w a r f a r e i n a manner t h a t u l t i m a t e l y  Read (1964 : 243) notes i t s i n f l u e n c e on f o o t b a l l - i n e f f e c t  the modern-day s u r r o g a t e  f o r f e u d i n g - where each "team"  v i r t u a l l y a l l the a b l e - b o d i e d  comprising  men of the c l a n , d u r i n g the course  game l a s t i n g sometimes f o r days, aims o n l y to e q u a l i z e the g o a l s by  the other  team, so t h a t no e s s e n t i a l p a r i t y should be upset,  one s i d e e s t a b l i s h i t s o u t r i g h t s u p e r i o r i t y .  of a scored and no  -171-  On the other hand, "autonomy", which i n t e r f u s e s w i t h the v a l u e of " e q u a l i t y " , f i n d s i t s v a l i d a t i o n i n c o m p e t i t i o n and Read op. c i t . 242). s t r e n g t h , and Salisbury  Competitive  gift  g i v i n g i s o b v i o u s l y a d i s p l a y of  to be c o n s i d e r e d s t r o n g i s c l e a r l y an aim of  (1962  : 78,  gimaiye.  99) r e c o r d s t h a t umaiye food p r o d u c t i o n and  t r i b u t i o n i s n o r m a l l y geared  dis-  to p r o v i d i n g a s u f f i c i e n c y f o r a l l c l a n  members p l u s a margin f o r e n t e r t a i n m e n t , concerned,  i n wealth ( c . f .  but where gimaiye exchanges are  these are o c c a s i o n s f o r "a planned  surplus".  Here f o r a donor  to manage to g i v e away more meat than the r e c i p i e n t s can e a t , so t h a t "the meat s t i n k s " as Siane say i n triumph,  At the p e r s o n a ! l e v e l ,  i s something to be proud  the B i g Man  f i n d s l o y a l t y to h i s c l a n to  be not i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h l o y a l t y to h i m s e l f : each develops the o t h e r .  of.  i n v i r t u e of  L o y a l t y t o l a r g e r k i n d s of groupings w i t h i n Siane, on  the  other hand e n t a i l s s u r r e n d e r of p e r s o n a l s o v e r e i g n t y ( c . f . B u r r i d g e 1960  : 78,  111; Read 1964  : 244).  Because i t i s by the extent of h i s  i n f l u e n c e o u t s i d e the c l a n t h a t he i s c o n s i d e r e d "a man the B i g Man  w i t h a name",  sees gimaiye as a c h a l l e n g e r e a l l y aimed a t h i m s e l f .  v i d e s him w i t h the c h a l l e n g e of p u t t i n g to the pragmatic  I t pro-  t e s t - and  p u b l i c a p p r o b a t i o n , without which they a r e n o t h i n g - those q u a l i t i e s admired a b i l i t i e s he b e l i e v e s h i m s e l f to have.  and  Hence the somewhat c o n t r a -  d i c t o r y and v a c i l l a t i n g e t h i c of the ceremonial exchange. 104)  to the  notes on the one hand the " p o l i t e adjustment  Uberoi  of o b l i g a t o r y  (1971  :  equiv-  a l e n c e " f a c i l i t a t e d by K u l a , at which b a r t e r and b a r g a i n i n g i s c o n s i d e r e d d e f i n i t e l y indecorous Salisbury  (1962  : 104)  ( c . f . Malinowski  1967  : 174;  1968  i s c o n t r a s t i n g l y f r a n k about the  : 27).  While  calculating  -172-  machiavellianism behind the formal politeness - the dissembling and of c o n f l i c t held i n abeyance.  sense  It makes sense too that the ownership of  valuables i s by individuals rather than corporate groups, f o r t h i s frees the hand of a Big Man f o r more e f f e c t i v e speculation i n gimaiye, f o r greater f l e x i b i l i t y i n manipulations, f o r adventuring further than less i n t r e p i d r i v a l s , and f o r greater cunning i n f o i s t i n g f a l s e impressions about exchanges or about the valuables i n h i s command.  I t i s only a super-  f i c i a l and, indeed, contrived impression that Big Man r e l a t i o n s h i p s are accommodated within f i x e d or customary rates of exchange.  For the f a c t  i s that a r i g i d l y objective equivalence of g i f t and counter-gift would annul the ambiguities e s s e n t i a l i n a system of competitive one-upmanship. And i t i s the alternation within the prestige c i r c u i t that creates the movement and the momentary asymmetries of valued resources which energize the whole productive system, and which allow f o r ongoing adjustment i n the balance of power between clans.  Standing somewhat outside of the received conventions, the Big Man i s , i n Read's (1962  : 24l) words, the more "autonomous" i n d i v i d u a l  i n a society which might be termed " t r a d i t i o n directed".  Because h i s s e l f -  w i l l never surpasses the element of judicious s e l f i n t e r e s t , h i s position i s one which involves a conscious self-exemption from the community v i r t u e s , while exhorting others to conformity by the affected paragon of h i s own public demeanour.  There i s evidently some unease to be found  i n t h i s ambivalent sense of i d e n t i t y .  Read (op. c i t . 2^7)  comments on  some of the more respected leaders i n Gahuku-Gama described themselves "bad men".  And as Burridge (i960 : 69)  points out, because i n the  how as  -173-  t r a d i t i o n a l context no ambition or a s c r i p t i o n of motive may leave sorceryout of account, excesses i n the r o l e of brokerage, s e l f - w i l l looming to arrogant power, would always f i n d a corresponding nemesis. narrow path to tread.  It i s a  However, i n the modern day circumstances of c u l t -  ure contact, the Big Man alone seems capable of r i s i n g to the imminence of fundamental change.  Burridge has reservations as he discusses the  i n e v i t a b l e vagueness i n Tangu about t h i s new world: I f Tangu were able to comprehend t h e i r own society as well as one other they might have a comparative yardstick with which to make a new one. As i t i s , however, though Tangu apprehend t h e i r own society they cannot t r u l y be said to comprehend i t on an i n t e l l e c t u a l l e v e l . Nor do they comprehend the massive European society of which they are beginning to be a part. And the forms of a society require comprehension not simply apprehension. The implication i s that the new society w i l l take shape round the new man; that having created the new man s o c i e t a l forms w i l l mould themselves to h i s nature.  (I960 : 259)  But the Big Man i s not quite l i k e the others. h i s comprehension  So that as to  of h i s own society, and whether he might a t t a i n any  i n t e l l e c t u a l grasp of the Europeanized forces which are i n the process of changing i t f o r a l l time, perhaps i t can be more f a i r l y said that the Big Man appears, as always, ambivalent.  -174-  V. 1. Paper  SIANE ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE WORLD ECONOMY  Revolutions Money i s a notable instrument of revolution.  