“Events and objects are self-contained points in another respect; there is a series of beings, but no becoming.  There is no temporal connection between objects.  The taytu always remains itself; it does not become over-ripe; over-ripeness is an ingredient of another, a different being.  At some point, the taytu turns into a yowana, which contains over-ripeness, and the yowana, over-ripe as it is, does not put forth shoots, does not become a sprouting yowana.  When sprouts appear, it ceases to be itself; in its place appears a silasata.  Neither is there a temporal connection made–or, according to our own premises, perceived–between events; in fact, temporality is meaningless.  There is no tenses, no linguistic distinction between past or present.  There is no arrangement of activities or events into means and ends, no causal or teleologic relationships.  What we consider a casual relationship in a sequence of connected events, is to the Trobriander an ingredient of a patterned whole.  He names this ingredient u’ula.” (Lee, D (1968) “Codifications of reality: Lineal and non-lineal,” in Every Man His Way: Readings in Cultural Anthropology, Dundes, A., Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs. p. 334)

Wandering through my notes looking for patterns, I came across this passage about the Trobriand Islanders.  The description of their language seemed a lot like Benjamin Whorf’s words on the Hopi (see Hopi Patterns).  I jumped to Google to see if this might be a matrilineal society.  Indeed, that is the case.  When a boy becomes a man, he goes to live in the village of his mother’s brother.  “Mother-right… .  Is the most important and the most comprehensive principle of law, underlying all customs and institutions” (Malinowski 1922: 107).

Continuing our earlier posting on Hopi society and Freud’s primary process, would the Trobriand Islanders also exhibit a tendency toward an experience of a single time, a single place and reduced use of negatives?  In other words, would the way that dreams are experienced approximate in some way waking consciousness among the Trobriand Islanders?

Bouncing around Google looking for patterns.  There doesn’t seem to be much information on twinning rates and the Trobriand Islanders (a possible marker for matrifocal societies).  I’m not seeing anything on rates of left-handedness.  Pub Med provides almost nothing on disease tendencies among that society.

I would estimate that the females are high testosterone, males low testosterone.  The Trobriand Islands are now sometimes called the Kiriwina Islands.  Perhaps I should be conducting research using that name.


This entry was posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2009 at 7:16 am and is filed under Social Structure, Unconscious. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
1 Comment so far

  1. Gary Richmond on February 20, 2010 12:30 am


    In this article the researcher distinguishes a native and local ‘ontology of relations’ contrasting with the ‘categorical imperatives’ of the state. [consider kantri and namba tak]

    The American scientist and philosopher, Charles S. Peirce, analyzed this contrast as one between realism and nominalism (BTW, Malinowski was an extreme nominalist). They are NOT compatible.



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