choosing [inventing] an arbitrary plan rather than one that was divinely ordained‚Ä™.
(Of course his system of classiÔ¬Ācation subsequently became a blueprint against which
further discoveries could be veriÔ¬Āed.)
14. And distinctions between elements that participate in one another‚Ä™s construction
are propped up (Law 1994) by other distinctions. Barry (2001 : 171 ‚Ä“2) appropriately
writes: ‚Ä˜[T]he production of scientiÔ¬Āc information involves a double movement. On
the one hand, the production of knowledge is a creative act. Reality is not merely
reÔ¬‚ected in the form of information or knowledge: it is creatively worked with and
acted upon [movement within the movement] . . . Second, in order for the new object
of information . . . to be produced it must be sustained and circulated. This neces-
sarily depends not just on the use of scientiÔ¬Āc procedures and techniques, but also
on political negotiations and bargains, government grants . . . a vast and increas-
ingly transnational arrangement of technical, political and economic resources and
15. Edmund Leach (1976) recapitulated some of the debate in his contrast between
Radcliffe-Brown‚Ä™s suppositions and those of L¬ī vi-Strauss.
16. Following the work of Gilbert (1989), he earlier used the example of a game of doubles
tennis: one cannot confuse the individual agents who make up the adversaries from
the social collective agent formed by two players who make up a team. Social actions
always depend on partners. On second glance, the example is less than helpful; after
all, there is a sense in which all the players, not just the doubles partners, are engaged
in a common pursuit that deÔ¬Ānes them as parties to it.
17. Monadologie et sociologie, 1893. (Translated by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, who
relayed the passage to me on reading the text that became Chapter Six [this volume];
personal communications, 2002.)
18. Perpetual motion machine after Crook 2004. The Enlightenment made this explicit:
‚Ä˜natural philosophy had to be underpinned by ideas about it how it was possible
to know ‚Äúnature‚ÄĚ at all‚Ä™ (my emphasis), and people were preoccupied with ‚Ä˜the
relationship of man to nature, the very possibility of knowledge of the external
world, and . . . the best way to organise such knowledge‚Ä™ (Outram 1995: 50, 48).
19. One example of a debate that seemingly followed these contours, of which I am
obviously no judge at all, was reported by Israel (2001 : 249‚Ä“51). This concerns con-
Ô¬‚icting views over the laws of motion; Spinoza‚Ä™s views Ô¬‚ew in the face of the majority:
Descartes, Locke and others. They thought of motion as external to matter, intro-
duced into the material world by God; Spinoza also held that God was the principal
cause of motion but that by the same token it is inherent in things, and the only
differences between individual bodies is in the proportion of motion and rest they
evince. Everything is a balance of opposing pressures.
20. A merographic connection (also from Strathern 1992a). (I would imagine similar
phenomena in other Euro-American contexts, but not necessarily in the form of
class.) In this model, English ideas about kin relationships are always modiÔ¬Āed
by other, non-kinship, elements. (For an arresting application of the merographic
172 NOTES TO PAGES 44‚Ä“46
connection to the Ô¬Āeld of pre-implantation diagnosis, see Franklin 2003; for an
equally arresting elucidation with respect of ethnographic practice, see Schlecker
and Hirsch 2001 .)
21. In the Enlightenment, ‚Ä˜taxonomy‚Ä™ was ‚Ä˜the organising principle for all intellec-
tual activity‚Ä™ (Outram 1995: 48, original emphasis, quoting Foucault‚Ä™s The order
of things). According to Ziman 2000: 120 (notes omitted, my emphasis): ‚Ä˜some-
thing like the Linnaean system became necessary in the seventeenth century to
cope with the world-wide diversity of local names for similar ‚Ä“ often the same ‚Ä“
biological species. Although designed around descriptive ‚Äúfamily resemblances‚ÄĚ
rather than speciÔ¬Āc measurable properties, this system enabled naturalists to iden-
tify the subjects of their observations to one another, and thus brought order into
22. And indeed this characteristic also appeared in social anthropologists‚Ä™ approach
to kin classiÔ¬Ācation, as when structural functionalists were reproached for after all
dealing with discrete units. In truth, it was simply that they had not gotten far enough;
they could see the mother‚Ä™s brother as co-implicated in the deÔ¬Ānition of mother but
did not totalise the insight, as L¬ī vi-Strauss‚Ä™ atom of kinship did, to the relationship
between afÔ¬Ānes and consanguines. Leach (1976) excoriated structural-functionalists‚Ä™
obsession with comparing societies as units.
23. Shapin (1996: 127, emphasis omitted) observes of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, ‚Ä˜[M]ore and more gentlemen became avid consumers of a reformed body
of knowledge. Practical ethical literature urged gentlemen to take up knowledge as
an aid to virtue as well as civility‚Ä™. Fara (2003: 57‚Ä“58) reminds one of the intense
sociability that crossed scientiÔ¬Āc, literary, diplomatic and artistic circles in eighteenth
24. On observation as a collective enterprise, see the account of the tracking of the
1664 comet across the country (Shapin 1994: 268): ‚Ä˜[T]he social stability of scientiÔ¬Āc
knowledge is a reasonable indicator of its objectivity‚Ä™ (Ziman 2000: 6).
25. And the idea of class as an analytical unit, as in classiÔ¬Ācation, can appear in this sec-
ond guise. Leach complained (1976: 15) that in Radcliffe-Brown‚Ä™s treatment, ‚Ä˜[T]he
whole discussion focuses on the natural separateness of a class of real objects‚Ä™, an
argument that led Radcliffe-Brown to deÔ¬Āne societies themselves as islands, ‚Ä˜con-
ceptually isolated systems‚Ä™. Leach commended those who appreciate ‚Ä˜that the way
we cut up the empirical cake for the purposes of analysis is a matter of convenience
rather than something that is given by nature‚Ä™ (1976: 19).
26. And house names were substituted by house numbers, as in streets (in England,
however, surnames had been Ô¬Āxed for a long time). These concepts joined with that
of ‚Ä˜the community of descent‚Ä™ or lineage that had its own history (Handler and Segal
1990: 32; Mitterauer and Sieder 1977: 10). Macfarlane (1986) opens with a fascinating
account of the impediments that class or station were seen to put in way of marriage,
which would upturn settled habits of association.
27. Although the notion of radical change was afoot then, Shapin (1996: 3) writes, ‚Ä˜the
beginnings of an idea of revolution in science date from the eighteenth century writ-
ing of the French Enlightement philosophers who liked to portray themselves . . . as
radical‚Ä™, while there were expert practitioners in the seventeenth century who
‚Ä˜identiÔ¬Āed themselves as ‚Äúmoderns‚ÄĚ set against ‚Äúancient‚ÄĚ modes of thought and
practice‚Ä™ (1996: 5, original emphasis). See Outram (1995: 48‚Ä“49).
NOTES TO PAGES 48‚Ä“5 2
28. She is drawing here on two ethnographic investigations by U.S. anthropologists,
respectively Rapp (1999) and Finkler (2000), both of whose pioneering work I
29. Ultimately, society is thus made, created, in the positivist view. Hence society is
different from all those systems that anthropologists constantly produce as coun-
terfactuals in which people seemingly have no choice as to their associates. (The
Euro-American ‚Ä˜father‚Ä™ may be acknowledged on diverse grounds, conventionally
requiring social institutions such as the law to Ô¬Āx the determinants.)
30. Which give them their so-called nature. Hence nature is different from all those
systems that anthropologists constantly produce as counterfactuals in which
‚Ä˜biological‚Ä™ kin are seemingly invented. (The Euro-American mother conventionally
derives deÔ¬Ānition from nature, axiomatically created in the very process of giving
birth to the child.)
chapter 3: emergent properties
1. Litigation offers an arena that may be frustrating for social analysis but fascinating for
cultural understanding. Lawyers are paid to stretch the imagination ‚Ä“ the question
is whether their arguments will stick. (On the stretching capacities of contest, see for
example the NRT debates preceding British embryology and fertilisation legislation
[Edwards et al. 1999; Mulkay 1997].) However, as with the appearance of new items
of vocabulary or of interpretation, it may matter little if a phrase begins life as
some outrageous conceit; what is revealing about the culture is how the phrase does
or does not pass into general use. My appropriation of legal opinion for ‚Ä˜cultural
understanding‚Ä™ conceals the extent to which judges‚Ä™ written opinions (the bulk of the
material referred to here) are produced in the very awareness ‚Ä˜that what they write gets
picked up as the stuff of cultural criticism‚Ä™ (Annelise Riles, personal communication).
2. Dolgin uses traditional family as shorthand for what emerged during the early years
of the industrial revolution, a family ‚Ä˜constructed as the cultural antithesis of the
domains of commerce produced by industrialization‚Ä™ (2000: 524).
3. In this case, the court refused to order blood testing or to take DNA evidence into
account; it relied on the facts about the relationships. A father suing for paternal
rights may be confronted with the argument that a proper familial relationship needs
to include the ability to set up home with the child‚Ä™s mother (Dolgin 2000: 533).
4. In re the Marriage of John A. and Luanne H. Buzzanca; I am very grateful to Janet
Dolgin for sending me the record from the California Court of Appeal, March 10,
5. It could Ô¬Ānd no biological tie between any of the potential parents and the then
three-year-old girl. The gestational surrogate (who had given birth) was not her
‚Ä˜biological‚Ä™ mother, and ipso facto her husband did not count; Luanne could not be
the mother because she had neither contributed her egg nor given birth; John could
not be the father because he had contributed no biological material; the donors did
not come into the picture.