Governments a t  war have often i n the past had no a l t e r n a t i v e but t o order t h e i r c e n t r a l banks to p r i n t the money that they d i d not possess i n reserves of gold or s i l v e r , and could not r a i s e by loans or taxes.  It i s as well here t o  notice a d i s t i n c t i o n between war or r e v o l t , and revolution, f o r there i s a difference o f idea which, though i n a l t e r e d form, i s c a r d i n a l f o r the consideration of Siane.  Revolt, as Albert Camus has pointed out, i s  armed or other protest directed to an immediate s i t u a t i o n , while revolut i o n i s a r a d i c a l and therefore a t o t a l r e - s t r u c t u r i n g of society by v i o l e n t or other means ( c . f . Camus 1 9 5 3 » <l Klerk 1976 : 2 7 ) . e  to the understanding of Galbraith's (1975  :  This adds  5 3 1 67-76) remarks that the  Establishment men of the l a s t century generally upheld with the force of a moral axiom rather more than as a matter of economic p r i n c i p l e the r u l e that a l l monies were t o be f u l l y convertible into gold - f o r they were deeply f e a r f u l of the singular service paper money had so recently rendered i n the overthrow of vested i n t e r e s t .  In France i n 1789» paper  notes, the assignats, had appeared, at f i r s t i n l i m i t e d issue and redeemable within f i v e years by the sale of sequestered Church and Crown land. The demands of revolution were i n s i s t e n t however, and within a decade the assignats had been rescinded as a negotiable money, having become almost worthless by overissue against what was, security.  a f t e r a l l , only a l i m i t e d  But by then the Revolution was an accomplished f a c t . In  America, as i n France, overwhelmingly the Revolution was paid f o r with  -175-  paper money. far  Note issues, both Continental and State, were excessive,  outstripping any corresponding increases i n trade.  slowly at f i r s t , and then, a f t e r 1777,  there being l i t t l e e f f e c t i v e  control by Congress, at a r a p i d l y accelerating r a t e . Galbraith (op. c i t . 69)  Prices rose -  "Thus," says  "the United States came into existence on a f u l l  t i d e not of i n f l a t i o n but of hyper-inflation - the kind of i n f l a t i o n that ends only i n the money becoming worthless." In Siane there i s reason to suspect the reverse r e l a t i o n - that i n f l a t i o n preceded revolution; but the p r i n c i p l e nevertheless remains. Money i s the architect of r a d i c a l change.  2. Pre-Contact  Inflation  The p r i n c i p l e has had a lengthy history of contention, however Galbraith (op. c i t .  45-46)  discusses a famous debate i n England i n  1811,  which followed the impanelling by the House of Commons the year previously of a Select Committee to investigate the r e l a t i o n of the issue of Bank of England notes to the price of gold b u l l i o n .  The debate was over the  nature of money and i t s management, and then, as since, a difference of opinion formed over the problem:  Where does economic change originate?  Galbraith expands: Does i t begin with those who are responsible f o r money i n t h i s case with those who made loans and thus caused the supply of notes and deposits to increase ? (From t h i s then comes the effect on prices and production, including the stimulating e f f e c t of r i s i n g prices on production and trade.) Or does change begin with production? Does i t originate i n business a c t i v i t y and prices with consequent e f f e c t on the demand f o r loans and thence on the supply of notes and deposits, which  -176-  i s to say the supply of money? In short, does money influence the economy or does money respond to the economy? The question i s s t i l l asked. 'Monetary doctrine has wavered over time i n i t s assessment of money as cause or e f f e c t of economic condition.' (op. c i t . 4 6 ) The dilemma i s of appreciable importance to developing  countries,  as to developed, though i n the former case an a d d i t i o n a l problem occurs over t r a n s f e r r i n g i t into terms that take suitable account of the absence, or mere incipience, of the market as the p r i n c i p l e coordinating economic production and d i s t r i b u t i o n .  What remains as the constant f a c t o r  i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between rates of exchange ( p r i c e s ) , the number of transactions to be serviced by the money supply ( s p e c i a l or and the v e l o c i t y of c i r u l a t i o n of money.  multi-purpose),  Thus pressure on a money a r i s i n g  from a greater number of monetized transactions w i l l mean any of these p o s s i b i l i t i e s : that the number of units of the money must r i s e ; or that the frequency with which each money unit i s used must r i s e ; or that there must be a f a l l i n the number of units used i n each transaction.  When  the quantity of money grows p a r i passu with the increased need f o r money (as production grows, or as more kinds of transaction are monetized), the price l e v e l remains about the same.  Hence l i m i t i n g the quantity of  money tends to keep the p r i c e l e v e l stable or, i f severe, send the quant i t y of transactions into recession; and vice versa ( c . f . Neale 1976  87-88,  :  90). The picture i s inherently dynamic, which, i t i s generally argued,  i s what primitive s o c i e t i e s are not.  For the two-way flow of goods i n  t r a d i t i o n a l economies i s regulated by what i s commonly regarded as a  -177-  rate of exchange f i x e d by custom, and not by f l u c t u a t i n g supply and demand, both of which are v i r t u a l constants.  So changes i n equivalences  are slow,  i f at a l l , and play no great part i n a l t e r i n g the volume of transactions, or the supply of a money.  In addition, where a p r i m i t i v e society trans-  acts i n a money, the number of transactions i t can service tends to encounter absolute l i m i t s i n factors of demography and general technological and economic backwardness.  The money i t s e l f can be subject to "uneconomic"  l i m i t a t i o n s of supply - e i t h e r because of nature, as i n the case of cows, or by the f a c t of p o l i t i c a l imposition, which was the lesson of the gimaiye valuables.  Salisbury (1962  : 208) posits that Siane, i n times past, existed  i n such a state of equilibrated s t a s i s .  The most s t r i k i n g and puzzling  phenomenon, then, i s the wherefore f o r the sudden escalation of native warfare?  Since the aberration concerns the adequacy of the t r a d i t i o n a l mech-  anisms c o n t r o l l i n g the behaviour of power, the immediate reasons must have to do with the s t a b i l i t y of the gimaiye relationships during t h i s period. This might lead to suspicion about the money supply; but Salisbury (op. c i t . 