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The Trobrianders Of Papua New Guinea

1040 words - 5 pages

The Trobrianders of Papua New Guinea
In this ethnographic work of Annette Weiner, we discover the social and economical differences of this distinguished group of people. The trobrianders lived their lives in a much different sense. There life is centered on their Martilineage, and the philosophy of family is greatly sacred. The traditions of the trobrianders was of such high ordinance that even Malinkwoski had stated, there resilience o the trobiranders to cultural change. The social life of the trobrianders underlay on a focus for reputation and disguising. They believed that if they do not disguise there true feelings towards others, sorcery would be the consequence. Sorcery was a ...view middle of the document...

The Husband must accommodate all his belongings to purchase yams for his bride and create a yam garden; in other places men challenge others to a Yam competition, to see who has the largest. Not only a significant social factor towards the islanders, but it’s also of great custom for the politics of the tribes. As Weiner stated, Chief Vanoi had 9 wives at the time he had passed and was promised 3 others, each wife would need a yam garden built for them, and this showed the power that he held. Not only were yams a great part in the trobrianders life, but it played as one of the highest currencies in use. The emphasis on the kulu was also of great interest to Weiner, it was a delicate system of trade that created relationships between different island partners, as it was the portrayed as the path to success and profit. The lifestyle of the islanders and the view, in which Weiner described it, intrigued me as how it related to our studies. The Trobrianders of Papua New Guinea had an efficient system of giving and receiving. The brothers and sisters of the women, through martilineage, build the yam gardens. The women then give the yams to her relatives as a sign of appreciation. The Trobrianders had great traditions towards there kin, and therefore everything centered on it. Weiner had some difficulties at times through her studies culturally relating to the Inuit’s. As we focused in class on the work of Malinowski, I can now see how it was described the society as an organism. The Trobrianders had a less stratified society as everyone relied on one another for the well being of all. The traditions and customs of the islanders were so sacred that Malinowski had said cultural change would be a long and difficult process. Cultural change for the trobrianders emphasized more on innovations (Internal Change). Rather than importing goods from other foreign lands, the Trobrianders attempted to build upon there own tools by developing innovative techniques. Innovations in yam gardening and stone axe-blades where among the many things they focused on, creating more efficient and longer lasting products. Being very...

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