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The Heart of the Pearl Shell: The Mythological Dimension of Foi Sociality (Studies in Melanesian Anthropology)

Weiner, James F.

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ISBN 10: 0520061322 / ISBN 13: 9780520061323
Published by University of California Press, 1988
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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0520061322 Very good in sunned d.j. Cloth 8vo. Myth and social practice are metaphors of each other as aesthetic interpretations of Foi life condition and as patterns for moral and social action. Weiner demonstrates this by confirming that actions are guided by oral traditional patterns. 322pp. Index, biblio. B/w photos. 1st ed. > Language: English | > Size: 8vo | > Media/Binding: Hardcover |. Bookseller Inventory # CORV-BBP-06896

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Heart of the Pearl Shell: The ...

Publisher: University of California Press

Publication Date: 1988

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

For the Foi people who live on the edge of the central highlands of Papua New Guinea, the flow of pearl shells is the "heart" of their social life. The pearl shell is the exchange item that mediates the creation of their most important sexual and social roles. The Heart of the Pearl Shell analyzes a number of myths of the Foi people, elegantly bringing together significant ethnographic materials in a way that has important implications for the development of social theory in anthropology and in Melanesian studies. Scholars of semiotic-symbolic anthropology and of comparative religion will also share the author's interest in the meaning and role of mythology in Foi culture.

Instead of relying on orthodox methods of Freudian or structuralist interpretation, James Weiner assumes there is a dialectical relationship between the images of Foi myth and the images of the Foi's social world. He demonstrates how each set of these images is dependent upon the other for its creation. This innovative study locates Foi social meaning in the re-creation and attempted solution of the moral dilemmas that are crystallized in mythology and other poetic usages.

About the Author:

James F. Weiner is a lecturer in the Department of Prehistory and Anthropology at the Australian National University, Canberra.

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