6. This was argued on a parity of reasoning with the existing ruling that a husband‚Ä™s
consent to his wife‚Ä™s artiÔ¬Ācial insemination makes him the lawful father: by con-
senting to the medical procedure, the couple had put themselves into a position
similar to an IVF husband. Note the reference also to their ‚Ä˜initiating‚Ä™ the procedure:
174 NOTES TO PAGES 5 2‚Ä“5 4
‚Ä˜Even though neither Luanne nor John are biologically related to [the child], they
are still her lawful parents given their initiating role as the intended parents in her
conception and birth‚Ä™. (California Court of Appeal 1998: 72 Cal. Rptr. 2d at 291). In
the Ô¬Ānal verdict, both the Buzzancas were declared the lawful parents, and the birth
certiÔ¬Ācate altered accordingly.
7. Biagioli (2003) refers to the long chain of names that accompanies authorial claims
in scientiÔ¬Āc writing. In reproductive medicine, the possibilities continue to grow.
Thus tetraparenthood refers to the technologically feasible creation of an embryo
from the genetic materials of four partners (Brazier et al. 2000, Chapter VII).
8. Without choices having to be asserted or claims being made, perhaps the concept of
technology would not have the same purchase on the imagination as it does: I take
as cultural fact the widespread perception of ‚Ä˜technology‚Ä™, especially when it carries
the epithet ‚Ä˜new‚Ä™, as a force in everyday contemporary life. Thus Justice Panelli, in the
surrogacy case noted below (Johnson v. Calvert), opened with the general observation
(my emphasis), ‚Ä˜In this case we address several of the legal questions raised by recent
advances in reproductive technology‚Ä™ (851 P. 2d. 776).
9. Values of individuality and choice would seem to lie behind both the guidelines and
this form of protest against it. Dolgin (cf. 1997) has more than once commented on
legal situations in which the same values are pressed into service for different ends.
10. The particle physics laboratory, Fermilab; approved in 1998, the proposals are said
to be extended to the European physics laboratory complex, CERN.
11. Those who made the work possible; thus Biagioli points to discussions about the
authorial input of peer reviewers or journal editors. (The term ‚Ä˜corporate‚Ä™ carries here
resonances with commercial corporations and the market rather than ideas about a
commnuity of scholars.) Haraway (1997: 7) makes a similar point: ‚Ä˜Only some of the
necessary ‚Äúwriters‚ÄĚ have the semiotic staus of ‚Äúauthors‚ÄĚ for any ‚Äútext‚ÄĚ. . . . Similarly,
only some actors and actants that are necessarily allied in a patented innovation have
the status of owner and inventor, authorized to brand a contingent but eminently
real entity with their trademark‚Ä™.
12. In Biagioli‚Ä™s view, the basic problem of how to divide attributable claims from ac-
knowledging the support that made them possible is not solved by the corporate
model. This problem is embedded in an epistemological issue about the relationship
between speciÔ¬Ācity (of a particular piece of work) and the general conditions of (its)
possibility. It probably goes without saying that there are also likely to be perennial
political issues, leading to variation in practice between different laboratories (Susan
Drucker-Brown, personal communication).
13. In 1999, the U.K. Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers pro-
posed that the ‚Ä˜license to publish‚Ä™ would entail publishers relinquishing copyright
to authors. Authors could publicly self-archive their work, online for example, and
would be free to give it away, whereas all rights to sell (on paper or online) would be
held by the publisher. (Since widely adopted.)
14. A 1997 Draft Declaration produced by the Ô¬Ārst National Consultation of Academic
Authors, a preliminary feeder document initiated by the Authors‚Ä™ Licensing and
Collecting Society, simply saw claiming moral rights as a warranty of authorship to
15. ‚Ä˜Moral rights‚Ä™ point clearly to the originator but, unlike property rights, cannot be
sold or otherwise assigned (they may be waived). Long established in much of the
NOTES TO PAGES 5 4‚Ä“5 5
rest of Europe (nineteenth century French judges allowed relief for moral rights,
Rose 1993: 18), although foreign to U.S. copyright law, moral rights were introduced
into English law through the U.K. 1988 Copyright, Design and Patent Act.
16. Intellectual property law offers a legal avenue to claims of a potentially economic
nature. What is meant by intellectual? An intellectual property rights system ‚Ä˜creates
incentives for the accumulation of useful knowledge‚Ä™ (Swanson 1995: 11); exclusive
property rights depend in turn on the demonstration that the knowledge offers
‚Ä˜novel information‚Ä™. Swanson, writing in the context of biodiversity issues, readily
talks of the creation of ‚Ä˜knowledge‚Ä™ (also prominent in debates over indigenous
knowledge) where others may stress the protection of ideas. To paraphrase a 1990s
managers‚Ä™ guide (Irish 1991 ): IP is a general term for different types of ideas protected
by legal rights; the law recognises that the time spent originating new concepts is an
investment that needs protection. Or: ‚Ä˜Intellectual property is a generic term which
refers to the rights attached to the products of human creativity, including scientiÔ¬Āc
discoveries, industrial designs, literary and artistic works‚Ä™ (Tassy and Dambrine 1997:
193). The emphasis on products (particular physical objects as the outcome of effort)
has traditionally dominated the British view. (‚Ä˜It is often said of modern British
intellectual property law, with its pragmatic and positive heritage, that it is not and
never has been concerned with creativity . . . and that it is more concerned with the
sweat of the brow than the brain‚Ä™ [Sherman and Bently 1999: 43], a view [as they
suggest] that overlooks early modern concerns with creativity as a process.) (Thanks
to Alain Pottage for drawing this to my attention.)
17. Lone literary authors can, of course, take a collective view, although they may have
in mind a community that comprises audience as well as fellow writers. The Ô¬Ārst
paragraph of the U.K. Draft Declaration (n. 18) opens: ‚Ä˜Academic authors commu-
nicate and share ideas, information, knowledge and results of study and research by
all available means of expression and in all forms. They recognise that participants
in this scholarly communication process include academic editors, publishers and
presentation experts‚Ä™. A more radical although well-worked theorisation of multiple
authorship is argued through the postmodern text, always a tissue of other texts, as
we are reminded, for example, by Coombe (1998: 284). Rose (1994: viii) notes that
one stimulus for his historical enquiry into the notion of the individual creator, on
which copyright is based, was his experience of the entertainment industry, where
almost all work is both formulaic and corporate.
18. The Draft Declaration states: [3.1.] ‚Ä˜The legal framework of publishing in an electronic
age must be reevaluated in order to establish a fair balance between the needs of
creators, other rightholders and users‚Ä™; [1.3.] ‚Ä˜in particular the needs of the user
community must be taken into account‚Ä™.
19. I have drawn from before (see Strathern 1999a: 165), and it is one of the starting
points of Strathern (1995). Derek Morgan (see Morgan 1994) originally sent me a
typed report of Anna Johnson v. Mark Calvert et al. (California Supreme Court 1993:
851 P. 2d at 776) and I have since received the printed version from Janet Dolgin. My
thanks to them both.
20. ‚Ä˜We conclude that although the Act [Uniform Parentage Act, California, 1975] recog-
nizes both genetic consanguinity and giving birth as means of establishing a mother
child relationship, when the two means do not coincide in one woman, she who in-
tended to procreate the child ‚Ä“ that is, she who intended to bring about the birth of
176 NOTES TO PAGES 5 5 ‚Ä“5 9
a child that she intended to raise as her own ‚Ä“ is the natural mother under California
Law‚Ä™ (California Supreme Court 1993: 851 P.2d at 776).
21. The commentator continued: ‚Ä˜The mental concept must be recognized as indepen-
dently valuable; it creates expectations in the initiating parents of the child, and it
creates expectations in society for adequate performance on the part of the initia-
tors as parents of the child‚Ä™ (851 P.2d at 782). Another had argued that reproductive
technology extends ‚Ä˜afÔ¬Ārmative intentionality‚Ä™ and that intentions voluntarily cho-
sen should be determining of legal parenthood. Dolgin (2000) points out that the
doctrine of intent can thus support either a traditional view of the family (it points
to the likelihood of enduring relationships) or a modern view (it suggests choice and
22. Of course the majority had not argued that children were property either; they had
simply talked of the conceivers and prime movers who produced the child and of
the intention implied in the original contract with the surrogate mother (Roberston
1994; Ragon¬ī 1994). ‚Ä˜Intending parents‚Ä™ were covered in model legislation drawn
up in 1988, but California had not adopted it, and the case had to be argued afresh
23. When it is impossible to separate idea from expression because of the limited ways in
which, for example, ideas in a computer programme can be expressed (Bainbridge
24. And in the case of patents it would also have to be a commercially exploitable
outcome. Apropos the point to follow about copyright, new performers‚Ä™ rights (after
the 1988 U.K. Act) deal with protecting something that is unique but still copiable
25. It seems that after relatively stable arrangements in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, agitation Ô¬Ārst by booksellers and then by writers, in response to a grow-
ing reading public and the possibility of generating income from writing, saw a
new regime developing over the course of the eighteenth century; this was when
copyright in England took its present form. Evidence comes from debates pub-
lished in journals and broadsides and from attempts to pass bills through Parlia-
ment, which did not stop with the famous Statute of Ann in 1710, and from legal
26. Other Ô¬Āgures ‚Ä˜employed to represent the author‚Ä™s relation to his writing‚Ä™ included ‚Ä˜the
author as singing shepherd, tiller of the soil, vessel of divine inspiration, magician,
and monarch‚Ä™ (Rose 1993: 38). The following account draws heavily, and gratefully,
on this secondary source.
