Bridewealth a pardon: new relationships and restoration of good daughters

Neuendorf, Nalisa (2020) Bridewealth a pardon: new relationships and restoration of good daughters. Oceania, 90 (3). pp. 194-213.

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Bridewealth is recognized as vital in the reproduction and reconfiguration of Pacific environments and women play an integral role in this process. In contemporary Papua New Guinea (PNG), bridewealth is reconfigured by kin to acknowledge the considered actions of women as they enter into relationships with men. This paper will explore how women's choices impact and influence their experience of these exchanges and determine the role of women and their kin as they undertake these practices. Here I aim to understand how the social relatedness that frames bridewealth exchanges enables the practices of bridewealth to be used as a tool for recognition of women's choices, autonomy and personhood. Although women enter into relationships without initial kin approval, bridewealth practices converge ultimately with a women's autonomous choice of husband. Wardlow suggests (2006:86) 'bridewealth confers value and dignity on female gender', and going beyond her observation, I show that bridewealth has been useful in achieving this in regard to managing and supporting social, kin and affinal relationships. This article will explore two cases, to identify what each tells us about women's ability to act in ways that are beneficial to them and important to kin. I show how moral evaluations frame (pasin) and recognize (luksave) kin and social relationships that ultimately constitute their personhood.

Item ID: 66062
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-4461
Keywords: bridewealth, pasin, gutpela pasin, luksave, pasin bilong luksave, ideal persons, autonomy, autonomous
Copyright Information: © 2020 Oceania Publications
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2020 07:36
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441008 Sociology of culture @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1
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