Thursday, 12 March 2009

The Gift. More.

The Gift

p. 18 This confusion of personalities and things is precisely the mark of exchange contracts.

p. 22 The gift received is in fact owned, but the ownership if of a particular kind. One might say that it includes many legal principles which we moderns have isolated from one another. It is at the same time property and a possession, a pledge and a loan, an object sold and an object bought, a deposit, a mandate and a trust…

p. 24 The first gift…has the name of vaga, opening gift. It definitely binds the recipient to make a return gift, the yotile …the clinching gift. Another name for this is kudu, the tooth which bites, severs and liberates. It is obligatory; it is expected and must be equivalent to the first gift; it may be taken by force or surprise. One can avenge non-payment by magic… If one is unable to repay, one may, if necessary, offer a basi, a tooth which does not bite through but only pierces the skin and leaves the transaction unfinished.

P. 25 To obtain this vaga [permanent tie to a circular gift-exchange system] a man may flatter his future partner, who is still independent, and to whom he is making a preliminary series of presents. … p. 26 Some gifts of this kind have titles which express the legal implications of their acceptance… To receive it is actually to commit oneself tp return the vaga… For the cause is a great one; the association made establishes a kind of clan link…To get your man you have to seduce him and dazzle him … The underlying motives are competition, rivalry, show, and a desire for greatness and wealth.

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