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ceremonial and religious practices in this way.
20. Although my generic formulation is meant to be applicable across a range of
Melanesian situations where people envisage what Euro-Americans might call the
concept of a person as a person™s image, I am particularly stimulated by de Coppet™s
(1994) account from the Solomon Islands. ™Are™are distinguish the body both from
its animation and from its name or image.
21. Or the MB (mother™s brother) as a root to the Zch (sister™s child) as a ˜cutting™
(O™Hanlon and Frankland 1986: 185).
22. When relationships are made visible through things appearing in a speci¬c form,
we can refer to a person™s relationships with others being embodied in an artefact,
wealth item or whatever (hence the wealth accompanying Miriam as the ˜bones™ of
the deceased man). Because the entire relationship between the two clans is summed
up in those bones, the bones exist not as a part but as an entirety: how the person
now looks from the perspective of that relationship. (The ¬‚esh and blood they helped
193
NOTES TO PAGES 124“130


make come back to them in the form of bones; the classic reference here is Wagner
1977; see also Viveiros de Castro 1998a, b). Abstract as these formulations seem, they
come from the analyses of ethographic data by many Melanesianists.
23. Or a surrogate, a classi¬catory granddaughter who could stand for such a person.
The signi¬cant tie of descent here was from the ancestress to the man or men who
bestowed the woman in marriage. O™Hanlon and Frankland (1986: 189) observe that
at stake was less ensuring a marriage between partners already in a pre-existing
relationship (as anthropologists have often analysed prescriptive marriage rules be-
tween cross-cousins) than meeting a debt created by a previous marriage. The debt
might or might not be tied into death compensation payments; it could be settled
by a man dispatching any girl whose marriage choice he controlled. However, such
arrangements had to preserve the concept that the woman was acting as a third
generational return (˜granddaughter™) for a woman previously given. Whoever oc-
cupied this role, genealogical surrogate or no, occupied a speci¬c role (granddaugh-
ter) because of the speci¬ty of the grandmother to whom the transaction referred.
The return was not for any woman in the previous generation but for a partic-
ular female ancestress whose identi¬able progeny bore concrete testimony to the
fertility of her natal clan. (We do not know, says O™Hanlon [personal communi-
cation] whether Miriam had already been designated in this way, but the evidence
suggests not.)
24. Recalling the question, prompted by the Nuf¬eld Report, about why body parts
continue to be called parts (in their detachability they are things without necessarily
being commodities), we may say that it is the Melanesian person, as described here,
who is in a state of perpetual detachability. The partible person is constituted in the
process of detaching relations from relations. (On singular and plural, see Strathern
1988: Chapter 1. As to the conceptual distinction between person and agent: ˜The
person is construed from the vantage point of the relations that constitute him or her:
she or he objecti¬es and is thus revealed in those relations. The agent is construed as
the one who acts because of those relationships and is revealed in his or her actions™
[1988: 273].)
25. My observation: her agency, manifest in her orientation toward these diverse kin, is
not to be denigrated. Recall O™Hanlon™s observation about free and forced marriages
(n. 6). In itself, the ˜skull in a netbag™ arrangement is often a matter of retrospec-
tive classi¬cation if a match can be found to ¬t the bill; these are not ˜remorseless
customary practices which demand to be over-ridden by respect for individual au-
tonomy™ (personel communication). Jolly™s (1996: 183) comments from Vanuatu add
a quali¬cation to the notion of tradition relevant to Miriam: ˜human rights are not
necessarily inconsistent with kastom (Bislama, ˜tradition™) . . . [and] tradition is not
a static burden of the past but something created for the present™.
26. Although he criticises anthropologists who avoid universalisms and retreat into
cultural relativities, Wilson acknowledges the out-of-date concept of culture that
the critics of cultural relativism in turn often use. Yet, he argues, to insist on the
relativism of cultural diversity, as he claims anthropologists often do, is to neglect
both the forces of hybridisation and globalisation and a principal contemporary
arena in which ideas about common humanity are voiced: human rights discourse.
Where, he asks, have the anthropologists been in developing notions of common
humanity?
