Exchange, Material Culture and Colonialism in the Pacific
By (author) Nicholas Thomas
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Entangled Objects by Nicholas Thomas
Book DescriptionDrawing on his work on contemporary postcolonial Pacific societies, Nicholas Thomas takes up three issues central to anthropology: the cultural and political dynamics of colonial encounters, the nature of Western and non-Western transactions (such as the gift and the commodity), and the significance of material objects in social life. Along the way, he raises doubts about any simple "us / them" dichotomy between Westerners and Pacific Islanders, challenging the preoccupation of anthropology with cultural difference by stressing the shared history of colonial entanglement. Thomas integrates general issues into a historical discussion of the uses Pacific Islanders and Europeans have made of each other's material artifacts. He explores how 19th-century and 20th-century islanders, and visitors from the time of the Cook voyages up to the 1990s have fashioned identities for themselves and each other by appropriating and exchanging goods. Previous writers have explored museums and the tribal art market, but this book concentrates on the distinct interests of European collectors and the islanders. It should be of interest to all those working in the fields of cultural studies, from history
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674257313
(235mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 5-Nov-1991
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Nicholas Thomas
Return of Curiosity, Paperback (July 2016)
Over the last twenty years museums have proliferated, attracting new audiences and assuming new prominence in public life. The Return of Curiosity offers a fresh perspective on museums and what they may now be good for.
Melanesia, Hardback (July 2013)
The British Museums uniquely important Melanesian collection is pre-eminent among early collections, and the 20,000 items it comprises are core to understanding the cultures of the western Pacific.
Art in Oceania, Hardback (October 2012)View all books by Nicholas Thomas
The arts of Oceania are astonishing: great statues, daunting tattoos, dynamic carving, woven and painted fabrics, intricately carved weapons, and a variety of ornaments, ritual objects, and utilitarian but beautiful things. This book sets the art of Oceania in its full historical context and captures an understanding of the field.
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