Bamford - Chapter 07
I look to use ethnographic material to complement Bamford's
contribution in the previous chapter and give evidence of an alternative
to this generative system. I come on to expose some of the
consequences of these formulations for the way we are able to understand
humans' relations to each other and to their surroundings.
To that end, I focus upon knowledge, and its role of connecting people
as a social relation that is also an essential connection on the Rai
Coast of Papua New Guinea. The point here is that although knowledge
is vital and connects people, it is mutable, changing and open.
People therefore are mutable, changeable, and open to the interventions
and agency of others through a radically different set of tech -
nologies than those of contemporary techno-science. These tech nologies
are things we might otherwise call ritual, or art, or exchange
cycles, but that are also correctly described as instruments through
which the reality of another mode of existence is brought into being.