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Author MacKenzie, Maureen Anne.

Title Androgynous objects : string bags and gender in central New Guinea / Maureen Anne MacKenzie
Published Chur, Switzerland ; Philadelphia : Harwood Academic Publishers, 1991


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 W'PONDS  305.08995 Mac/Aos  DUE 22-09-20
Description xvi, 256 pages, 8 pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Series Studies in anthropology and history ; v. 2
Studies in anthropology and history ; v. 2
Contents 1. String bags, material culture and gender: an introduction. The string bag in Papua New Guinea. The analytical framework -- 2. The Telefol and their bilums. The female/male distinction in Telefol life. Telefol myth and the origin of the bilum. Telefol bilums: an emic classification -- 3. Open loops, open lives: production in the female realm. The social context of production. Raw materials. Turning string. Looping a bilum. Transmission of looping skills -- 4. Elaborations: production in the male realm. The social context of production. Raw materials. Elaborating a bird feather bilum. Production of the secret, sacred bilum -- 5. A good bilum is like a good woman: the social value of women's bags. Utilitarian value. Aesthetic value. The bilum and womanness. The centrality of the bilum as a gift -- 6. The bilum is our mother: the social value of men's bags. The concept of multiple authorship. The bird feather bilum. The value attributed to the secret, sacred bilums -- 7. The loops of integration. Two models of social relations. App.: The technology of looping -- App.: Telefol looping techniques -- App.: The named types and sub-types of Telefol bilums -- App.: Telefol myths
Summary This book explores the way meaning is encoded in material culture by focusing on the androgynous symbolism of the looped string bag, or bilum, of the Telefol people of Central New Guinea. The web of meanings 'woven' into the bag is shown to extend beyond women's lives and bodies. It is open to manipulation and reformation in a variety of contexts and is used by both Telefol women and men to explore, and so explain the complexities and ambiguities inherent in their social life
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 228-244) and index
Subject Anthropology -- Papua New Guinea.
Basket making -- Papua New Guinea.
Containers -- Papua New Guinea.
Hand weaving -- Papua New Guinea -- Patterns
Sex role -- Papua New Guinea.
String bags -- Papua New Guinea.
String craft -- Technique.
Telefol (Papua New Guinean people) -- Clothing.
Telefol (Papua New Guinean people) -- Material culture.
Telefol (Papua New Guinean people) -- Social life and customs.
Telefomin (Papua New Guinea people) -- Social life and customs
LC no. 91055264
ISSN 1055-2464
ISBN 3718651556