Yams, mobile phones and rice, about the organisation of a funerary feast in the Banks Islands, Vanuatu

Abstract : Today, on Mere Lava in the Banks islands, Vanuatu, the most valued subsistence crop is yam. Its growing traditionally relates to the creation and transformation of people's relationships to both land and each other. Above all, it is the crop that is exchanged and consumed at funerary rituals. Therefore, being able to face one's ritual obligations is a significant motivation for people to grow new yam gardens every year. However, thanks to the increasing ability for people to communicate with kinsmen and women living in urban centres through mobile phone calls, rice is also more and more sent to the island and frequently consumed during funerary feasts. In spite of being generally considered a "weaker food" than yam, the role played by rice in these rituals nevertheless shows it as well as being positively valued and related to the strengthening of social relationships. Through the case of one funerary ritual observed on Mere Lava in 2011, this paper aims at examining the comparative values given to yam and rice on this island and thus to address how this could impact on the growing of subsistence gardens in the future.
Complete list of metadatas

https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01219883
Contributor : Marie Durand <>
Submitted on : Friday, October 23, 2015 - 2:52:44 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 1:30:39 AM

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : halshs-01219883, version 1

Collections

Citation

Marie Durand. Yams, mobile phones and rice, about the organisation of a funerary feast in the Banks Islands, Vanuatu. European Society for Oceanist (ESFO) Conference, Jun 2015, Bruxelles, Belgique. ⟨halshs-01219883⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

117