118,  208,  209)  seeks deeper reasons.  ship with those who,  In a move which gives him some k i n -  i n Galbraith's quotation, would see money as e f f e c t  not cause of economic condition, he constructs a model of around the ready hypothesis of the s t e e l axe.  explanation  Thus i t i s supposed that  changes i n the available technology l i b e r a t e enormous amounts of time, which people d i v e r t to the attempt to gain a d d i t i o n a l power - f o r which there appears the most e l a s t i c demand, whereas demand f o r subsistence goods remains stable.  There follows, i n the pursuit of power, an  -178-  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of ceremonial a c t i v i t y , or an increase /jthough quite what the causal connection i s here i s l e f t rather shadowy and unspecif i e d / of f i g h t i n g , which Salisbury says i s an alternative means of obtaining power..  E i t h e r alternative would s a t i s f y Salisbury's t h e o r e t i c a l  commitment, f o r the reason that they would both be a matter of d e l i b e r a t e choice. However, there i s arguably a large element of post hoc ergo propter hoc i n the hypothesis.  The disturbances are attributed to the  axe, a connection that turns out to be coincidental once attention i s given to other disrupting events occurring i n the same h i s t o r i c period. The error i n cases l i k e these i s , as Burridge (i960 : 112) argue from a presumption of s t a b i l i t y .  suggests, to  By the time of Salisbury's f i e l d -  work (1952-53), there was considerably more than just the s t e e l axe to betoken the outside and a l i e n world.  Already there was the occasional  government p a t r o l ; a Lutheran mission i n the v i c i n i t y ; a nearby trade store s e l l i n g such items of "cargo" as razor blades, needles, matches, tinned meat, kerosene lamps, soap, sugar, tea, trousers, bangles, peroxide, powder, tobacco, and, too, s t e e l axes.  There were also small but s i g n i f -  icant amounts of currency i n c i r c u l a t i o n .  Many years of continuous change  and development may therefore have preceded current appearances, going back perhaps long before Siane f i r s t saw or heard of white men. l e a s t , Salisbury (1962  : 116)  At the  records that several European e s t a b l i s h -  ments, including a mission, an a i r s t r i p , and a Government post, had been set up around 1935  at various points not f a r distant from Siane.  Though  Siane themselves at that time had no d i r e c t truck with these Europeans,  -179-  the natives l i v i n g i n the European v i c i n i t i e s were r e c e i v i n g considerable quantities of s h e l l valuables and s t e e l axes i n payment f o r labour and foodstuffs. Given the interconnections of trade and gimaiye, i t i s i n e v i t able that the repercussions of t h i s were f e l t as f a r away as Siane. That these might have been considerable i s suggested by Salisbury's comments ( c . f . I962 : IOO) about the very small number of valuables i n c i r c u l a t i o n p r i o r to 1933•  A t o t a l bride-price then would probably have  amounted to no more than one p i g and one s h e l l , and since warfare seldom cost the l i v e s of more than two or three men, peacemaking involved as l i t t l e as one or two pigs.  The number of valuables owned on average was  correspondingly small - some men possessing no s h e l l s at a l l , while even Big Men r a r e l y owned enough to pay the bride-price e n t i r e l y from t h e i r own stocks.  By 1953,  prices were high and s t a b i l i z e d , but c l e a r l y the  intervening period had been one of r a p i d i n f l a t i o n and considerable conf u s i o n over the rates at which valuables could be exchanged.  Similar  "mutations of values" were produced elsewhere i n New Guinea by the action of the Germans who, when they f i r s t a r r i v e d , flooded native exchange systems with large quantities of manufactured f a c s i m i l e s of the dogs' teeth valuables ( c . f . Burridge i960 : 121-122). to Siane i s c l e a r .  What happened with regard  The groups closest to the European source of valuables  naturally took advantage of t h e i r f r e e l y acquired bargaining power, and began exchanging valuables f o r more women as brides and more pigs f o r an expansion of t h e i r ceremonial a c t i v i t i e s - creating i n the process an imbalance i n the whole system of giving and r e c e i v i n g wives.  Reacting  -180-  l i k e a l i n e of b i l l i a r d b a l l s to the i n i t i a l impact from the cue, Salisbury (op. c i t . 116,  117,  119)  suggests that the imbalances d i f -  fused outwards so that worst affected were the Siane i n the outlying areas furthest from t h i s advantageous proximity to the Europeans.  There  began what Salisbury terms a "migration" of women and pigs into the r i c h e r areas - the strains and unrest of which were i n evidence, he says, even i n 1953» when wives were s t i l l deserting t h e i r husbands f o r the lure of the r i c h e r v i l l a g e s nearer the European centres.  Wife-stealing was  a c e r t a i n causus b e l l i , and made a l l the more problematical i n a r b i t r a t i o n by the doubt i n s t i l l e d by unstable prices as t o whether p a r t i c u l a r couples were i n any sense " t r u l y " married.  That the s t a b i l i t y of marriage  correlates i n t h i s way with stable exchanges seems t o be widely confirmed. Belshaw (1955  :  70) notes the regret of the missionaries i n Waga Waga,  S.E. Papua, that the l a t t e r i n s t i t u t i o n i s no longer generally e f f e c t i v e . P i g - s t e a l i n g was another, and frequent, cause of f i g h t i n g .  The i n t e n s i f i e d  demand f o r pigs f o r ceremonies, while pushing up the cost of pigs i n terms of t h e i r exchange value r e l a t i v e to s h e l l s , could not be met out of i n creased production.  More pig-houses would have required a pattern of  scattered residence, and up u n t i l the p a c i f i c a t i o n i n 1944-5, t h i s was f a r too great a security r i s k .  Whatever i t s s p i r i t of subterfuge and r i v a l r y , gimaiye depends upon - and aims f o r - continuity i n relationships:. about by the twin strategies of wives and debt.  Continuity i s brought  Valuables received from  Europeans i n straightforward payment would have been "unpledged" i n terms of the native system, where t o possess a valuable i s ipso facto t o be  -181-  enmeshed i n some or other set of r e s t r a i n i n g obligations. But even i n the native view debts are expected at some stage to be repaid i f the debtor i s to uphold his public creditworthiness and turn the prestige tables on his r i v a l s ; and there i s always the p o s s i b i l i t y of partnerships coming to an end or being undermined i f the goals set f o r them by the conventions  of exchange are not achieved i n p r a c t i c e .  