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are dispersed across the whole area, being locally concentrated as village-based kin
groups and conceptually brought together under a region-wide name. The signi¬-
cance of K¨ chler™s (1987: 249) remark that the ˜relationship between localised units
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of a matrilineal clan is apprehended in terms of places and movements of people
between places™ will become apparent later.
185
NOTES TO PAGES 93“95


2. There are several illustrations in Lincoln (1987) and, after this piece was ¬rst written,
K¨ chler (2002).
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3. There is only one term here (skin, tak, K¨ chler [1992: 100]); the Malanggan momen-
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tarily replaces the rotting body of the deceased, which is, in one way or another, then
left to rot itself.
4. Casey (1996: 39) notes Heidegger™s insistence that it is ˜in dwellings that we are
most acutely sensitive to the effects of places on our lives™ (place here refers to
embodiment).
5. See the Acknowledgement for the source of these analogies. I am not sure about
borrowing terms, notably ˜dwelling™, from general philosophical arguments about
conceptual and bodily orientations that pre¬gure the perceived world (Heidegger,
Merleau Ponty) and then applying them to culturally conceived contexts or environ-
ments. The borrowing has some purchase perhaps in the form of a question: how
do people fabricate the idea of a world containing things or persons within it?
6. Anthropologists have drawn on dwelling to develop a dialectic not with technology
but with travelling (Battaglia 1999: 129, citing Feld and Basso 1996) or, explicitly after
Heidegger, building (Ingold 1995). For a full length ethnography that marvellously
explores some of these ideas, see Weiner (1991).
7. Technical virtuosity points to the sheer control necessary to produce these effects out
of these materials: light, airy ¬‚owing structures from solid wood (though no more
amazing, than the cathedral made of matches [Gell 1999b: 167; n. 10]). In pre-steel
days, much of the work was done by burning.
8. Partly because this is not a concept rei¬ed in their thinking, partly because they do
not have an environmentalist view of what Euro-Americans call the natural world
in which they seem to be situated.
9. It is the cultural role that technology has come to play in Euro-American perceptions
of their place in the world that has in turn given an impetus to the concept of
intellectual property; intellectual property rights (IPR) hold up a mirror to the
dazzle of creativity. For ˜intellectual property™ points simultaneously to an item
or technique made available to knowledge, authorising its use and circulation, and
to the knowledge, on which claims are made, that has made it into an item or
technique. Inventions are impotent if there is too great a technology gap between
the idea and its application (Phillips and Firth 1990: 42).
10. An important part in the production of their effects is the dazzle of technical virtuos-
ity (the enchantment of technology). His terms are deliberately recursive. Apropos
art and magic, ˜[I]t seems to me that the ef¬cacy of art objects as components of
the technology of enchantment . . . is itself the result of the enchantment of tech-
nology, the fact that the technical process, such as carving canoe boards [which
have magical properties], are [known to be] construed magically so that, by en-
chanting us, they make the products of these technical processes seem enchanted
vessels of magical power™ (Gell 1999b: 166). Apropos the matchstick model of
Salisbury Cathedral that awed him as a boy, ˜[T]he matchstick model, function-
ing essentially as an advertisement, is part of the technology of enchantment, but
it achieves its effect by the enchantment cast by its technical means, the manner of
its coming into being, or, rather, the idea which one forms of its coming into being™
(1999b: 167).
11. As a concept, technology ˜essentially refers to the rational principles [logos] govern-
ing the construction of artifacts and indicates a move away from artisan or craft
186 NOTES TO PAGES 95 “96


production [techne] to the possibilities of embedding skills in machines which can
then be “operated” by relatively non-skilled workers™ (Harvey 1997: 6, after Ingold
1988, 1997). As Ingold (1997: 131) observes, the creative part of manufacture ceases to
be found in the application of the craftsman™s skills and becomes instead found ˜in
the element of design or planning™ by which the machine itself was conceived.
12. On the empowerment of anonymity, see Konrad (1998). Creativity might be thought
individual and idiosyncratic, thereby deserving of personal reward (cf Khalil 1995:
243), but Euro-Americans also imagine their civilisation to be characterised by tech-
nical innovation at large.
13. In the arena of the once-called new reproductive technologies, arguments are fre-
quently heard that technology supplies a means, and it is for society to sort out the
ends to which it will be put (see Edwards et al. 1999).
14. For example, by dividing technology off from other things, we create the materials on
which technology gets to work. A language that divides off technology as a marked
form of human industry from everything else is consonant with one that divides
the scienti¬c observer from the observed, culture from nature, and modernity from
tradition, not to mention the mechanical from the organic, human intervention
from self-reproduction, and so forth. There is no end to the number of conceptual
supports by which each division is held up through related but distinct divisions
(cf. Pottage 1998: 745). Bits of this ancient enchantment of the Euro-American world
are endlessly destroyed (by critics) only to spring up again (in new contexts).
15. See Miller (2000) on Trinidadian websites. These can be understood as creating ˜aes-
thetic traps that express the social ef¬cacy of their creators and attempt to draw
others into social or commercial exchange with those who have objecti¬ed them-
selves through the internet. [As in Melanesian exchange] . . . these websites attempt to
expand their creators through casting themselves out into a larger world of exchange
with distant places™ (2000: 6).
16. Whalers, labour recruiters and traders followed Cartaret™s 1767 determination that
New Ireland was an island, and encounters with New Ireland people were frequent.
After 1885, colonisation by Germany added intensive commercial and missionary
activity (Bodrogi 1987: 17; Lincoln 1987: 35). But the area had been known since
Tasman™s voyage of 1643, and carvings (not Malanggan in this case) were recorded
from that earliest moment in the seventeenth century (Gunn 1987: 74).
17. K¨ chler (1987) explains that vertical and horizontal Malanggan may act as tree and
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branch in relation to one another, whereas in some areas (e.g., Tabar island) houses
take over from trees. These structures are at the basis of mnemonic techniques
required for the recall of designs.
18. For Tabar, Gunn (1987: 75) gives a list of diverse occasions that provide the immediate
reason for display, but the logic of the display is based on the same premise that a
person honours the dead of their spouse™s kin group (from the opposite moiety)
when they deploy Malanggan in an appropriate context. Across the Malanggan-
making region, occasions include intitiation, ceremonies to renconcile parties after
quarrelling, validation of land transactions, removal of social prohibitions, as well
as a host of new events (Sykes personal communication). I am abbreviating and
eliding information and analysis from several distinct social traditions; my principal
published source is K¨ chler (1987, 1992) and Gell™s (1998) rendering of her data,
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along with the examples described in Lincoln (1987).
187
NOTES TO PAGES 96“99


19. Malanggan may be made for deceased men or women, but they are sponsored and
made by men; the owner in question will be someone who shared rights in the
Malanggan with the deceased person (K¨ chler 1987: 240).
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20. Rather like the Hagen headdress (Strathern 1999a: Chapter 2), every such ¬gure,
every construction of identity, is an amalgamation of ¬gures, of social identities
derived from others. On places as events rather than things, or as location rather
than geography, and on the general signi¬cance of emplacement as the gathering
together of perceptions, see Casey (1996).
21. Weiner (1990: 71) comments on an early anthropological observer of Melanesian
languages who said that habits of speaking (through locatives and so on) implied
that everybody or everything was either coming or going, now in one place now in
another.
22. As a virtual body, the clan contains all the persons and actions, past and future,
that constitute it, and clanship means for any one individual both the possibility of
living through all these others and the possibility of bene¬ting from its numerous
connections; not the clan as a discrete unit but the clan and its relationships with
others is what envelops persons (Wagner 1991 ). Note that, for simplicity™s sake, I
argue through the concept of clanship in order to summon the collective dimension
in rights to produce Malanggan. The reality is complicated by the identities of and
interrelations between localised subclans or clan segments. (K¨ chler [1987: 251]
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suggests that the transactions over and sharing in Malanaggan across the northern
New Ireland region offer their own sources of sociality connected to but separate
from the organisational role played by the dispersed matrilineal clans.)