194 NOTES TO PAGES 130“137


27. For an exploration of this dilemma in a Melanesian context, see Jolly (1996); Banks™
(2000) criminological perspective on cultural speci¬city is germane.
28. Many of the contributions (to Wilson 1997) address context “ historical, social/
cultural, politico-economic “ without exploring the issue of concrete relations. In
respect of a murdered Guatamalan anthropologist, Wilson points out that none of the
human rights reports deal with her (interpersonal) situation as a professional social
researcher, nor was there any mention that her child was in the ¬eld. ˜By disengaging
an agent from their socio-historical circumstances, what we are left with is a universal
decontextualised individual which is the basic unit of liberal political, economic and
legal theory™ (1997: 148). He contrasts this with the regular anthropological view:
˜As opposed to a universal maximising individual with a natural set of rights, there
are [in the anthropological view] social persons who are engaged in the making
and remaking of complex interconnected social processes, and whose rights in those
contexts are not natural, but are the results of historical struggles for power between
persons and corporate groups™ (1997: 148).


chapter 6: divided origins and the arithmetic of ownership
1. Understood as signs of ˜overlap and intersection™ (Barron 1998: 44). Note that Barron
intervenes in a debate that asserts either that the author de¬ned by copyright is a
Romantic individual or that there is no connection at all. She argues that the con-
nection is one of resemblance between different systems of practice, that is, a con-
tingency. Sherman and Bently (1999, Chapter 2) draw out the role that ideas about
creativity played in earlier developments of IPR, and argue that in pre-twentieth
century IPR thinking the intangible was thought of not so much as a thing as
an action or performance “ the productive effort “ embodied in material form
(1999: 47“48). Insofar as it is arguable that this is still an element in contempo-
rary thinking, the position of Davies and Naf¬ne that I take up for its reading of
an Euro-American approach is controversial. Finally, I would note the eloquent
discussion of Aboriginal authenticity in ˜art™ and ˜ownership™ proffered by Myers
(2004).
2. Or God owns them (but not another human being). This is a truncated, and democra-
tised, version of a devolution of ideas that began with the patriarchal formula that
there was only one self-owner, God™s steward Adam, who owned all progeny. From
what should have been evident in Chapter Five, I talk about ownership of ˜persons™
not ˜bodies™; ideas about bodies are usefully analysed as contributing to different
modes of being a person in the world. (It should be acknowledged that there is a
strong sociological tradition that takes bodies as the primary entity [so that per-
sons are whole bodies and body parts part bodies], summarised, for example, by
Richardson and Turner [2002].)
3. This has been one of the running concerns of the PTC project (see Preface). The
discussions by Blakeney (1995; 2000) and Weatherall (2001 ) deal with aspects of the
Australian situation with reference to communal ownership.
4. The basis of the claims and the nature of the rights may differ; per contra, one
can imagine different reasons for making a claim but similar rights of possession
and disposal being conferred. The ˜joint ownership™ provisions in Euro-American
property law are not helpful to the present case.
195
NOTES TO PAGES 139“144


5. Given the role that such societies played in diverse earlier accounts of mine, this set of
apparently contingent materials is a challenge (what counts as a group is a separate
problem); Crook (in press) and Leach (2003) have been in¬‚uential here. The present
discussion does not observe the usual anthropological distinctions between kinship
and clanship.
6. That does not mean that people™s claims on one another are uniform. In talking about
clan interests in the Australian case, Barron does an excellent job of pointing out
how the exact rehearsal of someone™s claims depends on diverse factors in their own
life history, the reproductive stage they are at and allegiances they have elsewhere.
7. The sense in which persons inhabit different life-worlds is not a matter of where you
are on a genealogical grid (Leach 2003); Pedersen (2001 : 413) uses ˜grid™ to distinguish
totemic difference from animist/perspectival relations.
8. Suckling can be a form of fathering too (Strathern 1988); the recursiveness of closed
or ¬nite perspectives is endless ([one set of] relations become metaphors for [another
set of] relations).
9. Andrew Moutu (National Museum of Papua New Guinea) writes on ontology and
on the limits of Euro-American epistemology in conceiving relations. However, as
his own work was in progress when this was being written, I have avoided drawing
on it directly and hope I do not trespass inadvertently. See Moutu 2003.