Strathern (1976  278-279» 28l) discusses a s i t u a t i o n i n Mt. Hagen - probably i n the  :  essen-  t i a l s i d e n t i c a l to what went on i n Siane - where groups were experiencing d i f f i c u l t y , or even f a i l i n g to make ceremonial returns i n the face of hugely i n f l a t i o n a r y exchange rates.  C o n f l i c t s occasioned by defaulting,  or by jealousy over unequal sizes of g i f t s given, were aired p u b l i c l y less and less as discussion about the " f i n a n c i a l " terms of exchange-making, and took on instead the d i s t i n c t l y malicious overtones of sorcery accusations.  In Siane a considerable aggravation of t h i s tendency must have  occurred, owing to an outbreak of dysentry, since i t i s the native view that any death i s substantial evidence of sorcery.  The epidemic did i n  f a c t coincide with the climax of the period of warfare ( c . f . Salisbury 1962  :  123).  In an atmosphere where suspicion and treachery are so overtly expressed, Siane must have found i t impossible, even downright dangerous, f o r exchange partners to attempt i n t e r - c l a n empressements, or major d i s plays of a l l i a n c e . (1955  :  This Strathern d i r e c t l y endorses.  From Belshaw  2l) i t i s to be added that continuing r e c i p r o c i t i e s mirror a  balance i n economic l i f e , and the influence i n t h i s of a stable customary p r i c e l e v e l cannot be underemphasised.  By destroying the  "equivalences"  -182-  of r e c i p r o c i t y , i n f l a t i o n assaults the chief morality upon which the sense of community l i f e builds.  In Tangu during a s i m i l a r process, the decay  and disappearance of a v a l i d c u l t u r a l norm led to a weakening of the s o l i d a r i t y of j u r a l groups and the start of a general dispersion, one frequent solution being to opt out of the t r a d i t i o n a l norm and found settlements  i n the bush (Burridge I960 : 121-122).  contradiction of Salisbury (1962  : 119»  122),  who  new  A l l this i n direct  reasons that the e f f e c t  of the i n f l a t i o n was to p u l l together larger groupings i n ceremonial exchanges.  Had that a c t u a l l y been the case, then such expanded exchanges  and more powerful Big Men  should have been a l l the more e f f e c t i v e i n  cementing larger a l l i a n c e s , and there i s no sensible reason f o r the controlled animosity  un-  - rather, outright anarchy - of the pre-contact  period.  The difference i n retrospective conjecture i s i n s t r u c t i v e . Salisbury, thinking rather more of production than power, f i n d s i t plausible that l a r g e r gatherings and more grandiose gimaiye would have been the tendency i n consequence of the abundant time brought about by s t e e l axes.  A closer  reading of his text ( c . f . op. c i t . 123)  whole  does confirm that i n 1953  v i l l a g e s were p a r t i c i p a t i n g en masse i n the gimaiye f e s t i v i t i e s , and that t h i s contrasts dramatically with the time before 1933» when only members of the immediate lineage and one or two Big Men from other men's houses might attend, say, a wedding.  D e f i n i t e l y the difference i n turn-out i s  due, as Salisbury believes, to the s t e e l axe and the greater time people now  have f o r such a c t i v i t i e s , as compared with 1933•  nothing about the period c i r c a 19^3 1953  But t h i s f a c t implies  which, whatever i t s s i m i l a r i t y to  with regard to the presence of the s t e e l axe, was a period of acute  monetary and p o l i t i c a l i n s t a b i l i t y - quite unlike either 1953  or  1933-  -183-  The f a c t of sorcery, and what. I t presupposes i n terms of the f a i l u r e of normal r e l a t i o n s h i p s , makes doubtful another of Salisbury's reconstructions.  This i s the claim that i n f l a t i o n strengthened the p o s i -  t i o n of Big Men.  As the established brokers i n gimaiye, he conjectures  that they would suddenly have begun handling a huge i n f l u x of valuables without a c t u a l l y having to produce anything more to back up the increased wealth.  By contrast", "nothing men"  must have found t h e i r own resources  disproportionately reduced by the i n f l a t i o n ^ the few pigs r a i s e d by t h e i r wives r a p i d l y becoming i n s u f f i c i e n t to pay back debts incurred f o r brideprices , or. to cope with r i s i n g p r i c e s .  They would surely have been  swamped by Big Men making larger and more ostentatious gestures at ceremonial payments and receiving, as a r e s u l t of such generosity, ever l a r g e r returns from others. men"  Big Men's stocks soared, those of "nothing  remaining s t a t i c - a one-sided boom which Salisbury compares to the  growing power and wealth of entrepreneurs during the I n d u s t r i a l Revolution ( c . f . 1962  : 117,  122).  In a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , the comparison i s u n l i k e l y  because i t overlooks a difference of normative condition which was a l together s i g n i f i c a n t i n the discussion of the making of money.  Liquid  money, price indexes, and the r e l a t i v e impersonality of market operations give the i n d u s t r i a l entrepreneur a freewheeling power that would be the envy of any Big Man, interaction.  bound as he i s by the n i c e t i e s of face-to-face  The i n d u s t r i a l i s t seeks credit from banking  establishments  f o r purchases of plant, materials and labour, and he stores the surplus wealth r e a l i s e d by h i s enterprise i n forms of further productive investment.  The Siane Big Man i s wholly r e l i a n t f o r resources upon the  -184-  co-operativeness  of k i n , which he f o s t e r s by furthering his investments -  so that, i n a r e a l sense, his wealth i s stored i n the debts people acknowledge toward him.  Exorbitant t r a f f i c k i n g i n disrespect of the  f e e l i n g s of h i s debtors would only have r i s k e d recriminations and  sorcery,  and turned the w i n d f a l l surpluses of valuables i n h i s hands to a very s h o r t - l i v e d advantage.  This must have been true even of h i s dealings  with the groups farthest from the European contact and therefore i n a weaker bargaining p o s i t i o n by being l a s t i n r e c e i p t of the new  wealth.  Sooner or l a t e r , t h e i r response would have been to i n f l a t e the cost of brides and pigs i n t h e i r dealings with wealthier Big Men having the e f f e c t , as Salisbury (1962 Most problematic  : 209)  l a t e r remarks, of i n f l a t i n g the cost of power.  