A gift of whale meat: on the flesh of the no-thing

Lundberg, Anita (2005) A gift of whale meat: on the flesh of the no-thing. Cultural Dynamics, 17 (1). pp. 33-50.

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Abstract

This article arises from a performance of the exchange of whale meat as experienced during ethnographic fieldwork in the subsistence whale hunting village of Lamalera, Eastern Indonesia. The animist-Catholic beliefs of Lamalerans serve to sustain this ancestral ritual. Underlying orthodox western analyses of gift and exchange is a notion of economics based on a principle of scarcity. The article demonstrates how this assumption is associated with the psychoanalytic fear of lack, and offers an alternative reading of gift and exchange informed by: feminist theories of an economy of excess; Confucian notions of the ceremonial; and Buddhist and Taoist philosophies of no-thing as the space of never-ending potential.

Item ID: 22427
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: whale meat, Buddhist theory, cultural anthropology, whale hunters, Indonesia
ISSN: 1461-7048
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 05:28
FoR Codes: 22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies > 229999 Philosophy and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified @ 25%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 75%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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