Current anthropology uses expressions such as 'society as a whole', 'socio-cosmic relations', 'spatiotemporal extension', 'global ideology', and 'cosmomorphy' to establish that the clear-cut Western dichotomy between society and cosmos is not always to be found in the communities it studies. In fact, many elements that the West would at first undoubtedly classify as belonging either to the cosmos or to the society appear very often in Melanesia as belonging to neither one of these domains, but to a realm which combines the attributes of both. Focusing on different examples drawn from diverse Melanesian societies, this thought-provoking volume by eminent specialists re-examines the relationship between society and cosmos and, in the process, opens new directions for research.
Table of Contents
Contents: D. de Coppet and A. Iteanu, Introduction: - D. de Coppet, Shared Authority: The Notion of Big Man in the Solomon Islands - A. Gell, Closure and Multiplication: An Essay on Polynesian Cosmology and Ritual - G. Lewis, Revealed by Illness: The Gnau People's World and Some of its Risks - E. Hirsch, The 'Holding Together' of Ritual: Ancestrality and Achievement in the Papuan Highlands - A. Iteanu, Ritual and Ancestors: On the Identity of Supernatural Beings - L. Josephides, Putting Back the Markers: Symbolic Analysis and Political Action in Melanesia - D. Monnerie, On 'Grand-Mothers', 'Grand-Fathers' and 'Ancestors': Conceptualizing the Cosmos in Mono Alu - N. Munn, Symbolic Constructions of Memory: Three Melanesian Cases - C. Toren, Cosmogonic Aspects of Desire and Compasion in Fiji - A. Weiner, Keeping-While-Giving: The Incest Taboo and Gender
Daniel de Coppet Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales,Paris Andre Iteanu Charge de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.), Paris