10. The stages are subject to transformation through ritual. Conversely, gender can be
used to discriminate between stages of growth, as in rites that pass boys from one
gendered state to another as their bodies grow. Astuti (2000: 93“4) comments on
changing perspectives in Vezu, a cognatic/kindred based Madagascan society (where
a person™s reproductive stage is crucial to the world of kin groups and descendants
he or she perceives).
11. Which in turn involves the suppression of some of what the parent passes on. In
unilineal descent group systems, each of the parents, themselves made up of differ-
entiated elements, passes on one of a pair of differences.
12. In sustaining a quadripartite structure to their kin universe so that a person always
has four originary clans, the Mekeo have to de-conceive earlier unions in order to
create fresh possibilities for new unions. Only then will a person™s child also have
four originary clans.
13. And to a criticism of the partible model of person that rests on the child recreating
the relationship between parents (Strathern 1988), insofar as here the interest of one
parent in the procreative outcome is actively eliminated (Rohatynskyj 1990: 437).
14. In addition to published work (1990, 1997), I draw on her contribution to the 2001
PTC conference (2001); permission to cite and quote from the written version is
much appreciated.
15. Patrilateral cross-cousin marriage overcomes the asymmetry of residence; when it
is followed, grandchildren replace the original grandparental sibling pair residing
together in a locality (Rohatynskyj 1990: 439). Anie can also refer to local group (1997:
441).
16. The assumption is that by this point their grandfather will be deceased, or if not then
nearly so (and in any case ancestral). Boys acquire the adult male power that at this
point can damage women and children, even as contact with women™s power would
stunt the boys™ growth, and their manifestations of fertility are generally dangerous
for the opposite sex (Rohatynskyj 1990: 445; 1997: 443).
196 NOTES TO PAGES 144“15 0


17. And vice versa. In Amazonian perspectivism, the departure of the body causes prob-
lems for living/dead identi¬cation; the dead, without body to see with, are no longer
human (but for an important quali¬cation, which introduces a difference of per-
spectives between human beings related to the deceased, see Vilaca [2000: 94]).
¸
18. de Coppet (1981 ) describes how ™Are™are speci¬cally detach the deceased™s image
from the body at its mortuary ceremony. Note that just as an Omie person acquires
names, the land also has names, and a man learns about his land rights through
learning the names of the totemic species (ma™i ma™i) that reside there. They advertise
who has the right to work.
19. Note Hirsch (2000) on Fuyuge origin stories: the knowledge is not a representation
but an instruction to the knowledge-holder to look after (caretake, nurture) the
things, places and persons referred to in the myths.
20. Bolton (2003) offers a synthesis based on Vanuatu materials. Blakeney (2000: 251 “2)
observes that replacing folklore with traditional knowledge in the IPR deliberations
˜signi¬cantly changes the discourse™, from copyright-related concerns to patent law
and biodiversity concerned with, for example, knowledge about the medicinal qual-
ities of plants.
21. See Hirsch and Strathern (2004). In the draft Model Law for the Paci¬c, traditional
knowledge covers all tradition-based innovations and creations, including literary,
artistic and scienti¬c works, along with names, symbols, information and such.
22. In the same way as the discourse of property, Brown (1998) argues, obscures or
displaces what should be moral discussion on the implications of exposing Native
people™s sacred knowledge to unwarranted scrutiny.
23. People™s interest in their futures goes alongside new ethnographic sensibilities about
ownership of knowledge nurtured from two distinct sources: postcolonial critique
and an IPR-sensitive world. For a robust criticism along these lines of my own
research (and that of others) in Mt. Hagen, see Muke (2000).
24. A timeless statement to convey neither the imputation that it is only ˜today™, with
commodi¬cation, that such things circulate nor the imputation that ˜traditional™
reasons for such circulation have lost all signi¬cance.
25. At the same time, the spirit is now lodged in another network of people and, hidden
from view, people may dream of new designs or forms. ˜Tamberan [spirit] songs
are being innovated all the time™ (Leach 2000: 69) and this includes the dreaming of
new Tamberan, made public with the distribution of pork everyone can eat, that is,
among the villagers who become its co-owners. Although an innovation may have
a single creator, it is owned by the residential group, who would together be paid if
it were transferred to another.
