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Dancing through time : temporality and identity in a Sepik cosmology

Telban, Borut

Description

Dancing through time is an ethnographic account of Ambonwari village, in East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. The thesis examines all those aspects of Ambonwari life-world which are crucial for people's conceptualization and recognition of their identity. This identity is focused around their concept of kay (way, habit, manner; ritual; being) and refers to embodied processes, both collective and individual. Taking into account its processual nature kay cannot be separated from...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorTelban, Borut
dc.date.accessioned2017-05-16T00:07:51Z
dc.date.available2017-05-16T00:07:51Z
dc.date.copyright1994
dc.identifier.otherb1877769
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/116905
dc.description.abstractDancing through time is an ethnographic account of Ambonwari village, in East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. The thesis examines all those aspects of Ambonwari life-world which are crucial for people's conceptualization and recognition of their identity. This identity is focused around their concept of kay (way, habit, manner; ritual; being) and refers to embodied processes, both collective and individual. Taking into account its processual nature kay cannot be separated from temporality. Though kay itself preserves Ambonwari past and projects it into the future, it does not simply reproduce the past in the present and in the future. As an active process which is reflected upon by people's understanding, thoughts and feelings, kay confronts an open future which in retrospect reconstructs the past. The thesis examines all those concepts which articulate with kay and which allow Ambonwari people to identify with each other and to differentiate one another in terms of groups and individuals. The thesis begins with an account of secular daily practices, gradually introducing kay and all those concepts which articulate with it. Following a discussion of the semantics of these concepts I examine the most important aspects of Ambonwari collective identity, such as clan and lineage membership, the naming system, kinship, marriage, and several other institutionalized relationships. I examine the significance of mythology and spirits and their relation to Ambonwari identity. The thesis concludes with an analysis of the transformation of kay in ritual and its presentation in dance. Dance is the activity which unifies the heterogeneous elements of the village and integrates participants in a singular experience of collective identity. All of the central concepts discussed in this thesis are processual not timeless structures, and are thus temporal in themselves. Together they form Ambonwari historicity, temporality and identity.
dc.format.extentxii, 287 leaves
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshEthnology Papua New Guinea East Sepik Province
dc.subject.lcshEast Sepik Province (Papua New Guinea) Social life and customs
dc.titleDancing through time : temporality and identity in a Sepik cosmology
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorYoung, Michael
dcterms.valid1994
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1994
local.contributor.affiliationDepartment of Anthropology, Division of Society and Environment, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d739605bc72a
dc.date.updated2017-05-12T01:06:49Z
local.mintdoimint
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