Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Bronislaw Malinowski’s pathbreaking Argonauts of the Western Pacific is at once a detailed account of exchange in the Melanesian islands and a manifesto of a. Argonauts of the Western Pacific has ratings and 23 reviews. Jenny ( Reading Envy) said: This was a cornerstone of my Readings in Ethnography course.

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My knowledge of some of the remaining localities which enter into wesgern Kula is derived only from a few conversations I had with natives of this district, and on second-hand information derived from white residents.

Argonauts Of The Western Pacific

Needless to add, in this respect, the scientific field-work is far above even the best amateur productions. As mentioned before, the boundary of the district inhabited by this tribe corresponds to definite geographical conditions, that is, to the absence of natural, inland fastnesses, or of any obstacles to landing.

I feel therefore no need to justify an ethnological contribution which is the result of specialised research in the field. We learn much about the framework of their society, but within bronislae, we cannot perceive or imagine the realities of human life, the even flow of everyday events, the occasional ripples of excitement over a feast, or ceremony, or some singular occurrence.

But I may add at once that in studying the Kula in that part, I ipso facto [21] studied its adjacent branches between the Trobriands and the Amphletts, between the Trobriands and Kitava, and between the Trobriands and Dobu; seeing not only the preparations and departures in Boyowa, but also the arrival of the natives from other districts, in fact, following one or arglnauts of such expeditions in person [22].

Modern science, on the contrary, shows that their social institutions have a very definite organisation, that they are governed by authority, law and order in their public and personal relations, while the latter are, besides, under the control of extremely complex ties of kinship and clanship. Nor, alas, up to the present, has any wetsern interest been taken by the public in these studies.

Jeremy Bentham and Mr. Each time, new problems and difficulties presented themselves. I — Visits made on the return trip. Again, studying the concrete data of economic transactions, in order to trace the history of a valuable object, and to gauge the nature of its circulation, the principle of completeness and thoroughness would lead to construct tables of transactions, such as we find in the work of Professor Seligman [10].

Farewells on the beach. He can take part in the natives’ games, he can follow them on their visits and walks, sit down and listen and share in their conversations.


Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Bronisław Malinowski

Collection of information about the yoyova. II — Analysis of its construction, in relation to its function. II — The sagali ceremonial distribution on Muwa. Malinowski has done his work, as it appears to me, under the best conditions and in the manner calculated to secure the best possible results.

In this way he has accumulated a large mass of materials, of high scientific value, bearing on the social, religious, and economic or industrial life of the Trobriand Islanders. Definite forms of exchange along definite trade routes are to be found established between the various tribes. Their beliefs and practices do not by any means lack consistency of a certain type, and their knowledge of the outer world is sufficient to guide them in many of their strenuous enterprises and activities.

The tribes of Dobu. We possess in Professor Seligman’s book an excellent description of the subject, especially of the nearer trades routes between the various islands inhabited by the Southern Massim. Be the first to ask a question about Argonauts of the Western Pacific. The handling of yams. Hancock, of Gusaweta, Trobriand Islands, allowed me to use his house and store as base for my gear and provisions; he lent me his cutter on various occasions and provided me with a home, where I could always repair in need or sickness.

This trading system, the Kula, is the subject I am setting out to describe in this volume, and it will be seen that it is an economic phenomenon of considerable theoretical importance. I — Sailing, and trading in the South Seas; the Kula. I — To’uluwa, the chief of Kiriwina, on a visit in Sinaketa. How could I therefore in a few months or a year, hope to overtake and go beyond them?

When, on a hot day, we enter the deep shadow of fruit trees and palms, and find ourselves in the midst of the wonderfully designed and ornamented houses hiding here and there in irregular groups among the green, surrounded by little decorative gardens of shells and flowers, with pebble-bordered paths and stone-paved sitting circles, it seems as if the visions of a primeval, happy, savage life were suddenly realised, even if only in a fleeting impression.

The ceremonial building of a waga. It is equally absurd to neglect the beneficent application of magic and to single out its maleficent use as the characteristic property by which to define it.

Last, not least, I wish to mention Professor C. In this volume I give an account of one phase of savage life only, in describing certain forms wrgonauts inter-tribal, trading relations among the natives of New Guinea.


On this point, Frazer loudly applauds Malinowski in his introduction.

Argonauts of the Western Pacific is an anthrological monograph on Kula exchange, a form of ritual gift giving that was practiced in the Trobriand Islands off Eastern New Guinea at the time when Bronislaw Malinowski conducted his field work in the location between and The importance of this may be exemplified by one instance.

No special chapter or paragraph is devoted to describing to us the conditions under which observations were made and information collected.

As the evening approaches, the life becomes more active, fires are kindled, and the natives busy themselves cooking and eating food. With his attention constantly directed to this aspect of tribal life, with the constant endeavour to fix it, to express it in terms of actual fact, a good deal of reliable and expressive material finds its way into his notes.

The reader who is concerned with results, rather than with the way of obtaining them, will find in Chapters IV to XXI a consecutive narrative of the Kula expeditions, and the various associated customs and beliefs. Here we find the village. The bronislxw for energetic work is urgent, and the time is short.

V — Attitude of the native towards wealth. Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Bronislaw Malinowski In this volume, the description is given of a big institution connected with ever so many associated activities, and presenting many aspects.

Importance of personal participation in native life. Seligman, where a thorough account is given of all the main types of Papuo-Melanesian sociology and culture one after the other. Absence of gain in exchange. V — The spell of the rescuing giant fish. The natives of that northern area used to practise — I say used because wars are a thing of the past — a type of warfare open and chivalrous, very different from the raids of the Southern Massim.

I — A concise definition of the Kula.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Little reflection is needed to convince us of the fundamental importance of economic forces at all stages of man’s career from the humblest to the highest. The coast is broken first by a series of small, land-locked bays or lagoons; then, after Fife Bay, come one or two larger bays, with a flat, alluvial foreshore, and then from South Cape the coast stretches in an almost unbroken line, for several miles, to the end of the mainland.

IV — Production of mwali armshells.