"The road for shell money": Male and female leadership in the Banks Islands, Vanuatu.

Abstract : While, in 1891, R. Robert H. Codrington noted that in the Banks Islands, women had some sort of status alteration system of their own, a large amount of the information available on past and present leadership in this region is concerned with male systems. However, on Mere Lava, on the eastern fringe of the archipelago, women are still passing on the title of high-ranking woman, ne-ngweter, to one them every three or four years. Although the way they do it as well as their relationships with their male counterparts reflects the highly changed patterns of leadership in the area, some characteristics of modern ne-ngweter can still be related to the past high-ranking women. This paper intends to look at the status alteration system in the Banks Islands and particularly on Mere Lava by focusing on the female side. Therefore, it will highlight patterns of complementarity and collaboration that underlined the achievement of leadership in this region.
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Contributor : Marie Durand <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 1, 2015 - 4:47:24 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 1:30:47 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01147768, version 1



Marie Durand. "The road for shell money": Male and female leadership in the Banks Islands, Vanuatu.. Pacific Art Association Annual Meeting, Apr 2014, Cologne, Germany. ⟨halshs-01147768⟩



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