Time and Its Object
A Perspective from Amerindian and Melanesian Societies on the Temporality of Images
This volume examines the way objects and images relate to and shape notions of temporality and history. Bringing together ethnographic studies from the Lowlands of Central and South America and Melanesia, it explores the temporality inhering in images and artefacts from a comparative perspective. The chapters focus on how peoples in both regions ‘live in’ and ‘navigate’ time each through their distinctive systems of images and the processes and actions by which these come to be manifest in objects. With original theoretical and ethnographic contributions, the book is valuable reading for scholars interested in visual and material culture and in anthropological approaches to time.
Table of Contents
Introduction; I. Attending to Time: Process, Action and Sequence; 1. Asia-Pacific Legacies In Eastern Kula Ring Outrigger Canoes; 2. The Living Shape of Time: Time and Technics in the case of Abulës-Speakers Yams; 3. The Lost Writing and the Drawn Thought: Shamanic Reflections on Knowledge and Temporality among the Marubo (Western Amazonia); II. Navigating Possible Worlds: Surfaces, Patterns and Shapes; 4.Primeval Skins: the Rugged and the Smooth Surface. Cultural Keynotes and Accords in the Middle Sepik, Papua New Guinea; 5. A Meditation on Time: Pattern and Relational Ontologies in Northwestern Amazonia; 6. Biographical Relations in Amerindian and Melanesian Societies; III. Moving between Intersecting Worlds: Witnessing and Questioning; 7.Changing Houses: Architectural Transformations in the Ecuadorian Amazon; 8. Returned not Remade: Visuality, Authority and Potentiality of Digital Objects in a Melanesian Society; Epilogue
Paolo Fortis is Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at Durham University. His work focuses on the relations between art, ontology, time and history in Central and South America.
Susanne Küchler is Professor of Anthropology and Material Culture at University College London. Her work focuses on the relation between image systems and the geometry of social polity in island Melanesia and Eastern Polynesia.