By Janet Hoskins
First released in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Extra info for Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of Peoples’ Lives
For the next few months, I continued to live in a distant garden hamlet with Gheru Wallu, the first wife of a wealthy village headman. Lack of privacy, distance from the ceremonial centers, and frustrations with my stillunfocused research caused me to seek separate housing in a unit originally built for a rural nurse. It was adjacent to the clinic in the district capital of Bondo Kodi and closer to the ancestral villages along the coast. I moved there on New Year's Day in 1980, four months after my arrival on the island.
All of the most important guardian deities (of the clan altar, the house pillar, and the garden hamlet) are similarly double gendered. The womanly element at times appears "primordial" in these representations: Female spirits are usually named first, so they are called "Elder Mother, Ancient Father" (Inya Matuyo, Bapa Maheha) or "Mother of the Earth, Father of the Rivers" (Inya mangu tana, Bapa mangu loko). Below these deities, pairs of female and male spirit intermediaries are found at the edge of the ceiling and the top of the house, at the garden's gate and the edge of cultivated land, and in the graves and tombstones.
The insights that I try to privilege in this study focus on the narrative creation of the self through the vehicle of an object. A number of other theorists have argued that objects and subjects are mutually defined and reciprocally constitutive, and they have looked at moments of transaction and display (Munn 1986, Miller 1987) in which an object's exchange value is determined. The personal possessions I discuss in this work, while sometimes also involved in exchange, are more significant because of the ways they are remembered, hoarded, or used as objects of fantasy and desire.
Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of Peoples’ Lives by Janet Hoskins