23. The phrase is from Gell (1998: 225): ˜On death the agency of a [deceased] person is
in a dispersed state™, and through the Malanggan the dispersed social effectiveness of
the person becomes ˜something to which a single material index may be attached™.
Compare Hirsch (1995).
24. ˜Absorbed into the artistic system, this life-force is rechannelled to the living in
the form of power. This power constitutes political authority and is derived from
the control over the re-embodiment of the memorised imagery into new sculptures™
(K¨ chler 1987: 240). This is highly pertinent to relations between land-holding units,
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whose claims relative to one another are mapped out through their rights to repro-
duce particular Malanggan.
25. There are both inter-place and inter-clan relations here, not distinguished in this
account. The right to reproduce Malanggan may be transferred between parts of the
same matrilineal clan living in different localites or between af¬nal clans linked in a
history of inter-marriage and co-residence (K¨ chler 1987: 240).
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26. Thereby, for example, ratifying new claims to landholdings after the person™s death.
In the area where she worked, recently settled by immigrants from elsewhere in the
region and where land was very short, K¨ chler notes particular emphasis on the
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readjustment of land claims. It is the anticipated claims that the Malaggan records.
27. On gathering and dispersal as a recurrent template to social arrangements in PNG,
see Hirsch (1995). From the perspective of Actor Network Theory (Law and Hassard
1999), the Malanggan is a temporary passage point (see Callon 1986).
28. Tassy and Dambrine (1997: 193) are explicit: ˜Intellectual property is a generic term
which refers to the rights attached to the products of human creativity™. Patent law
is ˜inherently designed to cope with new technology™ (Phillips and Firth 1990: 273).
188 NOTES TO PAGES 100“106


29. Speci¬cations of the invention must be of a detail to be intelligible to anyone in
the position to exploit it. Disclosure must be total, with nothing of substance with-
held; otherwise, no one could make use of the invention when the patent expires
(Bainbridge 1999: 317). (I refer to inventor, but the eventual patent-holder and owner
of economic rights in the invention may be other social entities as well, for example,
an industrial sponsor.)
30. Recent impetus is given to this perspective by what is perceived as the galloping rate of
technologisation, the size of commercial investment, the emergence of biotechnology
as a major player, and the accelerated pace at which scienti¬c research is becoming
subject to proprietory interests (cf Nelkin 1984).
31. Bainbridge (1999: 349) quotes two commentators, the ¬rst to the effect that inventions
are either new ways of producing something old or old ways of producing something
new; the second to the effect that every invention is a ˜new combination of pre-existing
knowledge™. In itself, a single invention may also consist of several subinventions that
are allowed together under the one patent as a substantive package.
32. ˜The fact that [certain] material previously occurred in nature does not prevent it
from being patented if it is isolated from its natural environment or produced by
means of a technical process™ (Bainbridge 1999: 378), interpreting Article 2 of the
1998 European Parliament and Council Directive on the legal protection of biotech-
nological inventions. There are differences here between European and American
patent rights. Thus, in the United States, it is possible to obtain a patent for a new
breed of animal (Bainbridge 1999: 377).
33. Among those with whom K¨ chler worked, the carver will have inherited his skill of
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carving along with knowledge of the magic to induce a vision of the image to be
carved. He has already had the image described to him by the person in the clan
responsible for producing the sculpture and what he is told will include not only this
memory but also all of the modi¬cations that current transactions require (1992:
103). Gunn (1987: 74) says it might be thirty years between acquiring rights and
passing them on to be reproduced again by the next generation.
34. To follow the non-productionist locations of technology in Weiner™s (2004) and
Leach™s (2004) debates with Gell.
35. This can be read as referring to an owner and carver; to a procreative couple who
bear a child or to a localised kin grouping in which spouses will always have a distinct
identity from one another so that no set of siblings replicates any other.
36. This contributes to Harrison™s (1992: 235) argument about what is owned as intellec-
tual property, not things but classes of things (˜their images or typi¬cations™). See
Chapter Six.
