The highlanders of New Guinea are renowned for their elaborate systems of ceremonial exchange. This book is the first to concentrate on exchange events and the elaborate oratory used at them. Focusing on a remarkable set of warfare compensation payments which, for the first time, involved women as transactors, Francesca Merlan and Alan Rumsey advance our understanding of the interaction between social structures and historical events, and of the crucial role of talk. This book will be of special interest to anthropologists and linguists.
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