The Making of Great Men: Male Domination and Power Among the New Guinea Baruya

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Cambridge University Press, 1986 - Social Science - 255 pages
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The Baruya are a tribal society in highlands Papua New Guinea, with whom Western contact was first made in 1951. During the last twenty years, Maurice Godelier has spent many long periods of time living among this people, and in this book he presents a detailed account of their lives and their forms of social organization. The focus of the book is on inequality and power in this classless society. Godelier discusses both the power that certain men (the Great men) have over others through their control of war, shamanism, hunting, and rites of initiation, as well as the extraordinary power and domination that men in general exert over women. He explores how this domination is produced and maintained, examining it in particular through a detailed study of male and female initiation. He also analyzes the role that sexuality plays in Baruya thought and theories, showing that in the Baruya view, every aspect of domination - be it (in Western categorization) economic, political, or symbolic - can be explained by sexuality, and the different role of the sexes in human reproduction. A major contribution both to the ethnography of Melanesia and to anthropological theory, the book will interest scholars and students of anthropology, as well as other readers interested in power and inequality, and in the relationships between the sexes.
 

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The making of great men: male domination and power among the New Guinea Baruya is a breathe taking book written by Maurice Godelier.
The Baruya unlike many other tribes in New Guinea central
highlands, are famous for their unique salt, which becomes a valuable commodity to trade with neighbouring tribes.  

Contents

Womens subordinate position
9
bodies space gestures
10
The place of men and women in their various activities
11
Magic in the production processes
16
The subordination of women in the production of relations of kinship
19
One woman equals one woman
23
A last look at the principle of female equivalence
28
The institution and legitimization of male superiority initiations and the separation of the sexes
31
the great warrior
103
the shaman
112
the cassowary hunter
126
the salt maker
130
General view of Baruya social hierarchies
136
The nature of manwoman relations among the Baruya violence and consent resistance and repression
141
Forms of female resistance and rebellion
149
Male violence and repression
151

The womans life cycle
40
Are the womens initiations genuine initiations?
46
The Baruya vision of the process of the reproduction of life the significance of bodily substances
51
Female powers and the ambivalence of woman
63
The production of great men powers inherited powers merited
77
Male hierarchies
79
the kwaimatnieowners
81
status for the taking
96
The discovery of great men
100
Great men societies big men societies Two alternative logics of society
162
The paradigm of the big man
163
Recent transformations of Baruya society
190
The colonial order and independence
191
Conclusion
225
The ventriloquists dummy
227
Bibliography
239
Index
245
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