Once in the kula

by · Jun 2, 2016 · 268 views ·

The Kula ring exchange, documented by Malinowski’s pioneering work Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922), is a form of anti-economy. Once or twice a year, islanders in the Pacific take multi-day ocean voyages in order to visit exchange partners to trade bracelets made of snail shells for necklaces made of seashells. This is done without any obvious economic benefit. Over the past few years, the Australian artist Newell Harry visited the archipelagos in the Western Pacific several times on the search for surviving traditions of the Kula exchange. He will talk with the renowned Frankfurt ethnologist Hans Peter Hahn about the current role of the exchange rings and the obstinacy of things.