MASSIM MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTRE
Free lecture series and inaugural talk
Free for all, all welcome
THE WORLD IN THE KULA RING AND THE KULA RING IN THE WORLD
Reflections on My Years in Milne Bay Province, PNG, 1973-2017
Dr. Frederick Damon
Department of Anthropology University of Virginia, USA
May 30, 2017 4.30 PM
Education Milne Bay, KB Waterfront, Alotau, MBP, PNG
Woodlark Island has been the second home of Fred Damon for many years. Fred has finished his book, TREES, KNOTS AND OUTRIGGERS: Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring (Berghahn Books) and his professional life is near its end. In his talk he will reflect on his time with the people of Muyuw, and the professional world associated with our region. Because of the work of Malinowski in the Trobriand Islands the Kula Ring has been labeled a classic region in Anthropology; and because of Anthropology’s place in Western thought, this means the area of the Kula Ring is a key component in World Culture. But the world is now very much in Milne Bay. Now, how much should the Kula Ring be in the World? And what are the lessons from here for the rest of the world?
In this presentation, Fred places the Kula region inside a framework from China to Australia, contrasting patterns of life that rose from Western Europe and then came to dominate the world, including Milne Bay. The first lesson the world learned from the Kula Ring was the importance of reciprocity, the necessity to both give and receive, and to give again. Perhaps this is a model we have to take more seriously, perhaps we might learn how this might help to end war. Malinowski proclaimed that the Kula was the functional equivalent of war. But wars continue. "I still dream now as an old man.... that we have another lesson to learn from this Kula region—how we make a vital world with the resources we make ourselves. "
Fred Damon conducted his anthropological research on Muyuw, Woodlark Is. 1973-1975, earning his PhD in 1978. He became a professor of Anthropology in 1976. From 1982 to 2014 he has spent many more months on Muyuw. Sadly this may be his last visit.
Please join us at the Massim Museum for this inspiring fascinating talk about the past and our times, today. Please contact the Director Joan Winter for further information and confirmation of your attendance on firstname.lastname@example.org 7933 1009