Origin, descent and precedence in the study of Austronesian societies: Public Lecture, Leiden University
I would like to examine some of the origins of one of the key concepts of anthropology, namely, the concept of ‘descent’ or, as in Dutch, the concept of ‘afstamming’. In Dutch and in English, this concept involves an implicit spatial metaphor — ‘a downward trajectory: a derivation from above’. My intention is to examine this underlying spatial image as a cultural construct and to consider — by a few selected glimpses — the history of its formation.
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