27. Although there was an enduring identity (propriety) between the author and his
work insofar as the author might be punished for libel or sedition. There was in
any case a general understanding that it was improper to publish an author‚Ä™s work
without permission; however, this controlling interest in its publication was closer
to a moral right than to a property right (Rose 1993: 18).
28. An idiom authors borrowed from stationers (printers and booksellers). The latter
had long argued that their copies (property that was at once the manuscript and the
right to multiply copies of a particular title) were the equivalent of other people‚Ä™s
estates. Rose (1993: 40) cites the Company of Stationers‚Ä™ petition of 1643 which
pleaded that ‚Ä˜there is no reason apparent why the production of the Brain should
not be as assignable [sellable] . . . as the right of any Goods or Chattells‚Ä™.
NOTES TO PAGES 5 9‚Ä“60
29. Opposers of this view argued that there could be no property without the thing,
the corpus (Rose 1993: 70; also Woodmansee 1994: 49‚Ä“50). The debate rumbles on.
Whether or not copyright can be property is still sometimes questioned; this is
partly because of its unusual legal status (it exists not in fact but only in law, it
can be infringed but not stolen and rather than being a thing that is protected for
as long as it exists it suddenly ceases to exist at the end of a set term), but partly
because ‚Ä˜a sizeable body of otherwise intelligent persons . . . argue from the mistaken
premise that something cannot be truly ‚Äúproperty‚ÄĚ unless it is solid and has the
attributes of a physical presence‚Ä™ (Phillips and Firth 1990: 107). But a caveat must be
registered: what constitutes a thing will shift not just across historical periods but
across disciplines; for a commentary on Rose‚Ä™s treatment see Sherman and Bently
(1999: Chapter 2). They also make clear the extent to which the concept of ‚Ä˜creativity‚Ä™
has its own complex history.
30. Said in the context of an analysis of continuity between the generations. ‚Ä˜For patri-
archalists inheritance mattered because the right to rule was transmitted from father
to son. For liberals it was the mechanism through which property was transferred,
and property was the basis of political rights‚Ä™ (Jordanova 1995: 375).
31. It is Rose himself who extrapolates here, and says that the analogy could never have
got very far when the issue of authors‚Ä™ rights turned to the pursuit of proÔ¬Āt in the
marketplace. However, another historian notes (Jordanova 1995: 378): ‚Ä˜Many eigh-
teenth century commentators did indeed see production as a form of reproduction;
they could therefore conceptualise children as commodities‚Ä™, although she quali-
Ô¬Āes this by also likening them to capital, that is, something in which parents invest.
(Conceptualise is not the same as realise ; the issue is the kind of space that ideas create
for one another. Children were thought about through many other idioms too. As
Jordanova comments, ‚Ä˜reproductive processes and products were imaginative spaces
that could be Ô¬Ālled up in a variety of ways‚Ä™ [1995: 379].)
32. Though there are some striking current day and not dissimilar instances of combined
positions held with no difÔ¬Āculty at all. Within the compass of one sentence, in refer-
ence to indigenous rights: ‚Ä˜Indigenous people have shared this knowledge freely in
the past [they circulate it without recompense] and have rarely received proper com-
pensation or recognition for it [they ought to receive recompense]‚Ä™ (1997 Guidelines
for environmental assessements and traditional knowledge, Report to World Council
of Indigenous Peoples, Centre for Traditional Knowledge, Toronto, Canada).
33. If I were to write that it was the way in which the text is distinctively moulded and
shaped (so the text not the volume becomes the ‚Ä˜body‚Ä™) that was being seized upon,
it would be with an uncanny sense of d¬ī j` vu in so far as similar phrasing has been
used in a locus classicus of anthropological debate on so-called conception theories,
the Trobriand father‚Ä™s role in procreation as moulder of the child‚Ä™s external features.
Note that I use text here in a non-technical way; it receives quite different value, for
instance, in Barthes‚Ä™ hands (1977; 1986, discussed by Coombe 1998: 284).
34. But perhaps not too wildly. Dorinda Outram (personal communication) has since
pointed out the evolution of salon circles in eighteenth France where aspiring scholars
found a kind of ‚Ä˜second family‚Ä™. This often seems to have involved removal from
the Ô¬Ārst and in particular from the biological father. For the Ô¬‚edgling savant, ‚Ä˜the
freedom to pursue innocent knowledge . . . could only occur as a result of . . . rejection
of parental authority‚Ä™ (1987: 21).
178 NOTES TO PAGES 60‚Ä“62
35. Possessiveness lay generally in identity or likeness, a sense of ‚Ä˜ownness‚Ä™ between
parent and child and, in the ideas of the time, parental authority and power over
the child. However, there were specialised arenas of debate that argued about the
consequences of identity. Some of the seventeenth century philosophers discussed
by James (1997) distinguished the spiritual uniÔ¬Ācation of oneself with one‚Ä™s object
of knowledge, likened to the benevolent love of the father, from physical union, as
in the mother‚Ä™s effects on the unborn child, which exposes the mind to ‚Ä˜inescapable
afÔ¬‚ictions of sense‚Ä™ and the person to too much inÔ¬‚uence from others to be able
to form a clear knowledge of a world (1997: 248‚Ä“52). An alleged change took place
over the eighteenth century in the so-called natural association of the child with
the parent: from the father to the mother (Jordanova 1995: 373, 379).
36. Value was put on innovation. Woodmansee (1994: 38) quotes Wordsworth from 1815
regarding the great author who, through his originality, has the task of creating the
taste by which he is appreciated. (Here as elsewhere I retain the masculine pronoun.)
Wordsworth: ‚Ä˜Genius is the introduction of a new element in the intellectual universe‚Ä™
(Woodmansee 1994: 39).
37. It is to be understood that these are cultural categories not psychological ones. Now
if it (the work) is less obviously a child and he (the author) is less obviously the
father, then is it (the work) more like (the author) himself? Woodmansee‚Ä™s own
argument ends with a comment on the concomitant emergence of the notion that
work could be read in order to uncover the author‚Ä™s personality. Coombe (1998: 219)
can thus generalise ‚Ä“ like the commentator cited by Justice Kennard ‚Ä“ that copyright
laws came to protect works ‚Ä˜understood to embody the unique personality of their
individual authors‚Ä™. The Romantic view has to allow the observer‚Ä™s direct sensibility,
correspondence, to what is being observed. Creativity becomes assigned on the
evidence of the resultant work.
38. Focus is not on his or her vision but on the quality of information which that vision
produces, veriÔ¬Āable by comparison with other pieces of information. The procedure
is not, of course, restricted to science; in discussing the nature of evidence, Hume
(1748) succinctly remarked that a reason for a fact will be another fact. Haraway‚Ä™s
(1997) critique of the modest witness lies precisely in observing that the juncture at
which facts become visible is the juncture at which the witness becomes invisible.
‚Ä˜This [modesty] is one of the founding virtues of the modern world. This is the virtue
that guarantees that the modest witness is the legitimate and authorized ventriloquist
for the object world, adding nothing from his mere opinion . . . ‚Ä™ (1997: 24).
39. If we take Biagioli‚Ä™s point about the present-day importance of accountability in
science, then the handling of information in the humanities and social sciences
follows a similar model. Paul Connerton has observed (personal communication)
that conventions in citation have hardly stayed still themselves, and this complicates
whatever it is one might mean by multiple authorship. (Pre-modern compositions
might consist of whole strings of citations; it was the job of authors to assemble
[previously deceased] authors. The knowledge practices of which Shapin writes
newly implicated relationships with living people.)
40. The people were men (cf. Haraway 1997: 27). Shapin examines the different kinds of
testimony that men allowed, and thus the evaluation of that testimony (see Shapin
1994: 212). Shapin‚Ä™s overall thesis concerns the conventions of decorum and integrity
by which the trustworthy made themselves evident ‚Ä“ necessarily drawing on existing
NOTES TO PAGES 62‚Ä“63
credentials (e.g., gentlemanly behaviour) ‚Ä“ that in effect deÔ¬Āned as a class those able
to vouch for one another and that had to discount other contributors to knowledge-
41. My term: a rhetoric of equality had displaced old canons of authorisation. ‚Ä˜The
Royal Society‚Ä™s ‚Äúmodern‚ÄĚ rejection of authority in scientiÔ¬Āc matters quite speciÔ¬Ācally
mobilized codes of presumed equality operative in early modern gentle society. Just as
each knowledge-claim was to make its way in the world without help or favoritism,
so all participants played on a level Ô¬Āeld‚Ä™ (Shapin 1994: 123). (This did not mean
that everyone had to be personally acquainted, only that they held the status to be
counted as trustworthy.) From another time and place, the young savants mentioned
by Outram (see n. 34) were speciÔ¬Ācally Ô¬‚edgling scientists, and in escaping their birth
origins were escaping ‚Ä˜the tainted world of career-making, patronage, and advantage‚Ä™
(Outram 1987: 21).
42. Shapin (1994: 258) gets close to this when he says that having ‚Ä˜knowledge about
the nature of people allowed experience to be brought back from distant times and
places and transformed into public knowledge‚Ä™.