26. Growth or creativity, the time when people hatch innovations for the designs they
own, come from experiences that occur out of public view. Leach contrasts this with
the world of local business and marketing enterprises in this area where no one owns
the innovations people try out, and everyone rushes to imitate other people™s little
inventions.
27. An analogue in Euro-American contexts might be con¬‚icting demands on copyright
as applying to something both individual and replicable (Sherman and Bently 1999:
55).
28. He writes that ¬nding a suitable regulatory regime for ˜indigenous cultural and
intellectual property and traditional knowledge™ can be enhanced if we separate the
197
NOTES TO PAGES 15 0“15 4


issues relevant to a regime for the preservation of culture from those relevant to IPR
protection. One reason Kalinoe offers for avoiding the IPR route in the protection
of cultural property is because IPR brings things into the public eye. The limited
restriction guaranteed by IPR protection is nothing compared to the long-term
publication entailed when copyright (say) expires. He is discussing items identi¬ed
with particular groups “ perhaps secret property, not unlike the Tamberan songs
described earlier “ that should only be revealed under controlled conditions, for
example when the moment for their reproduction is ripe. The public domain aspect
of IPR causes problems for this kind of resource (Brown 1998; Brush 1999).
29. I draw on K¨ chler (1987, 1992, 1999); Lincoln (1987); Sykes (2004). Much of the
u
phrasing in what follows comes directly from K¨ chler™s various writings; Malanggan
u
is also spelled Malangan. For a critical comment on emphasising display, see K¨ chler
u
(2002: 170).
30. K¨ chler observes: ˜names, as the carriers of a transcending body politic, are con-
u
sidered the property of the ancestral domain, are “found” and recollected through
dreaming [prior to being reproduced] to be validated and transferred as images™
(1999: 66). The named image that is the subject of such rights and that can be ex-
changed is what kin own of one another.
31. Figures or ef¬gies (˜skins™) appear as material objects in a particular form, and once
they have disappeared, what is retained is the memory of this form as an abstract
image. Unless otherwise indicated from its context, image refers primarily to the
latter. What is owned includes the capacity to turn such a memory into a realisation
and make a new ef¬gy (K¨ chler 1992: 105, 107).
u
32. To say it is held in the head (and mind) would already be a Euro-American
perspective; to say body would already be a Melanesian view, in the most appro-
priate but still inadequate vocabulary the English language can offer.
33. They note that Radin™s emphasis on property for personhood compels her to produce
an alternative category (˜fungible property™) to cover property that is interchangeable
with other things and exists largely for wealth creation. We can see this as a Romantic
version of the legal assumption that the law makes possible rights of ownership
and thereby the exchange of commodites by creating the individual as a bearer of
rights, the starting point of Barron™s (2002) re-examination of the legal properties
of art.
34. In law, a necessary condition for dealing with the intangible, which must be turned
into an object that ˜can be incorporated in a commodity and subjected to the process
of [commercial] exchange™ of the kind with which the law deals (Barron 1998: 56).
I have since read Barron (2002), which puts it all much more succinctly (e.g., her
comment that copyright™s requirement of embodiment or ¬xation means ¬xation
in a thing; materialisation of work cannot be a human being as such).
35. This is why performers who make their bodies creative “ in dance, song, athletics,
acrobatics, sport “ are, exactly, out of routine, are performers. I should add that
throughout the discussion I have assumed that property is a relation (between per-
sons, with respect to things). It is the concept of the ˜thing™ which is of interest here.
36. In the Malanggan case, K¨ chler (1999: 67) remarks that the names and imaged forms
u
of Malanggan are produced out of a source (wune) that refers to an originary womb
or water source, the template for the construction of an image (1992: 97); this source
is transmitted at the same time as the image.
198 NOTES TO PAGES 15 4“160


37. This is quite explicit. Elsewhere in the book I have noted that the current distinction in
U.K. and European copyright between economic rights acquired through intellectual
property protection and moral rights identifying the author as the originator of
the work. Rights acquired through patenting may belong to any one of a number
of owners of the scienti¬c work that went into the invention, separate from the
reputation that the inventors can acquire through scienti¬c publishing.
