Skip to main content
Ref ID: 21381
Ref Type: Book (Edited)
Editors: Godelier, Maurice
Strathern, Marilyn
Title: Big men and great men: personification of power in Melanesia
Date: 1991
Place of Publication: Cambridge, UK
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme
Notes: Description: This is an unusual collection of essays by anthropologists who have worked in all parts of Melanesia. The work focuses on a single theoretical issue: a hypothesis formulated by the noted French anthropologist, Maurice Godelier, concerning the relationship among power, kinship, and wealth in these societies. It opens up a major inquiry into the constitution of society in a part of the world where men of prominence come to personify the nature of power. It contains important insights into the nature of social evolution of Melanesian societies, the relationship between wealth and ritual powers, the nature of male domination, and the relationship of apparently egalitarian political systems to those, also found in the same region, dominated by chiefs and ranks. While there are many accounts of political systems in Melanesia, there is nothing quite like the comparative synthesis offered here.
Date Created: 4/21/2015
Page End: 272