43. ‚Ä˜It is evident that there is a principle of connection between the different thoughts
and ideas of the mind, and that . . . they introduce each other with a certain degree
of method and regularity‚Ä™ (Hume, 1748: 320). All objects of human enquiry may,
he averred, be divided into two kinds, relations of ideas and matters of fact. As far
as ‚Ä˜connections among ideas‚Ä™ are concerned, we Ô¬Ānd three principles: resemblance,
contiguity and cause or effect. And when it comes to reasoning over matters of fact,
this is largely founded on the last, the relation of cause and effect: ‚Ä˜by means of that
relation alone we can go beyond the evidence of our memory and senses (1748: 322)‚Ä™.
‚Ä˜[A]ny idea . . . may be the occasion why the mind thus brings two things together,
and as it were, takes a view of them at once, though still considered as distinct;
therefore any of our ideas might be the foundation of relation‚Ä™ (Locke 1690: 234).
44. In the last chapter of The order of things, Foucault addresses the delimiting effects
of knowledge that knows itself as Ô¬Ānite. We may see the relation (in the sense used
here) as an effect of just such a limitation, in that scientiÔ¬Āc knowledge conceives of
things as ‚Ä˜seeking the principle of their intelligibility only in their own development
(1970: xxiii) or as ‚Ä˜contain[ing] the principles of their existence within themselves‚Ä™
(1970: 317). Although medieval doctrines of resemblance were ostensibly thrown out
to be replaced by comparison through measurement and order, what he writes of
analogy continues to apply to cultural practices of persuasion. It is, he observes, one
among many devices by which ‚Ä˜the world must fold in on itself, duplicate itself, or
form a chain with itself ‚Ä™ (1970: 25‚Ä“6). For a critique of twentieth century examples
from biology, see Fox Keller (1992).
45. Technical authority had to be demonstrated through the replicability of experiments.
Both connections and facts required allies (Latour 1986).
46. Outram (1995: 53) quotes de Condillac from the Treatise on sensations, Paris, 1754:
‚Ä˜Ideas in no way allow us to know beings as they actually are; they merely depict
them in terms of their relationship with us‚Ä™.
47. At once social and intellectual. The same applies to property practices. Consider
Macfarlane‚Ä™s (1998) challenging account of developments stemming from feudal law
in England, which utilised the concept of relations in a particularly Ô¬‚exible manner.
By contrast with Roman law, where property lay in a thing to be divided among
180 NOTES TO PAGES 63‚Ä“65
claimants, feudal lawyers ‚Ä˜saw the thing as indivisible, but the rights in it, that is the
relationships between people, the bundle of social ties between people and resources,
were almost inÔ¬Ānitely expandable‚Ä™ (1998: 113, emphasis removed; 1986: 339‚Ä“40). He
goes on to quote from Stein and Shand‚Ä™s Legal Values in Western Society and say
that the idea of multiple relations in respect of a thing assisted the common law
acceptance of abstract rights such as copyright, patents, shares and options as forms
of property (1998: 111 ‚Ä“12).
48. Connections within may be seen as another example of connections between; see
Ollman‚Ä™s discussion of ‚Ä˜The philosophy of internal relations‚Ä™ (1971 ). He quotes
Leibniz: ‚Ä˜[T]here is no term so absolute or so detached that it doesn‚Ä™t enclose relations
and the perfect analysis of which doesn‚Ä™t lead to other things and even to everything
else, so that one could say that relative terms mark expressly the conÔ¬Āguration which
they contain‚Ä™ (1971 : 31).
49. The phrasing is from Ollman and his chapter on the philosophy of internal rela-
tions (1971 : 27) concerning Marx‚Ä™s attempt to distinguish two types of relations (cf.
Marfarlane 1998: 104‚Ä“5). But the notion that seemingly absolute terms contained
relations within them was already familiar from philosophy (see Locke 1690: 235).
50. A homely parallel is the way English-speakers commonly talk of a relation between
individual and society: the relation is bringing together phenomena of quite dif-
ferent scale. An apparent counter-example makes the point. Bouquet (1993: 172),
reÔ¬‚ecting on Portuguese perpelexities over British anthropological theorising on
kinship, notes that there is, in Portuguese, ‚Ä˜no separation, such as the English might
make, between the [private] person and [public] . . . conventions‚Ä™. One cannot, in
Portuguese, it would seem, contrast persons and system, and therefore one cannot,
in this sense, relate them or derive each from the other. Yet even this relation of
identity acknowledges the terms (public, private) separately from their fusion.
51. Technology holds within itself ideas, concepts, information. Technology has no other
form than a working form; a failed technology is no technology. We may say it is like
a device that works to make other things work. This is the strong sense in which I
call ‚Ä˜the relation‚Ä™ a tool (see Introduction: Part I), by contrast with the weak sense in
which all concepts have an effect as vehicles of communication.
52. From the perspective of certain seventeenth century philosophers, for instance, it
has been argued that it would be a mistake to treat knowledge as an intellectual
matter divorced from emotion or the urge to act. Rather, ‚Ä˜[t]he view that emotions
are intimately connected to volitions enabled the philosophers . . . to make space for
a conception of knowledge as feeling‚Ä™ (James 1997: 240). It was not, in this sense,
independent from the knowing subject.
53. At least if we can go by the citations in the Oxford English Dictionary [1971 edition].
These do not work simply as Ô¬Āgures of speech (metaphors or similes in respect of
one another), although through explicit analogy (when their different domains are
compared) they may become so. Note that kinship is a thoroughly modern term
(kin and kinsfolk are ancient, but kinship as at once a relationship by descent or
consanguinity and a relationship in respect of quality or character was coined in the
nineteenth century). I use knowledge rather than (say) logic for the second set from
the hindsight of certain contemporary usages.
54. In the dual senses of receiving seed (becoming pregnant) and taking something
into the mind (grasping an idea); however we may note that only later, and it is
NOTES TO PAGES 65 ‚Ä“69
recorded thus from the seventeenth century, is conceive used more loosely to cover
both conception (by a woman) and begetting (by a man).
55. A usage that seems to have become prevalent, in certain circles at least, in Jane
Austen‚Ä™s time. Handler and Segal (1990: 33) suggest that connection stressed the
socially constructed and mutable (their phrasing) dimension of the kinship tie as
opposed to its natural basis in blood. Family seems to have referred to the household
and to those related through common descent before it became, in the seventeenth
century, a term for an assemblage of items.
56. When they are made explicit, the effect is indeed often that of ‚Ä˜a dreadful pun‚Ä™
because English-speakers will hold that the connections are not really intrinsic or
else that the similarities may seem altogether too obvious or altogether too obscure.
Yet the parallels have kept going for three hundred years, and the doubles entendres
are as persistant. English-speakers thus persist in using the same words to talk about
intellectual propagation as they do procreative acts, and then they do it all over again
in connecting concepts together in order to instruct themselves about the nature
of the world and connecting persons together whom they wish to acknowledge as
members of a common kin universe. Sometimes the connections have been explored
in Ô¬Āction. Beer hints that George Eliot‚Ä™s novel Middlemarch, published in 1872, may
be read as a narrative of double relationships: what happens when relations of love
and marriage are eclipsed by the obsessive pursuit of relations and connections
between inÔ¬Ānitely compilable facts.
57. Although Haraway would prefer to dispense with the idea of kinship altogether, this
offers a parallel to her supposition about gender relations. She asks ‚Ä˜if gender, with
all its tangled knots with other systems of stratiÔ¬Āed relationships, was at stake in
key reconÔ¬Āgurations of knowledge and practice that constituted modern science‚Ä™
58. The original reads: ‚Ä˜having the notion that one laid the egg out of which the other was
hatched, I have a clear idea of the relation of dam and chick between the cassowaries
in St James‚Ä™s Park; though, perhaps, I have but a very obscure and imperfect idea of
those birds themselves‚Ä™ (Locke 1690: 237). The cassowaries would have been one in a
long line of unusual creatures kept on public display, many of which set puzzles for
the ‚Ä˜classifying imagination‚Ä™ (Ritvo 1997).
59. Whether through a comparison of similarities or, as in metaphor, through describing
one thing via what is sustained (domained off) for the very purpose of comparison as
an entirely different thing. ‚Ä˜Making sense‚Ä™ is of course too passive a rendering when
one considers the transformative effect of mimesis and the ‚Ä˜epistemic awareness‚Ä™ it
generates (Gell 1998: 100, after Taussig 1993).
60. If so, it is almost as though he were also insisting that the language of kinship is
no analogy either. Scientists who were dealing with living, and thus reproducing,
organisms had the particular advantage of being able to close whatever gap ‚Ä˜between
metaphor and actuality‚Ä™ that existed. Beer (1983: 170) cites Darwin in this connection.