37. Lincoln (1987: 34) puts this altogether more positively. A clan depleting its wealth
when it pays for Malanggan is in effect converting money and labour into enduring
prestige. Moreover, she adds, the ownership rights it has acquired, which ˜will likely
be resold, constitute a sort of semiliquid asset™.
38. However, Gunn (1987: 79“80) distinguishes two modus operandi on the Tabar
Islands. Once a major series of Malanggan have been shown and transferred, the
original owner cannot display that Malaggan again. This applies to Malanggan trans-
ferred across generations within the same clan or subclan. However, when rights to
a single sculpture or motifs from a sculpture are transferred across group (e.g.,
from father to son in this matrilineal system), it is possible to allocate usage and
189
NOTES TO PAGES 106“111


reproductive rights alone, with the owner retaining rights to his own ceremonies.
Here we can say that the Malanggan is copied.
39. Unlike copyright (and design right), which comes into effect automatically on pub-
lication, patents have to be registered (designs may be), and there is no equivalent
to such a process in this case. If one pursues these analogies, however, then more
appropriate forms of intellectual property protection might be found in performers™
rights or in the relatively new concept of design rights.
40. A point that is held to perplex some legal commentators: the law has brought a thing
into existence and then at the end of a set term the thing winks out of existence
(Phillips and Firth 1990: 24). Euro-Americans are also alleged to be mysti¬ed by the
way in which so much effort goes into producing Malanggan when they are then so
quickly destroyed or otherwise discarded.
41. The Patent Of¬ce holds speci¬cations and abstracts for every British patent dat-
ing from 1617, more than two million inventions, and twenty-three million patent
publications from overseas (Bainbridge 1999: 335). Population for population, it is
conceivable that there have been almost as many northern New Ireland Malanggan
as there have been British patents.
42. The ¬gure of 5000 comes from K¨ chler (1992: 97) with reference to the period
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approximately 1870“1990; it not the whole output of course because many more
will have been burnt or buried away from sight with the dead in caves (Gunn 1987:
74). Lincoln (1987: 40) gives the ¬gure of 15 000 for all kinds of material culture
objects from New Ireland (principally masks and sculptures) ¬nding their way into
European and American museums from the 1885“1914 German period alone. Some
of this prodigious production, she speculates, must have been in response to outside
demand. There have no doubt been cycles of productivity. Lincoln (1987: 39) suggests
that the use of metal introduced into carving in the 1850s, and the experience of
colonisation in general, stimulated the production of Malanggan.
43. And today, alongside other rights such as cultural property rights (Sykes 2004).
The term Malanggan always included ceremonial and other events surrounding the
revelation of the carving and, these days, New Irelanders may extend the term across
a range of customary practices.
44. As Harrison (2000) reminds us, the dialectical relationship between invention and
convention in Melanesian life, and how we attribute these values, is complicated
(Wagner 1975). In the end, however, the Malanggan is an invention without innova-
tion. Although each re-combination is freshly inspired, each individual element is
also recalled from some other, the creation of entirely new images (through dream-
ing) being regarded as hazardous; there has been immense stability in the repertoire
of forms over the years (K¨ chler 1987: 239).
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chapter 5: losing (out on) intellectual resources
1. Sources include Gewertz and Errington™s (1999) commentary on both the prelimi-
nary hearing (June 1996) and the court™s determination (February 1997); newspaper
reports (Palme 1996; Dorney 1997), and notes from a seminar paper given to the
Cambridge Social Anthropology Department in October 1996 by John Muke, who
was to provide an af¬davit to the court. Banks (2001 ) became available while this
190 NOTES TO PAGES 111“115


was being revised. Miriam is quoted as saying that she found it embarrassing to be
referred to as the compo girl (Post Courier 20 February 1997).
2. Either women for women, for example, through sister exchange, or women for wealth,
as when marriages are arranged with bridewealth payments from the groom™s to
bride™s kin; the transactions could be easily (mis)understood as implying a kind
of commodity exchange. Anthropologists predicating their analysis on women ex-
changed as objects, one argument went, ran the risk of rendering them less than
subjects in their own accounts (see Hirschon 1984).
