Review: Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Bronislaw Malinowski

1684 WordsFeb 9, 20127 Pages
Sept. 9th, 2011 ANTV315 Review: Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Bronislaw Malinowski Beginning an introduction with a plan concerning how the ethnographer will go about presenting his findings, conveys much validity, strength and conviction, especially doing so in a fashion similar to the scientific method so that there is opportunity to repeat the same exact procedure and more room to test or falsify one’s convictions, to say the least. Bronislaw Malinowski does this in such a way that devotes a detailed account of his experience and psychological insight including behavior, observations, surveys, sources, and statements from the natives he studied, to name a few. Malinowski does a good job in helping to understand his…show more content…
Women are also well respected and play a large part in tribal and festive activities. They are influential in that they are considered to have magical powers. Social position, descent, and inheritance follow a matrilineal formation. (page 38) Moving north, one of the most cultural influences of the Kula are the Dobu (named after the island in which they live), their manners and characters favored among the white visitors compared to other natives. Just as in the S. massim, authority is vested in the elderly men, their system of kinship is matrilineal, and women hold great influence. Interestingly enough, women practice ordinary sorcery, whereas in other tribes it is the man’s calling. Myths also play a big part in the traditions of the Dobu and the tribes surrounding it. (Page 41-42) Less capable and willing traders and workers, according to Malinowski, are the natives of the Amphlette tribe who reside south, between the volcanic region of Dobu and the flat coral archipelago of the Trobriands. (Page 47) Malinowski did not spend much time here for they were quite uninviting and he had greater interest North, in the Boyowa Islands of the Trobriand, which is where he sailed next to gather the majority of his ethnographic information. He describes the Trobriand natives here as having better physical features, excellent manners, and different sociological features than that of the other Massim. The high ranked authorities or chiefs
Open Document