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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Return to Book Page. The founding document of economic anthropology! Bronislaw Malinowski, one of the all-time great anthropologists of the world, had a talent for bringing together in single comprehension the warm reality of human living with the cool abstractions of science. His pages have become an almost indispensable link between the knowing of exotic and remote people with theoretical kn The founding document of economic anthropology!
Argonauts of the Western Pacific
His pages have become an almost indispensable link between the knowing of exotic and remote people with theoretical knowledge about humankind. This volume–originally published in can be considered the founding document of economic anthropology, and remains the best one to read.
It emphasizes the great significance of primitive economics by singling out the notable exchange system of the Trobriand Islands for special consideration. Although the main theme is economic, constant reference is made in this milestone of anthropological research and interpretation to social organization, life and meaning, the power of magic, and to mythology and folklore.
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Be the first to ask a question about Argonauts of the Western Pacific. Lists with This Book. Feb 15, Jenny Reading Envy rated it really liked it Shelves: This was a cornerstone of my Readings in Ethnography course in graduate school.
Argonauts of the Western Pacific – Wikipedia
Basically a classic of anthropology that also had an impact on the fields of folklore and ethnomusicology. And happens to be set in islands off the coast of but belonging to Papua New Guinea! Mar 15, HyL rated it liked it Shelves: The rhetorical style of the time Malinowski was writing makes this classic a tough read today, but for the Oceanist, or anyone interested in economic exchange, this is a must-read.
Jan 29, Czarny Pies rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Those highly interested in Kula exchange.
Argonauts of the Western Pacific is an westfrn 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 I consider the work to be brilliant.
However, you should understand that I have never taken even pacifjc undergraduate course in Anthropology and had read only one other anthropological or ethnographic monograph prior to read 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 However, you should understand tye I have never taken even one malinowxki course in Anthropology and had read only one other anthropological or ethnographic monograph prior to reading the Argonauts.
The list of anthropological books that I have read is comprised primarily of breezy works of synthesis such as Emile Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of Religious Life and Mircea Eliade’s Shamanism. I have of bronisalw also ready the Golden Bough by James Frazer who rights a glowing introduction that is included in the edition of the Argonauts that I read. The first effect of reading a work based on a research project conducted according to academic norms is to lose confidence in the bold inferences presented in the synthesis works.
Anthropology appears to me to malinwoski like history in that the more rigorous and thorough is the research, the more tentative are the conclusions. One does not read the Argonauts for the exciting conjecture.
The book’s charm comes from the fascinating nature of the behaviour described.
Full text of “Argonauts Of The Western Pacific”
At intervals of several years, the Trobriand Islanders would over several weeks visit roughly a dozen other islands travelling in outrigger canoes. At each location they would participated in ceremonies in which they presented armbands as opening gifts yagas to the island’s chief and received necklasses as return gifts yotile.
There were only two classes of gifts. An expedition travelling in a clockwise circuit would give armbands as yagas and receive necklasses as yotilies. An expedition travelling in o counterclockwise circuit would necklasses as yagas and receives armbands as yotiles in return. The whole exercise was both absurd and dangerous. The goods never become the property of any community.
They were simply held until they had be exchanged. The trips were very dangerous as the travellers risked either dying at sea in their primitive craft or being attacked by hostile tribes. Malinowski is very cautious in terms of the conclusions he makes.
He is adamannt argonautx on the idea that the Kula expeditions can not be considered commerical or any way driven by economics. Some transactions of a commercial hile some true commercial transactions do occur, they are trivial relative to bronoslaw cost and danger of conducting the argonauys.
On this point, Frazer loudly applauds Malinowski in his introduction. Malinowski acknowledges that the Kula could be connected to the social structure of the tribe in that the chief is the leader of the expedition and the nominal owner of the boats but Malinowski does not insist very heavily on this point.
Malinowski does however see a strong link between the Kula expeditions and the magic belief system of the Trobanders. Malinowski notes that magic spells are recited daily at multiple points fromt every stage from the selection of the trees to be made into canoes, through the construction, launching, bronisaw and visits.
While Malinowski clearly perceives that the Kula expeditions are a component of the magic practices of the Islanders, he nonetheless remains vague as to what the exact role of the Kula expeditions are in the magical system of the Trobrianders. The great beauty of the book is in its execution. The photos, tables and maps are well chosen and support the the text bronisla well.
Malinowski’s treatment of the magical spells his excellent. He chooses to give the spells in their entirety in both Kilivila the language of the Trobrianders and in English.
This westerb very helpful to the reader wishing to understand the argonayts, rhyme and onomatopoeia of the spells. All in all, Argonauts of the Western Pacific is a great treat for anyone wishing to know about either the art of anthropology or ceremonial exchange systems. Bronislaw Malinowski, Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea  pages An account largely of the “Kula Ring”, a complex and apparently non-utilitarian system of exchanges of shell armlets and necklaces among the islands of Melanesia, this book is a classic of ethnological literature.
Using the bornislaw as a focal point, the book discusses canoe-making and navigation, more purely economic trade, m April 11 Using the kula as a focal point, the book discusses canoe-making and navigation, more purely economic trade, magic, mythology, and social organization in bronispaw region, particularly in the Trobriand Islands.
Throughout the book there are discussions of ethnographic methods, as anthropology was entering into a period of empirical fieldwork to learn as much as possible about non-literate cultures before they were totally destroyed by colonial policies.
The book is extremely interesting although somewhat daunting, with dense passages of geographical names, native terms in several languages, and great detail about parts of lf and so forth.
There are many argonuats but unfortunately very grainy halftones in the edition I read Dutton paperback. Oct 29, Subarashi rated it really liked it. Apr 17, split zalv rated it liked it. Apr 01, Leah rated it really liked it Shelves: One of the first books since starting goodreads that I didn’t finish not because I didn’t like it, I just could get my head around it as the mercury rose.
I wish I could say I was committed enough to read anthropological pacificc in hot weather, but by halfway through, I couldn’t concentrate enough to know what was going on. So, shelved until fall! Jul 11, Marcel rated it really liked it. Malinowski keeps referring to how things were done “in olden days,” and seems to attribute many of the changes argonaugs the white man’s influence—pearling more profitable than fishing, decreased intertribal violence.
But there’s no real effort to interrogate the colonialist enterprise or its operations; mostly, it’s just a bummer that things ain’t like they used to be. Dec 09, Anna Dal Pont rated it liked it Shelves: It is in many ways outdated pzcific, but can still definitely give several interesting sparks for reflection. Feb 10, Theresa Malloy rated it liked it Shelves: We read excerpts of this in the ethnography classes then read bronoslaw diary.
If you delve into Malinowski, make sure you take a look at his personal take on the people he observed. Another man who shocked the world by being human and not so objective. A great file-cabinet of a book deserving of an honored place among the classic malniowski texts. View all 3 comments. Apr 14, Jen rated it really liked it. Speaking of leading critical minds to water I still enjoy this immensly. Jun 01, C. Jun 10, Risa rated it liked it. Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Bronislaw Malinowski Mar 30, Sofia rated it it was ok.
Jun 03, Eli Jacobs rated it really liked it. Aug 17, Fabio Bertino rated it it was amazing Shelves: Non so come ho fatto a dimenticare di aggiungere questo libro! Jul 25, Michael Mena rated it did not like it.
Basically an anthro classic I’m reading for grad school. Pacificc crucial book, but it is malinowsko and boring. A product of its age.