of a l l f o r the Big Man,  the uncertainties and argument  surrounding the f l u c t u a t i n g rates of exchange would have worked to undermine l o c a l v a r i a t i o n s i n the ascribed status and worth of p a r t i c u l a r Big to- produce  an  unparalleled c r i s i s of consensus i n a society i n which  status i s the chief resource of authority. There i s , a d d i t i o n a l l y , the point that Galbraith (1976  :  172)  makes, that i n f l a t i o n s produce a large t r a n s f e r of wealth from those possess savings accounts, money, s e c u r i t i e s or mortgages to those have debts or tangible property.  who  who  The c l a s s i c i n d u s t r i a l c a p i t a l i s t of  the l a s t century was a property owner primarily, rather than a f i n a n c i e r and c r e d i t o r l i k e the..New Guinea Big Man.  In Siane, enlarged stocks of  valuables and extensive debt farming would have meant, i n i n f l a t i o n a r y times, that the Big Man assets.  The pressures  found himself i n possession of r a p i d l y eroding on him to pass on quickly any valuables  he  Men  -185-  received - so increasing t h e i r v e l o c i t y of c i r c u l a t i o n - would have teen i n proportion to t h e i r i n f l a t i o n a r y loss of purchasing powerj while i n the view of h i s debtors there was much to be gained by temporizing over repayments.  The Big Man, as both a borrower and a lender, would have  understood well the contradictions - on the one hand c a l l i n g i n outstanding  debts against the fear of rapid depreciation, and on the other contest-  ing  b i t t e r l y with h i s own creditors the extent of old obligations owed  under these new,;;- unforeseen circumstances. :  Far from being a time of un-  f e t t e r e d "boom" which i s the way Salisbury sums up the Big Man's experience of  i n f l a t i o n , i t must have been a nightmare.  L i t t l e wonder that i t was  the bosbois - that i s , the biggest of Big Men and by Salisbury's l o g i c , the ones most g l o r i o u s l y p r o f i t e d by the boom - who were motivated t o c a l l i n the m i l i t a r y administration i n 1944 to put an end t o the runaway warfare consuming Siane ( c . f . Salisbury 1962 :  Salisbury (c.f.  op. c i t .  123).  121-122) would probably s t i l l  insist  that the events i n Siane during t h i s period, including the warfare, were d i r e c t l y and i n t r i n s i c a l l y linked to the presence of the s t e e l axe.  Though  he acknowledges important e f f e c t s attributable t o the increase i n the supply of  valuables, i t i s s t i l l h i s opinion that the active f a c t o r giving the  huge impetus to ceremonial and p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s , and thus speeding up the rate of c i r c u l a t i o n of the valuables, was the increased l e i s u r e time brought about by the use of s t e e l axes.  In other words, the disturbances  wrought by an augmented money supply would have been s l i g h t without the attendant technological revolution. Even t h i s has to be contended.  I t i s a debatable point, a f t e r  -186-  a l l , just how widespread, numerous and entrenched i n everyday use were the s t e e l axes at the beginning of the i n f l a t i o n a r y episode.  Belshaw  (1965 : 138) comments that an important aspect to any process of innovat i o n i s the rate at which an innovation d i f f u s e s through the relevant parts of the economy, and that t h i s i s influenced by what opportunities and motivations f o r expansion exist i n the society.  Interestingly, then,  s t e e l axes were i n i t i a l l y classed as valuables and d i s t r i b u t e d along the l i n e s of gimaiye (Salisbury 1962 : 90, 115,  118).  Presumably t h i s owes  something to the f a c t that before 1933 rare ornamental green-stone axes were i n c i r c u l a t i o n as valuables.  I t i s also a l i k e l y i n d i c a t i o n of the  small numbers of s t e e l axes then present, f o r a l l valuables are scarce. This i s consistent with the datum that by 1953 axes were no longer - or only seldom - being given i n ceremonial presentations, since as the ownership of s t e e l axes had gradually become universal among adult men, they had been downgraded i n categorization t o kevora neta, or luxury items.  By Salisbury's estimation, which he admits to be conjectural,  1936 can be set as the date by which s t e e l axes had disseminated t o the point of being common - two years, that i s , before the warfare began i t s increase.  Hence a causal connection  i s i r r e s t i b l e i n h i s mind.  However, the events suggest another possible i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . S t e e l axe blades originated from European sources.  I t was noted that the  inflow of Europeanized valuables i n i t i a l l y biased the d i s t r i b u t i o n of women and pigs i n favour of those groups nearest the European settlements, who thus had control over the release of the new stocks of valuables (and s t e e l axes were at that time considered valuables) into the gimaiye.  -187-  Against t h i s was the compensatory though somewhat l a t e r tendency f o r the disadvantaged groups t o adjust the "bride-prices of t h e i r women upwards. This not only began t o equalize the flow of women between groups, as Salisbury (op. c i t . 117)  has remarked.  The r i s i n g rates-of exchange also  forced the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the new stocks of valuables much more r a p i d l y than would have been possible with low, p r e - i n f l a t i o n a r y payments. I t could be argued, therefore, that i t was only with a general i n f l a t i o n already under way that the spread of s t e e l axes became rapid and ubiquitous i n Siane - 1936 being premature as a guess at t h i s state of a f f a i r s - and by which time B i g Men, f i n d i n g s t e e l axes too "common" and too p r a c t i c a l l y involved i n the subsistence tasks of umaiye to continue t o s a t i s f y the e l i t e c r i t e r i a of a valuable, switched t h e i r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n from gimaiye to kevora neta.  I t would follow, too, that i t was only when the i n f l a t i o n  was well advanced that the time-saving e f f e c t s of the s t e e l axe would have become a r e a l influence on the economy.  I t i s therefore primarily qua  valuable - or money - and not qua t o o l , or time-saving machine, that the s t e e l axes are t o be associated with the processes speeding up and intensi f y i n g the ceremonial exchange.  Put into other words, i t i s the i n f l a t i o n  of exchange which i n the end explains the s t e e l axe, not the axe which explains the i n f l a t e d exchange.  . Contact and the New Money The argument so f a r has related the disturbing influences of nearby European settlement - although only i n d i r e c t l y i n contact with Siane during the process - t o i r r e g u l a r i t i e s i n the behaviour of the native money, and t o the s t r a i n exerted as a consequence upon the basic  -188-  norm of r e c i p r o c i t y .  Salisbury (1962  : 135)  now  asks: "What can be  predicted about the future d i r e c t i o n of change, from a t h e o r e t i c a l cons i d e r a t i o n of e x i s t i n g changes?"' There i s a suggestion i n Belshaw (1955  :  v i i ) that economic development - which i s the primary i n t e r e s t behind Salisbury's question - cannot be separated change.  from the process of" culture  Presupposed i n every prediction of emergent economic practices  and of new formations of enterprise, there are questions not only about the technological wherewithal f o r change, but about the w i l l .  Innovation  of any kind must be seen as a function of the l o c a l values, of the organi z a t i o n of motivations  i n that society, the p a r t i c u l a r patterning of  rewards and costs (material and immaterial), the opportunities allowed within the system f o r expansion ( c . f . Belshaw 1965  •' 138).  The problem  about the future economic organization of Siane henceforth becomes one of where and how ate?  i n t h i s system does the transformation  of culture o r i g i n -  Here once again i s Diamond's quantum leap: the Inconceivable  of transcending  the l i m i t a t i o n s of the v i l l a g e universe.  s o c i e t i e s are shackled by t h e i r own  For t r a d i t i o n a l  s t a t i c patterns of production  consumption, by the routine d i s p e r s a l of concentrations  act  of surplus  and value  through highly normative kinship channels, by an economic momentum that aims at r e p e t i t i v e balance not open-ended growth, by the circumscription of alternatives and therefore of ambition.  The recent experience of the  Siane bears an unmistakable witness that the decisive factors are Europeans and t h e i r money: Under modern conditions, primitive society does not develop dynamically from i t s own resources alone, and i t requires mental stimulus from outside. In great part, t h i s comes from new t e c h n i c a l a b i l i t i e s and  -189-  i n c r e a s e d knowledge, though t h i s i n i t s e l f i s not e n o u g h . . . G i v e n t e c h n i c a l a b i l i t y , g e n e r a l knowledge, and s u i t a b l e r e s o u r c e s , , t h e f a c t o r t h a t may w e l l t o u c h o f f a p r o c e s s o f development i s t h e r i g h t k i n d o f a l t e r a t i o n i n p o t e n t i a l demand, and t h i s , i n t u r n , depends upon t h e c u l t u r a l e x p e r i e n c e o f i n d i v i d u a l s - i n t h e s o c i e t y - an e x p e r i e n c e which may be e n r i c h e d by e d u c a t i o n , c o n t a c t w i t h Europeans and o t h e r a l i e n s , t r a v e l , employment i n d i s t a n t p a r t s , and above a l l ( i n M e l a n e s i a ) by t h e r e c e n t war which i m p r e s s e d t h e c o m p l e x i t y and power o f i n d u s t r i a l c i v i l i z a t i o n upon r e c e p t i v e m i n d s . (Belshaw 1955 : 62) The f i r s t t r u l y t r a n s f o r m a t i v e i n f l u e n c e s on S i a n e may w e l l have been foreshadowed i n t h e l u x u r y c a t e g o r y o f exchange.  S a l i s b u r y (1962  :  119-120) d i s c u s s e s t h e case o f t h e " s o p h i s t i c a t e d " S i a n e , who a t t h e t i m e o f h i s f i e l d w o r k were w e l l accustomed t o European a r t i f a c t s - c o l o u r e d h a n d k e r c h i e f s , machetes,  l e a t h e r b e l t s , p l a s t i c b a n g l e s , beads, and t h e  l i k e - and c o n s i d e r e d them k e v o r a n e t a , as j u s t " s m a l l t h i n g s " f o r l u x u r y c o n s u m p t i o n , c e r t a i n l y not as v a l u a b l e s f o r use i n b r i d e - p r i c e s o r t o exchange f o r p i g s .  But t h e e v i d e n c e i s t h a t t h i s was not a l w a y s s o . When  u n s o p h i s t i c a t e d bus-kanakas,  on a t r a d e v i s i t from an a r e a r e m o t e r  from  European c o n t a c t , were g i v e n such i t e m s by S i a n e , t h e y were o v e r j o y e d , i n t h e b e l i e f t h a t t h e y were r e c e i v i n g v a l u a b l e s i n exchange f o r luxuries.  their  S a l i s b u r y t h i n k s t h a t only ten years before, Siane, t o o ,  p r o b a b l y r e g a r d e d t h e s e European i t e m s as v a l u a b l e s .  By 1953  axe - t h e s e had been r e a p p r a i s e d and r e l e g a t e d t o t h e l e s s  _  like  the  prestigious  c a t e g o r y , and t h e i r r a t e s o f exchange a d j u s t e d r e l a t i v e t o t r a d i t i o n a l kevora neta.  N e v e r t h e l e s s , i n the p r o c e s s something w h o l l y  unprecedented  had t a k e n p l a c e , f o r as S a l i s b u r y r e m a r k s : I t was no l o n g e r t r u e t o say t h a t t h e c a t e g o r i e s o f v a l u a b l e s and l u x u r i e s were permanently f i x e d and  -190-  mutually exclusive. Uncertainty had entered the tradef r i e n d r e l a t i o n s h i p when luxuries could he given and valuables received, and when goods, thought of formerly as valuables, turned out a f t e r a time to be only l u x u r i e s .  (1962  :  120)  The f i r s t d i r e c t dealings Siane had with Europeans were a f u r ther contradiction of the l o g i c t r a d i t i o n a l l y enforced on native exchanges by the t r i p a r t i t e d i v i s i o n of the economy. be Big Men  ( c . f . op. c i t . 123-124).  P a t r o l o f f i c e r s were deemed to  This was because of t h e i r r o l e i n  mediating f i g h t i n g and leading p a t r o l s .  It was also a d e f i n i t i o n arrived  at no doubt s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d l y , on the part of Siane Big Men, o f f i c e r s gave g i f t s that matched the native valuables.  because p a t r o l  At the same time,  i t must have been a measure taken to defuse the unknown power of these strangers.  To t r e a t them as wealthy gimaiye partners, to be dealt with  according to the r u l e s of t h i s kind of r e l a t i o n s h i p , can be interpreted as an attempt to draw Europeans into continuing r e c i p r o c i t i e s - into a moral r e l a t i o n s h i p , that i s , i n which both sides acknowledge an e s s e n t i a l equality, the proof of which i s i n the equivalence Burridge i960 : 209-213, 240-243, 248, 258,  of the g i f t s ( c . f .  264-270).  Europeans responded  by unknowingly trespassing across formerly i n v i o l a t e boundaries i n the native c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of goods.  