Among the Ankave of Papua New Guinea, the important moments in men's and women's lives (birth, initiation, marriage and death) are marked by rituals and exchanges. Analysis of these moments reveals four major principles that organize how the Ankave think about human existence and its continuity: (1) a radical asymmetry between men and women in how they reach physical and reproductive maturity; (2) symbolic proximity between bodily substances and certain plants and minerals; (3) the power of life and death that maternal kin have over their nephews and nieces on account of their shared blood; and (4) the distance between the agent of an action and the action's beneficiary (‘action for another’). This article explores the registers in which these principles operate in order to grasp the Ankave understanding of life. The register of substances predominates in Ankave discourse about good health and growth, while the register of daily activities dominates when it comes to marking gender distinctions during infancy and childhood. The register of transformations and relations is dominant during male initiations – it is during these rituals that relations between novices and specific categories of kinswomen are transformed – and in discourse about what happens to boys’ bodies during these rituals. Analyses of Ankave discourse on life and on the rituals and exchanges that accompany life‐cycles show how these four principles operate concretely and how the registers of substances, activities, transformations and relations are articulated to form a specific way of understanding human existence and its continuity.
Oceania – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera