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Society of OthersKinship and Mourning in a West Papuan Place$
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Rupert Stasch

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520256859

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520256859.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

A Dispersed Society: Place Ownership and the Crossing of Spatial Margins

A Dispersed Society: Place Ownership and the Crossing of Spatial Margins

(p.25) Chapter 1 A Dispersed Society: Place Ownership and the Crossing of Spatial Margins
Society of Others

Rupert Stasch

University of California Press

This chapter investigates the Korowai social landscape as a field of otherness. It discusses landownership as a major medium through which Korowai live out a basic social problematic of autonomy, separation, and boundary-traversing relatedness. The Korowai landownership world is a world of connections that people make across boundaries of strangeness, drawing the familiar and strange together. Korowai understandings emphasize that people demonstrate ownership of land through action on it and through mixing their labor with it. Interaction between hosts and guests illustrates how Korowai systematically join together qualities of otherness and close involvement as the positive substance of social bonds. It shows that the relations between Korowai and other Korowai take place on “beaches” in Greg Dening's sense. In forest space alone, Korowai society is located in people's motions across a heterogeneous landscape and their disparities of position on that landscape.

Keywords:   Korowai social landscape, otherness, landownership, autonomy, separation, social bonds, hosts, guests

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