kula ring


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kula ring

a system of reciprocal exchange found in the Melanesian Islands. It was described by MALINOWSKI in his Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922). Within the Trobriand Islands, certain groups of tribes on specific islands continually exchange ritual objects. Necklaces circulate in one direction around the ring, and armshells in the other. He saw the long journeys and extensive ceremonials required in order to service the practice as functionally necessary to ensure the stability of this group of communities. Integrative patterns of status and prestige are produced which are often compared to those produced by the POTLATCH system of the Canadian Northwest. The emphasis on the importance of exchange is paralleled in the theories of M. Mauss and LÉVI-STRAUSS. see also EXCHANGE THEORY.
References in periodicals archive ?
They examine institutions, including the Kula Ring, criminal justice institutions, institutionsAE regulation of actorsAE behavior, and social dilemmas related to vaccinations; social norms and individual interests, collective action and normative change, cooperation with others, scientific misconduct, and reciprocity and social status; peer-sanctioning in terms of normative conflict, negative peer-sanctioning, negative counter-sanctioning, responsibility for norm enforcement, and peer punishment; trust and trustworthiness, including trust online; game theory and social dilemmas; and experimental methods.
These are coupled with a longstanding series of cultural practices involving systems of exchange and circulation as exemplified through the kula ring (a ceremonial exchange system in the Milne Bay province of Papua New Guinea) as well as systems of communication and conduct such as fa'asamoa (ways of being Samoan) and other informal systems of social control (Arno, 1983; Duranti, 1997; Munn, 1990).