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From Land to Mouth
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From Land to Mouth: The Agricultural "Economy" of the Wola of the New Guinea Highlands

Paul Sillitoe

Abstract

Among the Wola people of Papua New Guinea, using the term “economy” is problematic. Distribution is unnecessary; the producers of everyday needs are the consumers: produce goes largely “from land to mouth”—with no implication that resources are scarce. Yet transactions featuring valuable things—which are scarce—are a prominent aspect of life, where sociopolitical exchange figures prominently. The relationship—or rather the disconnection—between these two domains is central to understanding the fiercely egalitarian political-economy. In this investigation of a Highland New Guinea agricultural “ ... More

Keywords: Wola, Papua New Guinea, egalitarian political-economy, political order, noncapitalist context, gift, data sets

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780300142266
Published to University Press Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300142266.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Sillitoe, author