Inalienable Possessionstests anthropology’s traditional assumptions about kinship, Annette B. Weiner . Afterword: The Challenge of Inalienable Possessions. : Inalienable Possessions: The Paradox of Keeping-While Giving ( ): Annette B. Weiner: Books. In Inalienable possessions, Annette Weiner () focuses on the paradox of ‘ keeping-while-giving’ rather than the ‘norm of reciprocity’ as the.

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Australian inalienable possessions are given cosmological authentication through their religious beliefs in the Dreaming.

They are loans rather than sales or true abandonment of possessions. In addition, gift-giving plays an important role in the cultural development of how social and business relations evolve in major economies such as in the case of the Chinese. Views Read Edit View history. Selected pages Title Page. Weiner argues that the role of women in the exchange of inalienable possessions has been seriously underestimated.

Maintaining society thus requires not keeping-while-givingbut ” keeping-for-giving and giving-for-keeping. As a legal classification, inalienable possessions date back to Roman times. Anthropologists by nationality Anthropology by year Bibliography Journals List of indigenous peoples Organizations.

Inalienable Possessions by Annette B. Weiner – Paperback – University of California Press

These goods annettw frequently produced by women, like the feather cloak above. Inalienable possessions are nonetheless frequently drawn into exchange networks. Only gifts that are “immoveable property” can become inalienable gifts. University Press Scholarship Online.

The book focuses on a range of Oceanic societies from Polynesia to Papua New Guinea to test existing theories of reciprocity gift-giving and marriage exchange. Annette Weiner broadened the application of the category of property outside the European context with her book Inalienable Possessions: The possibilities of transmission in the face of the canon for guardianship establish for ritual leaders a domain of authority that in certain situations leads to a formalized position of rank.


Property can be thought of as a bundle of rights — the right to use something, the right to collect rent from someone, the right to extract something as in oil drillingthe right to hunt within a particular territory. The subtitle of Weiner’s book is “The paradox of keeping-while-giving”; they are given as gifts not sold yet still retain a tie to their owners.

In reality these pieces of “property” are sacra that a family divests itself of only with great reluctance and sometimes never.

Rather, these gifts can’t be re-sold for money by the receiver because the value and the significance of the gift cannot be alienated or disengaged from its relationship to those whose inalienable possession it is. Inalienable possessions and the history of collective prestige structures in the Pueblo Southwest”.

Inalienable possessions

Provisioning systems Hunting-gathering Pastoralism Nomadic pastoralism Shifting cultivation Moral economy Peasant economics. Because the Dreaming itself lnalienable an inalienable possession kept secret by clan elders, it can be lost and hierarchy defeated. And lastly, in the hierarchical areas, Kula necklaces and bracelets are saved for external exchange only; stone axe blades are used internally. Account Options Sign in.

Inalienable Possessions: The Paradox of Keeping-While Giving – Annette B. Weiner – Google Books

Power is intimately involved in cultural reproduction, and Weiner describes the location of power in each society, showing how the degree of control over the production and distribution of cloth wealth coincides with women’s rank and the development of hierarchy in the community.


Its history is authenticated by fictive or posessions genealogies, origin myths, sacred ancestors, and gods. What makes a possession inalienable is its exclusive and cumulative identity with a particular series of owners through time. In this view, transactable objects belong to society as a whole and are not inalienable possessions associated with certain persons.

As an ideologyThe Dreaming is immaterial but in another sense, The Dreaming flourishes because it consists of material and verbal possessions—myths, names, songs, ceremonies, and sacred objects inherited from one generation to the next.

Thus, when they are transferred from one individual or group to another the objects reserve meaningful bonds associated with that of the giver and their lineage. Inalienable possessions or immovable property are things such as land or objects that are symbolically identified with the groups that qnnette them and so cannot be permanently severed from them.

Inalienable Possessions: The Forgotten Dimension

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. The shell bracelets and necklaces given in exchange each have their own histories, and are thus ranked on ianlienable basis of who they have been exchanged to.

Calling attention to their presence in Western history, Weiner points out that her formulations are not limited to Oceania.