In The origin of species the idea of family is given a genetic actuality when descent
becomes ‚Ä˜the hidden bond of connexion which naturalists have sought under the
term of the Natural System‚Ä™ (1983: 170). Kinship was no Ô¬Āgure of speech but conveyed
‚Ä˜true afÔ¬Ānities‚Ä™ between living things. He had been arguing that ‚Ä˜all living and extinct
forms can be grouped together in one great system . . . [such that] several members of
each class are connected together by the most complex and radiating lines of afÔ¬Ānities‚Ä™
182 NOTES TO PAGES 69‚Ä“73
(quoted from The origin of species, Beer 1983: 167). Beer notes that family, and what
we might call a network of connections, were one among several idioms to which
Darwin had recourse, others including tree and web. Thus the notion of generation
yielded ‚Ä˜the tree, the great family, the lost parent, the ‚Äúchanging dialect‚ÄĚ of life‚Ä™ (1983:
55). We might see a similar situation (on the borders of biological connection) among
present day artiÔ¬Ācial life workers: ‚Ä˜kinship terms from the Euro-American lexicon
have been read onto biogenetic connections and then used to structure knowledge
about biogenetic categories themselves. One genetic algorithmist . . . did not stop with
‚Äúparents‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúchildren‚ÄĚ in describing relationships between bit strings but added
terms like ‚Äúgrandparent,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúaunt, ‚Äúcousin‚ÄĚ ‚Ä™ (Helmreich 1998: 152, my emphasis).
61. In the sense, for instance, in which Arnold (1990: 1) uses it: ‚Ä˜Copyright is a member
of the family intellectual property‚Ä™ (emphasis displaced).
62. Alone in the span of kin relations, those between parent and child are duplex (mutu-
ally implicated, pulling two ways, offering views on the world that are alternatives to,
and thus presuppose, each other). Most kin relations are mediated (e.g., siblings are
related through mutual parents). To hear an English-speaker call someone a relation
tells you there is some other reason for the connection than simply acknowledg-
ing it; he is known to be a relative by marriage or she a relative through an aunt.
English-speakers can think of parent‚Ä“child relations this way too: the bond appears
mediated by other things (by the facts of life, by knowledge of those facts, and so
forth); but they may also posit an (unmediated) identity between parent and child.
63. Godelier (1986), intending a universal observation, puts it powerfully, ‚Ä˜Kinship is not
just recognition of father, mother. . . . But it is equally and just as much knowledge
of father‚Ä™s father . . . mother‚Ä™s mother . . . and so on. This then entails recognition of a
network of transitive relationships which in turn presupposes the ability to perceive
relations between these relationships‚Ä™.
64. That is, the analogy between the way things or persons are known. My question (‚Ä˜was
new impetus given to the legal axiom that between mother and father only the mother
is known with certainty?‚Ä™) and the observations following are my extrapolations; it
may not even be a sensible question to ask. Out of interest, to add to the demise of
idioms of paternal begetting in the context of copyright, idioms of carnal knowledge
(knowing for sexual intercourse) were also fading at the time.
65. Regardless of whether the knowledge is absolute or contingent, a difference high-
lighted in the traditional difference between mother and father. In a way not true
of mothers, fathers are vulnerable to ‚Ä˜discovering‚Ä™ they are not fathers after all, as in
the case brieÔ¬‚y mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
66. On choice in English kinship also see Strathern (1992a); for North American see
Hayden (1995); Robertson (1994); Weston (1991 ).
67. And, as Dolgin puts it, in complete disregard for traditional understandings about
the parent‚Ä“child relationship. However, we might note the momentum from repro-
ductive technology involving gamete donation where the so-called right of the child
to know about its genetic origins is increasingly taken as normal and justiÔ¬Āable.
68. She has already pointed out the possibility that hereditary traits that appear to apply
to overall ethnic or racial groups could be taken as evidence applying to individual
members of them. See Rabinow (1996a: Chapter 6).
69. She is not overlooking the fact that a parent affects a child‚Ä™s genetic disposition, not
the other way around, and that genealogical distance also affects genetic probablities.
NOTES TO PAGES 73‚Ä“75
Rather, Dolgin‚Ä™s focus is on the way in which neither families nor family members
can protect their secrets from outside professionals newly obliged to reveal rather
than withhold genetic information and, in this circumstance, family members are
70. Contexts merge: the genetic family is indifferent to distinctions between social
domains ‚Ä“ it belongs neither to home nor to work but to both at once (Dolgin
2000: 564) ‚Ä“ for genetic traits are carried into the workplace, may be vetted for in-
surance purposes, and so forth. This is not new or otherwise inconceivable. One
can think of past ways in which, in certain circles at least, family reputation trav-
elled likewise, or situations in which kinspersons have been reduced to otherwise
interchangeable replicas through the monetary value their inheritance might hold
for others (Paul Connerton, personal communication).
71. Only to note that this resonates with what is happening in the way people have been
setting up new procreative units. One can have reproductive relatedness (quasi-kin,
friends as family) without relatives; the new ‚Ä˜kin‚Ä™ detach relationships from kinship.
Weston‚Ä™s (1991 ) work is the classic here; I would also refer to Bonaccorso‚Ä™s study
(2000) of Italian family ideology in the context of gamete donation.
72. Sometimes to embrace all those connected as kin, at other times to detach relatedness
from kinship, as in the case of a woman who was urged by her genetic counsellor to
contact various people she did not count as her relatives (although she referred to
them as cousin‚Ä™, ‚Ä˜uncle‚Ä™, ‚Ä˜aunt‚Ä™; Finkler 2000: 67).
73. Finkler‚Ä™s argument is that otherwise loosely connected kin are re-connected through
the emphasis given to genetic ties and thus linked through a sense of shared body
and ‚Ä˜blood bonds‚Ä™. This may overlay existing ties: ‚Ä˜People are compelled to recognize
consanguinity even when in the lived world . . . [the] family . . . may be grounded in
friendship or sharing of affect and interest‚Ä™ (2000: 206). Logically, however, the rea-
sons for the genetic relations have an independent existence. Dolgin (2000) similarly
observes that the (abstract) idea of sharing genetic connection develops a reality of its
own; it becomes a (concrete) social reality under the requirements of genetic testing
and diagnosis. The connotations Haraway (e.g., 1997: 141 f.) gives to corporealization
in this context, a new reiÔ¬Ācation of familial relations, are discussed by Battaglia (1999:
74. The breast cancer patients whom Finkler interviewed uniformly absolved their ances-
tors of responsibility for transmitting genetic disease: how could they, as individuals,
help it? At the same time, as she says (2000: 208), DNA encourages neither the rein-
vention of the self nor the embellishment of past ancestry. Truth will out! (cf Edwards
1999). It may, however, allow one to claim as an ancestor someone with whom one
has no traceable connection but through the DNA, that is, through a history of
disease (Finkler 2000: 196). It should be added that these data refer to negotiation in
family relations. In other circumstances, for example, in the study of human genetic
diversity, the revelation of genetic connection may lead to expressions of solidarity.
even injunctions of the order that the demonstration of common kinship should
lead us to all assuming responsibility for one another. I am grateful to Adam Reed
(personal communication) for this observation.
75. ConÔ¬Ādentiality of information may or may not fall under intellectual property
rubrics. The need to protect industrial secrets, at least in the early stages of develop-
ment, while encouraging the dissemination of information, is one of the backbones
184 NOTES TO PAGES 75 ‚Ä“93
of IPR regimes. Dolgin notes that the impetus toward reÔ¬Āning informed consent
comes largely from insurance and health care provisions, but clearly works in the
interests of the biotechnology industry as well.
76. Their interchangeability is recognized in the kind of agency that donation brings:
‚Ä˜donors not only (symbolically) contain inside their anonymized bodies the imagi-
nary persons of many (unknown) women ‚Ä“ they are these many persons‚Ä™ (Konrad
1998: 655, original emphasis).
77. I cannot develop the point here but several hints in Konrad‚Ä™s paper point to the
worlds of donors and recipients as (regarded as) simultaneously separate, conjoined
and parallel with or analogous to one another. (Were donors and recipients to become
involved in one another‚Ä™s lives, the analogy would collapse into a different kind of
78. By interesting contrast with the emphatic kinship perspective recorded by Edwards
(2000). As one egg donor put it, ‚Ä˜I‚Ä™ve just provided the means for the pregnancy, and
as far as I am concerned once my eggs have gone, that‚Ä™s Ô¬Āne by me‚Ä™ (Konrad 1998:
652). Konrad (1998: 659) proffers the epithet transilient for persons formed through
extensional relatedness via multiple other persons.
part ii: introduction: the arithmetic of ownership
1. I am thinking of anthropology‚Ä™s relation here, but of course the question can also
be put to science‚Ä™s relation. (There are potentially innumerable duplex possibilities;
the interest is in the hold of a salient few.)
2. Though colloquially, and I have done so myself, one may speak of multiple perspec-
tives creating multiple worlds. The colloquialism refers to an effect of inÔ¬Ānity ‚Ä“ to
the myriad positions made possible by the myriad individuals in the world ‚Ä“ that
is held to cast in different lights the physical and environmental world that can be
known in diverse ways but exists in one.
3. Knowledge of the world and, recursively, knowledge of the practices and methods
that build knowledge of the world, and thus the grounds on which it is held.
4. But for a very different anthropological rendering, on another trajectory, consult
5. A famous boy character (aged thirteen and a three-quarters) in contemporary English
Ô¬Āction whose ‚Ä˜diaries‚Ä™ are intended for child as well as adult audiences. ‚Ä˜It‚Ä™s my
mother‚Ä™s fault for not knowing about vitamins‚Ä™, Adrian Mole: Jan 2nd, on the spot
on his chin (Townsend 1989).
chapter 4: the patent and the malanggan
1. The basic Malanggan concepts drawn on here are shared across the region (K¬® chler
1987: 239 and n. 4); K¬® chler points particularly to Lewis (1969). Matrilineal clans
are dispersed across the whole area, being locally concentrated as village-based kin
groups and conceptually brought together under a region-wide name. The signiÔ¬Ā-
cance of K¬® chler‚Ä™s (1987: 249) remark that the ‚Ä˜relationship between localised units
of a matrilineal clan is apprehended in terms of places and movements of people
between places‚Ä™ will become apparent later.