In reciprocation f o r the food they r e -  quired from Siane, they gave g i f t s of luxuries such as s a l t , tobacco or paper, or even exchanged small quantities of s h e l l s and other valuables. In the native idiom, neta, "things of account" were returned f o r faivaya neta, "things of no account" - a t o t a l anomaly, i f not i n s a n i t y ( c . f . Salisbury 1962  : 114).  These unorthodox exchanges must be understood as doing more  -191-  than merely introducing uncertainty into the standards of exchange value, which i s how Salisbury ( c . f . op. c i t . 120) summarizes them.  The un-  certainty spreads to whole categories of r e l a t i o n s h i p s which f i n d t h e i r r a t i o n a l e and t h e i r regulation i n the separation of these d i f f e r e n t classes of exchange object.  The confusion i s s o c i o l o g i c a l , that i s , as well as  economic and conceptual.  I t i s doubtful though that the l i m i t e d novelty  of a few European items of kevora neta  would have p r e c i p i t a t e d a con-  f u s i o n that was either l a s t i n g or p a r t i c u l a r l y consequential  in its  implications, due to the e s s e n t i a l l y i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and u t i l i t a r i a n purposes behind t h i s p a r t i c u l a r category of exchange.  The objects are i n  themselves the values of exchange, i t s s a t i s f a c t i o n , and the whole point of the undertaking.  The extension of t h i s category to include European  consumer items i s not by i t s e l f l i k e l y to subvert any important symbolism about the larger s o c i a l order, or undercut the r e g u l a r i t i e s of power i n the way that the pre-contact  i n f l a t i o n i n the gimaiye category  threatened  t o bring down the entire structure of the society by confusing the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of clan r e l a t i o n s . But kevora neta were not the only items of novelty.  Europeans also encouraged the use of cash, and a deep confusion  about the structures of Siane society i s exactly what modern money threatens.  Evidently coins made t h e i r appearance quite some time before d i r e c t contact, and were at that time zealously husbanded as valuables ( c . f . op. c i t . 125).  During the period 1948-1952, probably because they  were increasingly common, they were relegated t o the status of luxury objects - s h i l l i n g pieces being p a r t i c u l a r l y prominent i n t h i s category.  -192-  Paper money, however, remains as a valuable.  Salisbury (op. c i t . 126)  records that i n the enumeration of a bride-price, f o r example, a pound note would be counted as one unit neta. In accordance with the t r a d i t i o n a l d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s i n the system of exchanges, the two types of currency, notes and coinage, are not seen as interchangeable.  That i s , the com-  prehension of the nature of the new money i s dictated so f a r by the r u l e s of native economic orthodoxy.  The confusion at t h i s stage i s about the  European money, not about t h e i r own s o c i a l and economic r e l a t i o n s h i p s . But the i r r e s i s t i b l e question concerns the implications that w i l l follow with the increasing monetization of native exchanges.  On the face of i t , it..is possible to argue that a collapse of the complete system i s held i n abeyance because, and only to the extent that, i n 1953,  there was scant knowledge of the purely schematic  f a c t o r i a l properties behind the new cash.  and  Rather i s each item of cash  transacted as an i n d i v i d u a l physical thing, on a par with the t r a d i t i o n a l luxuries and valuables.  Because neta are never converted into kevora neta,  likewise i t i s unthinkable to exchange paper cash into coins of any denomination.  That the two are inherently fungible i s not appreciated even  among returned labourers, who regardless of t h e i r greater exposure to the cash economy, reserve t h e i r note earnings exclusively f o r the buying of s h e l l valuables and are greatly embarrassed and shamed i f forced by need t o convert them to coins ( c . f . op. c i t . 130).  Purchasing at the trade  store seems to have established i n the native mind that coins (and even notes where the need i s compelling) can be tendered i n exchange f o r a range of commodities, though not quite the general p r i n c i p l e that the  -193-  unit cash i s further s u b d i v i s i b l e into gradated units of purchasing power.  Hence a man w i l l put down a coin on the counter c a l l i n g out h i s  want, " S a l t l " , and w i l l receive, the whole value of that coin i n s a l t even i f the coin i s a s h i l l i n g and the quantity he wants i s only threepenny worth.  Rather than ask f o r change, he w i l l r e d i s t r i b u t e the excess  to friends ( c . f . op. c i t . 130). Nevertheless, the idea of a f a c t o r i a l and fungible money i s perhaps not e n t i r e l y f o r e i g n to Siane.  In the pre-1933 period, when  valuables were very few i n c i r c u l a t i o n , two or three pieces of g o l d - l i p s h e l l would be added to a cowrie s h e l l headband and a plume, apparently to make up the value of a whole s h e l l f o r the purpose of a bride-price. Presumably s h e l l fragments - l i k e the B r i t i s h f a r t h i n g - became otiose with i n f l a t i o n and the d e c l i n i n g purchasing power of the valuables, but among the more sophisticated returnees the habit of computing i n f r a c t i o n s may  be regaining i t s relevance.  The i n d i c a t i o n that they might be strug-  g l i n g towards the r e a l i z a t i o n that d i f f e r e n t sized coins have d i f f e r e n t arithmetical values than can be summed together or subjected to other systematic operations, i s given i n the practice which Salisbury ( c . f . op. c i t . 125-126) says they have of adding s i x coins - any s i x coins, whether pennies, threepences, or sixpences - and c a l l i n g the r e s u l t " s i x s h i l i n g s " . I t i s at t h i s point that there begins a q u a l i t a t i v e difference, which Salisbury recognizes: It must be noted i n passing that i t i s not the chara c t e r i s t i c s of money - of being storable, a repository of value, and generally acceptable - or a standard- of value that have made i t s introduction c r i t i c a l . A l l these were possessed by the valuables and luxuries f o r  -194-  which i t substitutes. I t s d i v i s i b i l i t y i s the chara c t e r i s t i c that has made money usable i n many contexts.  (op. c i t . 