3. As Gewertz and Errington also argue, with rather different intent. They discuss the
case for the light it sheds on their thesis about new social differences (incipient class
differences) springing up in Papua New Guinea. (These are based on middle class
estimations of people™s worth and life chances that drive a wedge between those with
and without realistic monetary prospects.) Here, they argue, testimony came from a
small handful of educated persons who spoke on behalf of others and who became
arbiters and exemplars of ˜reasonable™ and ˜ordinary™ behaviour. As to the concept
of person, I deploy this in the Papua New Guinea context in a manner somewhat
analogous to the legal understanding of person: an entity elicited by relationships
and thus by procedures that enact them (e.g., exchange transactions).
4. At that time, the Papua New Guinea kina was worth approximately £0.5 sterling, so
that the amount here is some £10000. For simplicity I use the tribal names for these
patrilineal groupings, although the relevant units of action were clans or subclans
from within the tribes (Tangilka Kumu Kanem and Konombuka Tau Kanem).
5. The PNG Constitution provides for the recognition of customary law (it can be
argued in court as relevant fact) to the extent that it does not con¬‚ict with con-
stitutional law, which includes the promulgation of several rights, or is not re-
pugnant to the general principles of humanity. When the story was ¬rst exposed
by the Post Courier (9 May 1996), and before ICRAF had laid their complaint,
Justice Injia had initiated enquiries on the grounds that the National Court has
the jurisdiction to itself bring action for the enforcement of constitutional/human
rights.
6. That no speci¬c partner had been identi¬ed was used on both sides, one to say that her
freedom of choice was intact, the other that this could expose her to abuse. Note two
contrasting incidents reported earlier by O™Hanlon and Frankland (1986: 189“90). In
the ¬rst, a woman™s personal choice of lover was retrospectively judged as satisfying a
debt between two groups; in the second, a girl was marked in compensation, although
no particular partner was designated for her, and she was dragged off against her
wishes. O™Hanlon (personal communication) subsequently writes that Wahgi people
sharply distinguish between love matches and forced marriages, regardless of the
rubric under which the unions are classi¬ed.
7. This was the provocation of Clifford™s (1988) argument apropos the Mashpee Indian
land case. People laying claims were required to demonstrate pure cultural continuity.
8. To one ethnic society, Justice Injia said, the custom of head pay involving women may
sound offensive although it may not be to the ethnic group practising it; the legislators
of the constitution were thinking about a modern Papua New Guinea and about the
˜promotion of good traditional customs and the discouragement and elimination
of bad customs as seen from the eyes of an ordinary modern Papua New Guinean™
(Gewertz and Errington 1999: 132).
191
NOTES TO PAGES 117“119


9. With any argument that brings in slavery, we should remember that Euro-American
moderns all know what slavery means (an assault on human dignity) and (following
that knowledge) what their attitudes ought to be (it was a ˜bad™ custom); after all,
historically speaking, its abolition was bound up with the very development of the
notion of human rights. Invoked, it presents the strongest possible image of the
inalienability of the person-body seen as an entire entity.
10. Unless we take the references to human beings as a background argument here, for
example, as in the statement that a prime ethical consideration is to show respect
˜for human beings and their bodies™ (1995: 124, or ˜human lives™ and ˜the human
body™, Chapter 6). By contrast, debates concerning the embryo invariably touch on
concepts of personhood.
11. Except in marginal cases, such as surgeons™ specimens. The traditional English view
derives from, among other things, practices to do with disposal of corpses; the dead
body lacking animation but potentially being able to be reunited with its soul was a
kind of limiting case (intellectual resource) for thinking about living bodies. Human
corpses as whole bodies cannot be property, although there is a duty to effect a decent
burial and a corresponding right to possession for that purpose.
12. The report cites a case from Maryland in the United States, in which abandonment
is taken as an alternative to a person™s intent to assert ˜his right of ownership, pos-
session, or control over [bodily] material™, as an example of ˜a property approach™.
