Indecorous, Too Hasty, Incorrect: Market and Moral Imagination in Auhelawa, Papua New Guinea

Malinowski quotes a typical Kiriwina man in Argonauts of the Western Pacific: “He conducts his Kula as if it were gimwali” (1932 [1922]:96). This analysis of the difference between ceremonial exchange and barter—not Malinowski’s, but his informant’s—is one reason Trobriand kula practices resonate with so many. In this article, I suggest one consider the informant’s […]

What is the value of money?: Some scenes from Auhelawa’s fiscal landscape

[RS: These snapshots of informal economic activity all come from my fieldwork in Auhelawa (Normanby Island, Papua New Guinea) in 2004, 2006 and 2010. I found this document, dated August 6, 2013, among a few other odd items in an old folder of notes related to a forthcoming paper. It appears to be a prewriting […]

Finding Money: Business and Charity in Auhelawa, Papua New Guinea

There is a growing consensus that money and the market principle have not led to a great transformation into modernity. Rather, market exchange is everywhere socially embedded. But what does this embedding consist of, structural limits, tactics of resistance, or moral boundaries? Auhelawa (Normanby Island, Papua New Guinea) have incorporated money into their local economy […]