Kapauku - Armando Munoz Anthrcul 101.026 3-28-08 The...

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Armando Munoz Anthrcul 101.026 3-28-08 The Kapauku Culture The Kapauku are a tribe living in Irian Jaya, Indonesia (on the island of New Guinea). The tribe consists of approximately one hundred thousand people who make their home in the mountain areas of West Irian where elevation can be as high as 4000 meters with deep valleys below. The Kapauku subsistence is dependent on the sweet potato and pigs. Leopold Posposil, who studied the Kapauku, explained that the sweet potato and the pig can be separated neither from one another nor from the essence of Kapauku economy. The economy as characterized by Posposil was best labeled as “primitive capitalism,” characterized by the pursuit of wealth in the form of cowrie shell money, status distinctions based on such wealth, and an ethic of individualism (Peters- Golden 2005:138). The status distinction of the Tonowi, or “rich one,” and the culture of individualism are very much interrelated and have visible impacts in the culture of the Kapauku as a whole. With much of the emphasis on the acquisition of wealth in the Kapauku culture, the focus of each individual is not for the benefit of the tribe as a whole, but rather the benefit for one’s self. This is a very important lesson in the education of the Kapauku
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2008 for the course ANTHRO 101 taught by Professor Peters during the Spring '08 term at University of Michigan.

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Kapauku - Armando Munoz Anthrcul 101.026 3-28-08 The...

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