It suggests that some English statutory language implies a property approach “ it
is the language ˜of things, of property, of the rei¬cation of blood and body parts™
(Nuf¬eld Council 1995: 70). It also mentions the notorious John Moore vs Regents
of University of California (1990, 13p 2d) case, in which Moore failed to lay claim to
the pro¬ts of a cell line developed from his spleen because his claims to a property
right failed. The equivocations are as notorious; the following comes from Rabinow
(1996a: Chapter 7). The ¬rst (Superior Court) held that Moore™s informed consent to
medical procedures had released his detached spleen for the doctors to work on. The
second (Court of Appeals) reversed the decision. The majority verdict was that surgi-
cally removed tissue was held to be the patient™s ˜tangible, private property™; without
Moore™s explicit permission, there had been a conversion “ his property (cells and
blood products) had been converted for someone else™s pro¬t. (A minority dissent
argued against the application of private property principles without legislative guid-
ance.) Finally, the Supreme Court argued that although U.S. law recognises a variety
of interests in one™s own body, it never created a property right in surgically removed
parts. Because therapeutic tissue no longer supports the person™s life, the law re-
garding its disposition must be that of community health; there was no interference
with Moore™s right of ownership or possession because he had no title in the ¬rst
place. California statutes in relation to organs, blood, fetuses and so forth, deal with
human biological materials as res nullius (as things but belonging to no one).
13. My comment. An example of a non-property gift would be ˜the gift of life™.
14. A Canadian working paper on human tissue and organs (cited in Nuf¬eld Council,
1995: 70“71) presented the traditional view that there is no property in the body
against the view that those from whom tissue is removed have some claim to it, and
resorts to consent for disposal as a way around the impasse. It thus cites a French
ruling that frozen sperm was not property on grounds that human reproductive
material was neither inheritable (!) nor an object of commerce. But it did recognise
192 NOTES TO PAGES 119“124


a claim arising from the terms under which the sperm had been deposited in a
sperm bank. ˜In the name of dignity of the person, French law basically refuses the
individual the right to dispose of his or her body and its parts; American law has
allowed a greater latitude for proprietary and commercial relations concerning the
body and person, privileging autonomy and value over an inherent and inalienable
dignity™ (Rabinow 1999: 93). Dignity rather than informed consent is at the basis of
French law according to Pottage (1998: 745).
15. I feel comfortable about using the term ˜thing™ only because of the analytical sup-
port I can give it; in an abbreviated version, I take a different tack (Strathern 2000).
Harrison (1992) deploys the concept of property in analysing Melanesian material
while respecting the peculiarity of a gift as opposed to commodity economy. Interest-
ingly, he avoids the person“thing distinction until right at the end of his article. Like
black boxes, one suspects that such (partial) eliminations are basic to any exposition
of complex data.
16. Politico-ritual, hereafter ritual, is an encompassing phrase for the public techniques
through which a person is made (created, brought forth) to appear in a transformed
state, including bridewealth and mortuary ceremonies or, in the past, initiation. In
the Papua New Guinea context, it offers an analogue to legal intervention.
17. However many images it is also composed of. I am using Wagner™s (1986) won-
derful insight here; you can have an image of half a something but, logically and
phenomenologically speaking, you cannot have half an image. A Melanesian take
on Amazonian perspectivism (Viveiros de Castro 1998) might be to say that you can
only own your own (not another™s) relationship to another person.
18. For a summary of rei¬ciation and personi¬cation, see Strathern (1999a: Chapter 1 ;
1988: 176“182). The term enti¬cation (Ernst 1999) has been introduced to draw
attention to contemporary engagements with the political and legal processes of
development that lead to people presenting themselves and their land as entities
or units (see Hirsch 2000). I keep to rei¬cation as including indigenous modes of
(aesthetic, formal) presentation.
19. A ritual exists as a shared thought“object, ˜a piece of frozen, objecti¬ed social action,
with all contingency and indeterminacy reduced to a minimum . . . to perform it
is to try to express that pre-existing intellectual object in social action™ (Harrison
1992: 235). He argues more generally, and beyond Melanesia, for seeing insignia,

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