2008 • $42.00 • 294 pp • paper
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Inspired by the research of the French anthropologist Daniel de Coppet on exchange, death, and compensation in the Solomon Islands within the South-West Pacific region, this edited collection highlights the fundamental connections between exchange and sacrifice as ritual practices within cosmological frameworks. The volume builds on both de Coppet's work and that of Marcel Mauss in The Gift and provides new insights from an engaging set of established scholars. The chapters in Exchange and Sacrifice stress the dynamic performativity of exchanges and their deep connections with ideas of sacrifice. This collection of theoretically and ethnographically focused essays will be valuable to those interested in the classic debates in social/cultural anthropology on ritual and religious systems of material and spiritual interaction, and the politics of "the gift."
This book is part of the Ritual Studies Monograph Series, edited by Pamela J. Stewart and Andrew Strathern, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh.
“Rich ethnographic detail, intellectual challenge and theoretical insight make this excellent collection a must-read for scholars of Melanesia and theorists of exchange and sacrifice.” — Naomi M. McPherson, Pacific Affairs, The University of British Columbia
“[The authors'] present effort and those of all the contributors should be appreciated as a gallant Anglophone tribute to de Coppet's legacy in Melanesian anthropology. It is a useful springboard for further mindful explorations and critique of his position as well as of the cosmo-ontological problematisation of exchange and sacrifice.” — The Australian Journal of Anthropology
“[R]ich ethnographic analyses of the complex relationship between exchange and sacrifice in Melanesian societies.” — Toon Van Meijl, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia and Oceania)
“This collection contains a set of carefully-argued discussions of the two concepts featured in the title and the way in which these have been linked, not only to the taking of life but to the making of human life and communities. Overall, the content of each of the authors' chapters are complex, but well worth exploring.” — Wendy E. Cowling, Anthropological Notebooks