The Magical Body: Power, Fame and Meaning in a Melanesian Society

1st Edition

Richard Eves

Published October 20, 1998
Reference - 326 Pages
ISBN 9789057023057 - CAT# RX10044


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An intriguing exploration of the role and significance of the body in the world of a Pacific Islands People, the Lelet of New Ireland (Papua New Guinea). In vivid ethnographic detail, the monograph captures the fluidity and complexity of Lelet conceptions of corporeality and their significance to identity as they encounter the influences of modernity, in the form of colonialism, Christianity and cash-cropping. The author examines the importance of the body to constructions of identity and difference, and its role in the constitution of place and space. The book provides a richly detailed ethnographic study of magical belief and the body whilst paying particular attention to the polyvalent meanings of bodily images and metaphors as they are used in numerous contexts of magic.

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