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Possession and Ownership$
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Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660223.001.0001

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Spirits of the forest, the wind, and new wealth: defining some of the possibilities, and limits, of Kamula possession

Spirits of the forest, the wind, and new wealth: defining some of the possibilities, and limits, of Kamula possession

Chapter:
(p.261) 12 Spirits of the forest, the wind, and new wealth: defining some of the possibilities, and limits, of Kamula possession
Source:
Possession and Ownership
Author(s):

Michael Wood

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660223.003.0012

This chapter focuses on the ways in which the Kamula of the Western Province in Papua New Guinea, treat the notions of possession and property in their discourse, with special attention to possession of newly introduced goods, including gas, oil, and carbon. The author argues that spirits who can exert exclusive control and occupancy, in parts of the landscape, mediate Kamula understandings of possession and ownership of many valuables. The Kamulas' control of resources and land were often limited by bush spirits. This highlights the importance of the notion of exclusion as a key element of the Kamulas' understanding of property. However, spirits also facilitate Kamula claims to an interest in the new wealth. Consequently, Kamula property claims are crucially defined by exclusionary relations with powerful, often radically different, others.

Keywords:   possession, ownership, property rights, new wealth, exclusion, Papuan languages, Kamula

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