Monday, March 18, 2013

summary of The essentials of the Kula


According to Malinoswski (1922), The “Kula” is a kind of extremely big and complex social institution. Or it is a form of exchange, of extensive, where people exchange the goods and culture within their inter-tribal character by communities inhabiting a wide ring of Island in Popuwa New Guinea. It is form of trade and bit relate with barter system too. There are different types of cultural system in different society and they have their own importances which maintain the whole society’s activities. In this article the author tried to explain about the functionalism theory by providing a simple example of Kula. 

In the Kula, limited number of member take part to receive the goods (rnwali and soulava), hold them for a short time and then pass them on to others that’s why they believe on principle of “once in the Kula, always in a Kula” (Malinowski,1922). In Kula people simply build up social relation, and they maintain a partnership relation permanent and lifelong affair by exchanging their goods. Kula is not a surreptitious and precarious form of exchange but it is contrary, rooted in myth, backed by traditional law and surrounded with magical rites. Who collect more goods and social relation their social status become high in Kula. In the Kula, gift repaid after and interval of time by a counter-gift but not a bartering and forcing. Thus Kula is simply institution where people can work socially, economically, legally and anthropologically in their particular area but not a barter and trade only.  

Malinoswski, B. (1922) “The Essentials of Kula,” in McGee, R. J. And R. L. Warms (eds.) (2003) Anthropological Theory: An introductory History, Boston: McGraw-Hill. PP. 163-178

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