Revenge is an important motivation in human affairs relating to conflict and violence, and it is a notable feature in many societies within Oceania, where revenge is traditionally a sacred duty to the dead whose spirits demand it. Revenge instantiates a norm of reciprocity in the cosmos, ensuring a balance between violent and peaceful sequences of ritual action. Revenge further remains an important hidden factor in processes of violence beyond Oceania, revealing deep human propensities for retaliatory acts and the tendency to elevate these into principles of legitimacy. Sacred revenge may also be transcended through practices of wealth exchange.
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- Date Published: November 2018
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108717328
- length: 75 pages
- dimensions: 179 x 127 x 5 mm
- weight: 0.08kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
'Payback', and its cosmic implications
Revenge and sorcery-divination
The genesis of exchange – Mount Hagen
Historical complications in the revenge complex
Peace-making in Hagen – A Reprise in Ongka's Account
Maring and Melpa – from elementary to complex structures
Variant ontologies – extensions of the model of sacred revenge
Structures in history – The Enga
Envoi: gifts and violence
Some ending thoughts.
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