What we consider an attribute or a predicate, is to the Trobriander
The attention Bentley pays to the tribal discourse in The Age of Innocence, going so far as to show parallels between the dinner at which Ellen Olenska is expelled and Malinowski's accounts of Trobriander
ritual spells, is not particularly new.
As we become increasingly tribalized in art and outlook, and draw closer to the Eskimo and Trobriander
, anthropologists lose their best tool--the comparative method: its built-in shock, its challenge.
Young was also substantially assisted by Dr Linus Digim'Rina, himself a Trobriander
and an anthropologist-ethnographer.
Starting with Weiner's (1983) revelation of a parallel system of exchange of women's 'soft' artefacts among the Trobrianders
, involved is a making visible of women's historical practices and products as of equal cultural value to that of men with each sex seen as contributing material of roughly commensurate value to the make-up of a given 'traditional' culture.
This motto, accompanied by a cornucopia, the symbol of abundance par excellence, seems to transpose to the domain of aesthetics what for Malinowski and Mauss is the social code of the Trobrianders
' ceremonial world--"to possess is to give" (Malinowski, 1984: 97)--connoting a system of interpersonal relations created by the circulation of transient property without guarantee of return.
Given his familiarity with Dobuan culture, Fortune's frequent breaches of trust and social etiquette are troubling, such as when he disclosed specifics of Dobuan sexual activity to their neighboring Trobrianders
in spite of requests not to do so.
True to the classic ethnographer's paradox, Malinowski saw Trobrianders
as his colonially subordinate equals.
Classic Study of Sex, Marriage, and Kinship among the Matrilineal Trobrianders
. Stanely, E.
Bronislaw Malinowski, for instance, observed that among the Trobriand Islanders he studied, magic worked alongside the accurate empirical observations and technical capacity needed to build seaworthy canoes and cultivate productive gardens (20) The magic Trobrianders
practiced over their canoes and crops, therefore, was something other than a misguided attempt to interfere with natural processes.
"In both texts," Manganaro writes in a comparative study of Ulysses and Argonauts, "the protagonist sculpts out of sundry quotidian experience (living with native Dubliners and Trobrianders
) triumphant distantiation in the form of exquisitely wrought moments of vocational omnipotence, in which any ordinary event, person, or object can become filled with revelatory possibility" (143).