NOTES TO PAGES 93‚Ä“95
2. There are several illustrations in Lincoln (1987) and, after this piece was Ô¬Ārst written,
K¬® chler (2002).
3. There is only one term here (skin, tak, K¬® chler [1992: 100]); the Malanggan momen-
tarily replaces the rotting body of the deceased, which is, in one way or another, then
left to rot itself.
4. Casey (1996: 39) notes Heidegger‚Ä™s insistence that it is ‚Ä˜in dwellings that we are
most acutely sensitive to the effects of places on our lives‚Ä™ (place here refers to
5. See the Acknowledgement for the source of these analogies. I am not sure about
borrowing terms, notably ‚Ä˜dwelling‚Ä™, from general philosophical arguments about
conceptual and bodily orientations that preÔ¬Āgure the perceived world (Heidegger,
Merleau Ponty) and then applying them to culturally conceived contexts or environ-
ments. The borrowing has some purchase perhaps in the form of a question: how
do people fabricate the idea of a world containing things or persons within it?
6. Anthropologists have drawn on dwelling to develop a dialectic not with technology
but with travelling (Battaglia 1999: 129, citing Feld and Basso 1996) or, explicitly after
Heidegger, building (Ingold 1995). For a full length ethnography that marvellously
explores some of these ideas, see Weiner (1991).
7. Technical virtuosity points to the sheer control necessary to produce these effects out
of these materials: light, airy Ô¬‚owing structures from solid wood (though no more
amazing, than the cathedral made of matches [Gell 1999b: 167; n. 10]). In pre-steel
days, much of the work was done by burning.
8. Partly because this is not a concept reiÔ¬Āed in their thinking, partly because they do
not have an environmentalist view of what Euro-Americans call the natural world
in which they seem to be situated.
9. It is the cultural role that technology has come to play in Euro-American perceptions
of their place in the world that has in turn given an impetus to the concept of
intellectual property; intellectual property rights (IPR) hold up a mirror to the
dazzle of creativity. For ‚Ä˜intellectual property‚Ä™ points simultaneously to an item
or technique made available to knowledge, authorising its use and circulation, and
to the knowledge, on which claims are made, that has made it into an item or
technique. Inventions are impotent if there is too great a technology gap between
the idea and its application (Phillips and Firth 1990: 42).
10. An important part in the production of their effects is the dazzle of technical virtuos-
ity (the enchantment of technology). His terms are deliberately recursive. Apropos
art and magic, ‚Ä˜[I]t seems to me that the efÔ¬Ācacy of art objects as components of
the technology of enchantment . . . is itself the result of the enchantment of tech-
nology, the fact that the technical process, such as carving canoe boards [which
have magical properties], are [known to be] construed magically so that, by en-
chanting us, they make the products of these technical processes seem enchanted
vessels of magical power‚Ä™ (Gell 1999b: 166). Apropos the matchstick model of
Salisbury Cathedral that awed him as a boy, ‚Ä˜[T]he matchstick model, function-
ing essentially as an advertisement, is part of the technology of enchantment, but
it achieves its effect by the enchantment cast by its technical means, the manner of
its coming into being, or, rather, the idea which one forms of its coming into being‚Ä™
11. As a concept, technology ‚Ä˜essentially refers to the rational principles [logos] govern-
ing the construction of artifacts and indicates a move away from artisan or craft
186 NOTES TO PAGES 95 ‚Ä“96
production [techne] to the possibilities of embedding skills in machines which can
then be ‚Äúoperated‚ÄĚ by relatively non-skilled workers‚Ä™ (Harvey 1997: 6, after Ingold
1988, 1997). As Ingold (1997: 131) observes, the creative part of manufacture ceases to
be found in the application of the craftsman‚Ä™s skills and becomes instead found ‚Ä˜in
the element of design or planning‚Ä™ by which the machine itself was conceived.
12. On the empowerment of anonymity, see Konrad (1998). Creativity might be thought
individual and idiosyncratic, thereby deserving of personal reward (cf Khalil 1995:
243), but Euro-Americans also imagine their civilisation to be characterised by tech-
nical innovation at large.
13. In the arena of the once-called new reproductive technologies, arguments are fre-
quently heard that technology supplies a means, and it is for society to sort out the
ends to which it will be put (see Edwards et al. 1999).
14. For example, by dividing technology off from other things, we create the materials on
which technology gets to work. A language that divides off technology as a marked
form of human industry from everything else is consonant with one that divides
the scientiÔ¬Āc observer from the observed, culture from nature, and modernity from
tradition, not to mention the mechanical from the organic, human intervention
from self-reproduction, and so forth. There is no end to the number of conceptual
supports by which each division is held up through related but distinct divisions
(cf. Pottage 1998: 745). Bits of this ancient enchantment of the Euro-American world
are endlessly destroyed (by critics) only to spring up again (in new contexts).
15. See Miller (2000) on Trinidadian websites. These can be understood as creating ‚Ä˜aes-
thetic traps that express the social efÔ¬Ācacy of their creators and attempt to draw
others into social or commercial exchange with those who have objectiÔ¬Āed them-
selves through the internet. [As in Melanesian exchange] . . . these websites attempt to
expand their creators through casting themselves out into a larger world of exchange
with distant places‚Ä™ (2000: 6).
16. Whalers, labour recruiters and traders followed Cartaret‚Ä™s 1767 determination that
New Ireland was an island, and encounters with New Ireland people were frequent.
After 1885, colonisation by Germany added intensive commercial and missionary
activity (Bodrogi 1987: 17; Lincoln 1987: 35). But the area had been known since
Tasman‚Ä™s voyage of 1643, and carvings (not Malanggan in this case) were recorded
from that earliest moment in the seventeenth century (Gunn 1987: 74).
17. K¬® chler (1987) explains that vertical and horizontal Malanggan may act as tree and
branch in relation to one another, whereas in some areas (e.g., Tabar island) houses
take over from trees. These structures are at the basis of mnemonic techniques
required for the recall of designs.
18. For Tabar, Gunn (1987: 75) gives a list of diverse occasions that provide the immediate
reason for display, but the logic of the display is based on the same premise that a
person honours the dead of their spouse‚Ä™s kin group (from the opposite moiety)
when they deploy Malanggan in an appropriate context. Across the Malanggan-
making region, occasions include intitiation, ceremonies to renconcile parties after
quarrelling, validation of land transactions, removal of social prohibitions, as well
as a host of new events (Sykes personal communication). I am abbreviating and
eliding information and analysis from several distinct social traditions; my principal
published source is K¬® chler (1987, 1992) and Gell‚Ä™s (1998) rendering of her data,
along with the examples described in Lincoln (1987).
NOTES TO PAGES 96‚Ä“99
19. Malanggan may be made for deceased men or women, but they are sponsored and
made by men; the owner in question will be someone who shared rights in the
Malanggan with the deceased person (K¬® chler 1987: 240).
20. Rather like the Hagen headdress (Strathern 1999a: Chapter 2), every such Ô¬Āgure,
every construction of identity, is an amalgamation of Ô¬Āgures, of social identities
derived from others. On places as events rather than things, or as location rather
than geography, and on the general signiÔ¬Ācance of emplacement as the gathering
together of perceptions, see Casey (1996).
21. Weiner (1990: 71) comments on an early anthropological observer of Melanesian
languages who said that habits of speaking (through locatives and so on) implied
that everybody or everything was either coming or going, now in one place now in
22. As a virtual body, the clan contains all the persons and actions, past and future,
that constitute it, and clanship means for any one individual both the possibility of
living through all these others and the possibility of beneÔ¬Āting from its numerous
connections; not the clan as a discrete unit but the clan and its relationships with
others is what envelops persons (Wagner 1991 ). Note that, for simplicity‚Ä™s sake, I
argue through the concept of clanship in order to summon the collective dimension
in rights to produce Malanggan. The reality is complicated by the identities of and
interrelations between localised subclans or clan segments. (K¬® chler [1987: 251]
suggests that the transactions over and sharing in Malanaggan across the northern
New Ireland region offer their own sources of sociality connected to but separate
from the organisational role played by the dispersed matrilineal clans.)
23. The phrase is from Gell (1998: 225): ‚Ä˜On death the agency of a [deceased] person is
in a dispersed state‚Ä™, and through the Malanggan the dispersed social effectiveness of
the person becomes ‚Ä˜something to which a single material index may be attached‚Ä™.
Compare Hirsch (1995).
24. ‚Ä˜Absorbed into the artistic system, this life-force is rechannelled to the living in
the form of power. This power constitutes political authority and is derived from
the control over the re-embodiment of the memorised imagery into new sculptures‚Ä™
(K¬® chler 1987: 240). This is highly pertinent to relations between land-holding units,
whose claims relative to one another are mapped out through their rights to repro-
duce particular Malanggan.
25. There are both inter-place and inter-clan relations here, not distinguished in this
account. The right to reproduce Malanggan may be transferred between parts of the
same matrilineal clan living in different localites or between afÔ¬Ānal clans linked in a
history of inter-marriage and co-residence (K¬® chler 1987: 240).