136-137)  However i n c i p i e n t the process, Siane are on the way to discovering l i q u i d money, the u t i l i t y of which w i l l be the greater, according to Belshaw (1965  s 9 , 12l)  i t s flow easier, the more i t i s recognized  to be a symbolic counting system rather than a physical commodity. Modern money i n the form of "valuable" notes i s now entrenched i n gimaiye; coins service friendship exchanges i n the luxury category, and as such are the medium par excellence f o r day to day access to items of European cargo. Given the presence of the trade-store and the gradual introduction of cash-cropping, i t can only be a matter of time before modern money becomes an i n t r u s i v e f a c t o r i n the subsistence network.  As i n other parts of  Melanesia, t h i s w i l l undoubtedly mean that European foodstuffs w i l l be available f o r purchase and become i n some measure an i n t e g r a l part of the preferred d i e t ( c . f . Belshaw 1955  5  10).  By t h i s stage, exchanges  within the three t r a d i t i o n a l categories w i l l have t h e i r meeting point i n a common money medium.  P o t e n t i a l l y f l u i d across the range of these  a c t i v i t i e s , f u l l y fungible, and available i n a physical form that i s e a s i l y manageable, impersonal and uniform i n appearance, there i s one c r i t i c a l question to be asked.  What happens when Siane themselves come  to the f u l l understanding that modern money has reduced three areas of value, which formerly by t r a d i t i o n were r i g i d l y incommensurable, to a single arithmetical standard?  Salisbury's perspective on the i n f i l t r a t i o n of cash into a l l  -195-  areas of the native exchange system, and the accompanying increase i n the c o n v e r t i b i l i t y of commodities f o r use i n d i f f e r e n t types of a c t i v i t y , i s that i t creates a "new  sort of economic choice ... As a medium of  exchange /cash/ has effected a further breaking down of the r i g i d i t y of the native standards f o r c l a s s i f y i n g objects, which started during the period of i n d i r e c t contact" (1962  : 130,  the purview i s too narrowly f o r m a l i s t . cation of objects that now of choice.  135;  emphasis added).  But  I t i s not simply the d e c l a s s i f i -  confronts Siane with an unaccustomed degree  More immediately, the issue i s about the sets of r e l a t i o n s h i p  ordered and infused with p a r t i c u l a r meanings on the basis of the e a r l i e r classification.  The separation of exchanges was made with the assumption  of p r i n c i p l e s which permeated a l l l e v e l s of society and a c t i v i t y .  What  sense can these separate ways of r e l a t i n g people continue to make so long as the r u l e s and regular expectations of t r a d i t i o n a l transactional a c t i v i t y are i n d i s t i n c t , even incoherent?  The "new  economic choice", f o r  what i t could be worth, seems to be predicated upon the collapse of the cognitive underpinnings  k.  of what l i t t l e structure t h i s native society had.  Modern Gash and T r a d i t i o n a l Demand On the other hand .'.the prospect need not be a p o c a l y p t i c a l . I f i t must be accepted that the native exchange and subsistence practices cannot f o r long remain insulated from the effects of the outside cash economy, then i t i s nonetheless  conceivable that some form of advantageous  coexistence might i n time be struck up. 58),  Certainly, notes Belshaw (1955  there i s no j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r b e l i e v i n g that primitive s o c i e t i e s  !  -196-  can only obstruct the advance of the new kinds of behaviour, or that they must be completely destroyed to make way.  Salisbury (1962  :  121,  135) denies evidence of "anomic" symptoms i n Siane, and much weight should be given to h i s claims about the gradualness with which the changes are taking place.  Belshaw (1955  9)» again, i s able to argue from a com-  parison of two Melanesian s o c i e t i e s , that where the developments have been taken i n and necessary adjustments made smoothly, a balance can be achieved.  "Balance" here means not a state i n which development i s evenly  placed i n every aspect of society and culture, but one i n which i n t e r n a l inconsistencies have been resolved.  Such a "balance" i n the future of Siane could mean a dual (but not discontinuous) system i n which they are involved i n cash-earning enterprises other than indenture, yet without breaking to any marked extent with the t r a d i t i o n a l way of l i f e .  The l a t t e r , while having consider-  able u t i l i t y i n i t s own r i g h t , may even a s s i s t development i n p o s i t i v e ways which can be used well by an enlightened administration to buttress change and t o ease the t r a n s i t i o n t o a f u l l e r and more s a t i s f y i n g e x i s t ence ( c . f . Belshaw op. c i t . 30, 57,  58).  The continuation of a t r a d i t i o n a l  sector means that goods are provided that might otherwise not be obtainable; i t enables a v a r i e t y of occupations to survive; i t i s a means of s a t i s f y i n g many intangible valued wants; and i t can act as a cushion against recession i n the monetary sector, just as the monetary sector creates the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e l i e f i n the event of the f a i l u r e of the crop through drought or pestilence.  What i s most important though i s that the consumption of cash  commodities i n luxury trading and subsistence transactions, and the use  -197-  of cash i t s e l f i n the gimaiye ceremonies, means i n e f f e c t that the values associated with the t r a d i t i o n a l system of exchanges can act as a major cash-earning incentive, as well as providing the mechanism to secure a wider d i s t r i b u t i o n of the new kinds of wealth (already seen t o be operative i n the i n i t i a l propagation of the s t e e l axe throughout Siane). And where cash a s s i s t s thus s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n the s a t i s f a c t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l demands, i t would follow that a decline i n s o c i a l behaviour of the t r a d i t i o n a l type would lead to retrenchment  i n the demand f o r cash.  To be-  labour an e a r l i e r theme, variables of l o c a l culture, and p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e i r bearing on how people perceive the incentives t o make any t r a n s i t i o n , are at a l l times implicated i n questions about, the nature of native commercial i n i t i a t i v e , and the course which economic development can be expected to take.  Belshaw advises: ... one of the prime incentives to cash earning i s the discovery that cash can help to s a t i s f y t r a d i t i o n a l and ceremonial wants, f o r cash can be used i n ceremonial exchange and can purchase many desired goods such as pigs. In other words,