himself and his tribe. Ognka discusses how a man with no pigs is nothing. He mentions that you cannot do anything without pigs. It is basically a form of currency for them since it is used for to pay for things or for wives even. Because a Big Man is not a dictator or a king, he can not boss the people around and expect them to listen unless they will also benefit. He uses his motivation to motivate his people since the whole tribe will gain fame and status from a successful moka. Also, it can be expected that they will receive great gifts in the future from other tribes looking to gain prestige. 2. a. How have Western consumer items infiltrated the moka tradition? Money is the biggest infiltrators in moka tradition. Money replaced shells which used to be used during a moka ritual. Most of this money was earned through coffee trade according to the narrator. Also, things like trucks and motorcycles can be included in the gifts. 3. a. Explain the role of “Big Man” as discussed in your text in relation to social organization. b. What social power does a Big Man possess? c. What personal talents/gifts, apart from throwing a big moka, would help to elevate a Big Man’s status? d. How does this play out in Ongka’s case?
The Big Man seems to be similar to that of a tribe elder in some other cultures. The people are not necessarily forced or even obligated to listen to Ongka’s advice or demands, but it seems like they usually do. He is a leader of the
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- Spring '14
- Papua New Guinea, Giving, potlatch, big man