26. Thereby, for example, ratifying new claims to landholdings after the person‚Ä™s death.
In the area where she worked, recently settled by immigrants from elsewhere in the
region and where land was very short, K¬® chler notes particular emphasis on the
readjustment of land claims. It is the anticipated claims that the Malaggan records.
27. On gathering and dispersal as a recurrent template to social arrangements in PNG,
see Hirsch (1995). From the perspective of Actor Network Theory (Law and Hassard
1999), the Malanggan is a temporary passage point (see Callon 1986).
28. Tassy and Dambrine (1997: 193) are explicit: ‚Ä˜Intellectual property is a generic term
which refers to the rights attached to the products of human creativity‚Ä™. Patent law
is ‚Ä˜inherently designed to cope with new technology‚Ä™ (Phillips and Firth 1990: 273).
188 NOTES TO PAGES 100‚Ä“106
29. SpeciÔ¬Ācations of the invention must be of a detail to be intelligible to anyone in
the position to exploit it. Disclosure must be total, with nothing of substance with-
held; otherwise, no one could make use of the invention when the patent expires
(Bainbridge 1999: 317). (I refer to inventor, but the eventual patent-holder and owner
of economic rights in the invention may be other social entities as well, for example,
an industrial sponsor.)
30. Recent impetus is given to this perspective by what is perceived as the galloping rate of
technologisation, the size of commercial investment, the emergence of biotechnology
as a major player, and the accelerated pace at which scientiÔ¬Āc research is becoming
subject to proprietory interests (cf Nelkin 1984).
31. Bainbridge (1999: 349) quotes two commentators, the Ô¬Ārst to the effect that inventions
are either new ways of producing something old or old ways of producing something
new; the second to the effect that every invention is a ‚Ä˜new combination of pre-existing
knowledge‚Ä™. In itself, a single invention may also consist of several subinventions that
are allowed together under the one patent as a substantive package.
32. ‚Ä˜The fact that [certain] material previously occurred in nature does not prevent it
from being patented if it is isolated from its natural environment or produced by
means of a technical process‚Ä™ (Bainbridge 1999: 378), interpreting Article 2 of the
1998 European Parliament and Council Directive on the legal protection of biotech-
nological inventions. There are differences here between European and American
patent rights. Thus, in the United States, it is possible to obtain a patent for a new
breed of animal (Bainbridge 1999: 377).
33. Among those with whom K¬® chler worked, the carver will have inherited his skill of
carving along with knowledge of the magic to induce a vision of the image to be
carved. He has already had the image described to him by the person in the clan
responsible for producing the sculpture and what he is told will include not only this
memory but also all of the modiÔ¬Ācations that current transactions require (1992:
103). Gunn (1987: 74) says it might be thirty years between acquiring rights and
passing them on to be reproduced again by the next generation.
34. To follow the non-productionist locations of technology in Weiner‚Ä™s (2004) and
Leach‚Ä™s (2004) debates with Gell.
35. This can be read as referring to an owner and carver; to a procreative couple who
bear a child or to a localised kin grouping in which spouses will always have a distinct
identity from one another so that no set of siblings replicates any other.
36. This contributes to Harrison‚Ä™s (1992: 235) argument about what is owned as intellec-
tual property, not things but classes of things (‚Ä˜their images or typiÔ¬Ācations‚Ä™). See
37. Lincoln (1987: 34) puts this altogether more positively. A clan depleting its wealth
when it pays for Malanggan is in effect converting money and labour into enduring
prestige. Moreover, she adds, the ownership rights it has acquired, which ‚Ä˜will likely
be resold, constitute a sort of semiliquid asset‚Ä™.
38. However, Gunn (1987: 79‚Ä“80) distinguishes two modus operandi on the Tabar
Islands. Once a major series of Malanggan have been shown and transferred, the
original owner cannot display that Malaggan again. This applies to Malanggan trans-
ferred across generations within the same clan or subclan. However, when rights to
a single sculpture or motifs from a sculpture are transferred across group (e.g.,
from father to son in this matrilineal system), it is possible to allocate usage and
NOTES TO PAGES 106‚Ä“111
reproductive rights alone, with the owner retaining rights to his own ceremonies.
Here we can say that the Malanggan is copied.
39. Unlike copyright (and design right), which comes into effect automatically on pub-
lication, patents have to be registered (designs may be), and there is no equivalent
to such a process in this case. If one pursues these analogies, however, then more
appropriate forms of intellectual property protection might be found in performers‚Ä™
rights or in the relatively new concept of design rights.
40. A point that is held to perplex some legal commentators: the law has brought a thing
into existence and then at the end of a set term the thing winks out of existence
(Phillips and Firth 1990: 24). Euro-Americans are also alleged to be mystiÔ¬Āed by the
way in which so much effort goes into producing Malanggan when they are then so
quickly destroyed or otherwise discarded.
41. The Patent OfÔ¬Āce holds speciÔ¬Ācations and abstracts for every British patent dat-
ing from 1617, more than two million inventions, and twenty-three million patent
publications from overseas (Bainbridge 1999: 335). Population for population, it is
conceivable that there have been almost as many northern New Ireland Malanggan
as there have been British patents.
42. The Ô¬Āgure of 5000 comes from K¬® chler (1992: 97) with reference to the period
approximately 1870‚Ä“1990; it not the whole output of course because many more
will have been burnt or buried away from sight with the dead in caves (Gunn 1987:
74). Lincoln (1987: 40) gives the Ô¬Āgure of 15 000 for all kinds of material culture
objects from New Ireland (principally masks and sculptures) Ô¬Ānding their way into
European and American museums from the 1885‚Ä“1914 German period alone. Some
of this prodigious production, she speculates, must have been in response to outside
demand. There have no doubt been cycles of productivity. Lincoln (1987: 39) suggests
that the use of metal introduced into carving in the 1850s, and the experience of
colonisation in general, stimulated the production of Malanggan.
43. And today, alongside other rights such as cultural property rights (Sykes 2004).
The term Malanggan always included ceremonial and other events surrounding the
revelation of the carving and, these days, New Irelanders may extend the term across
a range of customary practices.
44. As Harrison (2000) reminds us, the dialectical relationship between invention and
convention in Melanesian life, and how we attribute these values, is complicated
(Wagner 1975). In the end, however, the Malanggan is an invention without innova-
tion. Although each re-combination is freshly inspired, each individual element is
also recalled from some other, the creation of entirely new images (through dream-
ing) being regarded as hazardous; there has been immense stability in the repertoire
of forms over the years (K¬® chler 1987: 239).
chapter 5: losing (out on) intellectual resources
1. Sources include Gewertz and Errington‚Ä™s (1999) commentary on both the prelimi-
nary hearing (June 1996) and the court‚Ä™s determination (February 1997); newspaper
reports (Palme 1996; Dorney 1997), and notes from a seminar paper given to the
Cambridge Social Anthropology Department in October 1996 by John Muke, who
was to provide an afÔ¬Ādavit to the court. Banks (2001 ) became available while this
190 NOTES TO PAGES 111‚Ä“115
was being revised. Miriam is quoted as saying that she found it embarrassing to be
referred to as the compo girl (Post Courier 20 February 1997).
2. Either women for women, for example, through sister exchange, or women for wealth,
as when marriages are arranged with bridewealth payments from the groom‚Ä™s to
bride‚Ä™s kin; the transactions could be easily (mis)understood as implying a kind
of commodity exchange. Anthropologists predicating their analysis on women ex-
changed as objects, one argument went, ran the risk of rendering them less than
subjects in their own accounts (see Hirschon 1984).
3. As Gewertz and Errington also argue, with rather different intent. They discuss the
case for the light it sheds on their thesis about new social differences (incipient class
differences) springing up in Papua New Guinea. (These are based on middle class
estimations of people‚Ä™s worth and life chances that drive a wedge between those with
and without realistic monetary prospects.) Here, they argue, testimony came from a
small handful of educated persons who spoke on behalf of others and who became
arbiters and exemplars of ‚Ä˜reasonable‚Ä™ and ‚Ä˜ordinary‚Ä™ behaviour. As to the concept
of person, I deploy this in the Papua New Guinea context in a manner somewhat
analogous to the legal understanding of person: an entity elicited by relationships
and thus by procedures that enact them (e.g., exchange transactions).
4. At that time, the Papua New Guinea kina was worth approximately ¬£0.5 sterling, so
that the amount here is some ¬£10000. For simplicity I use the tribal names for these
patrilineal groupings, although the relevant units of action were clans or subclans
from within the tribes (Tangilka Kumu Kanem and Konombuka Tau Kanem).
5. The PNG Constitution provides for the recognition of customary law (it can be
argued in court as relevant fact) to the extent that it does not conÔ¬‚ict with con-
stitutional law, which includes the promulgation of several rights, or is not re-
pugnant to the general principles of humanity. When the story was Ô¬Ārst exposed
by the Post Courier (9 May 1996), and before ICRAF had laid their complaint,
Justice Injia had initiated enquiries on the grounds that the National Court has
the jurisdiction to itself bring action for the enforcement of constitutional/human
6. That no speciÔ¬Āc partner had been identiÔ¬Āed was used on both sides, one to say that her
freedom of choice was intact, the other that this could expose her to abuse. Note two
contrasting incidents reported earlier by O‚Ä™Hanlon and Frankland (1986: 189‚Ä“90). In
the Ô¬Ārst, a woman‚Ä™s personal choice of lover was retrospectively judged as satisfying a
debt between two groups; in the second, a girl was marked in compensation, although
no particular partner was designated for her, and she was dragged off against her
wishes. O‚Ä™Hanlon (personal communication) subsequently writes that Wahgi people
sharply distinguish between love matches and forced marriages, regardless of the
rubric under which the unions are classiÔ¬Āed.