38. Treating a fetus as part of the person (the mother) resolves the dilemma as to whether
˜the woman or the foetus is the person™ (2001 : 91). A Melanesian response would
point to the obvious, that she manifests the multiple embodiment that characterises
all persons; persons are made up of persons.
39. Davies and Naf¬ne (2001 : 9) quote the observation that Western property is based
on self-possession as a primordial property right, which grounds all others. This
axiom holds whether or not the self-owning individual is given in the world (being
ultimately owned by God, Locke) or has to fashion that condition out of it (through
its own struggling, Hegel).
40. Most explicitly in structuralism, but with antecedents in comparative endeavours
to classify kinship terminologies or group structures that stumbled on relations
between relations.
41. Leach (e.g. 2003: 24, 195) observes of the Nekgini speakers of Madang Province that
when they use kinship names, these usages are not classi¬catory or taxonomic but
part of the process by which persons are made to appear, in the perception of others,
as standing in a particular relationship to them and to one another.
42. This is not to rule out creativity. People may elaborate on sign switching, and indeed
such switching runs throughout revelatory practices in Melanesia; a notable example
is the Barok (Wagner 1987) demonstration that by changing positions one can make
male appear female and old appear young. Reed (2003) offers a provocative present-
day commentary on revelation and concealment.
43. Compare de Coppet 1985, and I may add Bamford (2004: 294) on Kamea. Australian
precedents lie in Aboriginal land claims (Barron 1998: 52“3) such as this. The courts
had to confront the fact that people may relate to land either as members of a
territorial band or as members of a clan that has its sacred imprint on the landscape.
Neither together nor apart do the claims add up to property in the legal sense. They
are two ways of being, a position the court came close to endorsing in interpreting
them as two entities with different spheres of activity (˜economic™ and ˜spiritual™).
The judge could also have been drawing inspiration from the Torrens system of land
registration in Australia, by which title relates not to an owner™s various holdings
but to a holding™s various owners (Riles 2003).
44. Under the auspices of UNESCO and WIPO: a Model Law for the Protection of
Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture in the Paci¬c Islands. At the time
of Simet™s observations, it was being discussed at various fora, including the South
Paci¬c Commission (e.g., Kalinoe 2001 ); it has since been partially adopted.
45. Indigenous systems, the principal architect of the Model Law (Puri 2002) opines, ˜are
driven by characteristics of trans-generational, non-materialistic, and non-exclusive
or communal ownership of rights™, which make IPR inappropriate. (For a critique,
Hirsch and Strathern 2004.) Nonetheless, the Model Law deliberately uses the term
property in accord with international usage, thus conferring a ˜property right™ on
199
NOTES TO PAGES 160“161


those who own traditional knowledge and expressions of culture and seeks to have
˜true owners™ identi¬able in each case.
46. The Model Law is based on an explicit objection to Western forms of private property,
and regards the Paci¬c counterpart as communal property. Notes (from a draft)
appropriately observe that rights over a work of art are generally distributed over
several individuals or groups of individuals but then interprets the relevant subject of
traditional ownership as a group or community. Hence under ˜collective ownership™
it is noted that ˜property rights in traditional knowledge and expressions of culture
can vest only in a group, clan or community of Paci¬c Islanders™ or ˜ownership and
control over the reproduction of works is vested in the group, clan or community™.
Simet (2000) wishes to make a strong distinction between a community as a kind of
public domain in which certain types of knowledge circulate on a non-exclusive basis
and clans or groups that assert exclusive claims, as may individuals. But, in Simet™s
view, exclusive access does not mean that the clan or group has control over all its
property: aspects of its property may be under the control of others (non-members)
who act as custodians or guardians of it.
47. In this matrilineal system the relevant non-members are children born to male
members of a clan. The reproductive model is evident here (and is mirrored in rules
of exogamy; a clan is not auto-fertile but depends on other clans for its spouses). Tolai
land usage repeats the division, between the ˜owners™ of land and the ˜custodians™ of
the history associated with it that is in the safe keeping of non-owner children.
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