7. This was the provocation of Clifford‚Ä™s (1988) argument apropos the Mashpee Indian
land case. People laying claims were required to demonstrate pure cultural continuity.
8. To one ethnic society, Justice Injia said, the custom of head pay involving women may
sound offensive although it may not be to the ethnic group practising it; the legislators
of the constitution were thinking about a modern Papua New Guinea and about the
‚Ä˜promotion of good traditional customs and the discouragement and elimination
of bad customs as seen from the eyes of an ordinary modern Papua New Guinean‚Ä™
(Gewertz and Errington 1999: 132).
NOTES TO PAGES 117‚Ä“119
9. With any argument that brings in slavery, we should remember that Euro-American
moderns all know what slavery means (an assault on human dignity) and (following
that knowledge) what their attitudes ought to be (it was a ‚Ä˜bad‚Ä™ custom); after all,
historically speaking, its abolition was bound up with the very development of the
notion of human rights. Invoked, it presents the strongest possible image of the
inalienability of the person-body seen as an entire entity.
10. Unless we take the references to human beings as a background argument here, for
example, as in the statement that a prime ethical consideration is to show respect
‚Ä˜for human beings and their bodies‚Ä™ (1995: 124, or ‚Ä˜human lives‚Ä™ and ‚Ä˜the human
body‚Ä™, Chapter 6). By contrast, debates concerning the embryo invariably touch on
concepts of personhood.
11. Except in marginal cases, such as surgeons‚Ä™ specimens. The traditional English view
derives from, among other things, practices to do with disposal of corpses; the dead
body lacking animation but potentially being able to be reunited with its soul was a
kind of limiting case (intellectual resource) for thinking about living bodies. Human
corpses as whole bodies cannot be property, although there is a duty to effect a decent
burial and a corresponding right to possession for that purpose.
12. The report cites a case from Maryland in the United States, in which abandonment
is taken as an alternative to a person‚Ä™s intent to assert ‚Ä˜his right of ownership, pos-
session, or control over [bodily] material‚Ä™, as an example of ‚Ä˜a property approach‚Ä™.
It suggests that some English statutory language implies a property approach ‚Ä“ it
is the language ‚Ä˜of things, of property, of the reiÔ¬Ācation of blood and body parts‚Ä™
(NufÔ¬Āeld Council 1995: 70). It also mentions the notorious John Moore vs Regents
of University of California (1990, 13p 2d) case, in which Moore failed to lay claim to
the proÔ¬Āts of a cell line developed from his spleen because his claims to a property
right failed. The equivocations are as notorious; the following comes from Rabinow
(1996a: Chapter 7). The Ô¬Ārst (Superior Court) held that Moore‚Ä™s informed consent to
medical procedures had released his detached spleen for the doctors to work on. The
second (Court of Appeals) reversed the decision. The majority verdict was that surgi-
cally removed tissue was held to be the patient‚Ä™s ‚Ä˜tangible, private property‚Ä™; without
Moore‚Ä™s explicit permission, there had been a conversion ‚Ä“ his property (cells and
blood products) had been converted for someone else‚Ä™s proÔ¬Āt. (A minority dissent
argued against the application of private property principles without legislative guid-
ance.) Finally, the Supreme Court argued that although U.S. law recognises a variety
of interests in one‚Ä™s own body, it never created a property right in surgically removed
parts. Because therapeutic tissue no longer supports the person‚Ä™s life, the law re-
garding its disposition must be that of community health; there was no interference
with Moore‚Ä™s right of ownership or possession because he had no title in the Ô¬Ārst
place. California statutes in relation to organs, blood, fetuses and so forth, deal with
human biological materials as res nullius (as things but belonging to no one).
13. My comment. An example of a non-property gift would be ‚Ä˜the gift of life‚Ä™.
14. A Canadian working paper on human tissue and organs (cited in NufÔ¬Āeld Council,
1995: 70‚Ä“71) presented the traditional view that there is no property in the body
against the view that those from whom tissue is removed have some claim to it, and
resorts to consent for disposal as a way around the impasse. It thus cites a French
ruling that frozen sperm was not property on grounds that human reproductive
material was neither inheritable (!) nor an object of commerce. But it did recognise
192 NOTES TO PAGES 119‚Ä“124
a claim arising from the terms under which the sperm had been deposited in a
sperm bank. ‚Ä˜In the name of dignity of the person, French law basically refuses the
individual the right to dispose of his or her body and its parts; American law has
allowed a greater latitude for proprietary and commercial relations concerning the
body and person, privileging autonomy and value over an inherent and inalienable
dignity‚Ä™ (Rabinow 1999: 93). Dignity rather than informed consent is at the basis of
French law according to Pottage (1998: 745).
15. I feel comfortable about using the term ‚Ä˜thing‚Ä™ only because of the analytical sup-
port I can give it; in an abbreviated version, I take a different tack (Strathern 2000).
Harrison (1992) deploys the concept of property in analysing Melanesian material
while respecting the peculiarity of a gift as opposed to commodity economy. Interest-
ingly, he avoids the person‚Ä“thing distinction until right at the end of his article. Like
black boxes, one suspects that such (partial) eliminations are basic to any exposition
of complex data.
16. Politico-ritual, hereafter ritual, is an encompassing phrase for the public techniques
through which a person is made (created, brought forth) to appear in a transformed
state, including bridewealth and mortuary ceremonies or, in the past, initiation. In
the Papua New Guinea context, it offers an analogue to legal intervention.
17. However many images it is also composed of. I am using Wagner‚Ä™s (1986) won-
derful insight here; you can have an image of half a something but, logically and
phenomenologically speaking, you cannot have half an image. A Melanesian take
on Amazonian perspectivism (Viveiros de Castro 1998) might be to say that you can
only own your own (not another‚Ä™s) relationship to another person.
18. For a summary of reiÔ¬Āciation and personiÔ¬Ācation, see Strathern (1999a: Chapter 1 ;
1988: 176‚Ä“182). The term entiÔ¬Ācation (Ernst 1999) has been introduced to draw
attention to contemporary engagements with the political and legal processes of
development that lead to people presenting themselves and their land as entities
or units (see Hirsch 2000). I keep to reiÔ¬Ācation as including indigenous modes of
(aesthetic, formal) presentation.
19. A ritual exists as a shared thought‚Ä“object, ‚Ä˜a piece of frozen, objectiÔ¬Āed social action,
with all contingency and indeterminacy reduced to a minimum . . . to perform it
is to try to express that pre-existing intellectual object in social action‚Ä™ (Harrison
1992: 235). He argues more generally, and beyond Melanesia, for seeing insignia,
ceremonial and religious practices in this way.
20. Although my generic formulation is meant to be applicable across a range of
Melanesian situations where people envisage what Euro-Americans might call the
concept of a person as a person‚Ä™s image, I am particularly stimulated by de Coppet‚Ä™s
(1994) account from the Solomon Islands. ‚Ä™Are‚Ä™are distinguish the body both from
its animation and from its name or image.
21. Or the MB (mother‚Ä™s brother) as a root to the Zch (sister‚Ä™s child) as a ‚Ä˜cutting‚Ä™
(O‚Ä™Hanlon and Frankland 1986: 185).
22. When relationships are made visible through things appearing in a speciÔ¬Āc form,
we can refer to a person‚Ä™s relationships with others being embodied in an artefact,
wealth item or whatever (hence the wealth accompanying Miriam as the ‚Ä˜bones‚Ä™ of
the deceased man). Because the entire relationship between the two clans is summed
up in those bones, the bones exist not as a part but as an entirety: how the person
now looks from the perspective of that relationship. (The Ô¬‚esh and blood they helped
NOTES TO PAGES 124‚Ä“130
make come back to them in the form of bones; the classic reference here is Wagner
1977; see also Viveiros de Castro 1998a, b). Abstract as these formulations seem, they
come from the analyses of ethographic data by many Melanesianists.
23. Or a surrogate, a classiÔ¬Ācatory granddaughter who could stand for such a person.
The signiÔ¬Ācant tie of descent here was from the ancestress to the man or men who
bestowed the woman in marriage. O‚Ä™Hanlon and Frankland (1986: 189) observe that
at stake was less ensuring a marriage between partners already in a pre-existing
relationship (as anthropologists have often analysed prescriptive marriage rules be-
tween cross-cousins) than meeting a debt created by a previous marriage. The debt
might or might not be tied into death compensation payments; it could be settled
by a man dispatching any girl whose marriage choice he controlled. However, such
arrangements had to preserve the concept that the woman was acting as a third
generational return (‚Ä˜granddaughter‚Ä™) for a woman previously given. Whoever oc-
cupied this role, genealogical surrogate or no, occupied a speciÔ¬Āc role (granddaugh-
ter) because of the speciÔ¬Āty of the grandmother to whom the transaction referred.
The return was not for any woman in the previous generation but for a partic-
ular female ancestress whose identiÔ¬Āable progeny bore concrete testimony to the
fertility of her natal clan. (We do not know, says O‚Ä™Hanlon [personal communi-
cation] whether Miriam had already been designated in this way, but the evidence
24. Recalling the question, prompted by the NufÔ¬Āeld Report, about why body parts
continue to be called parts (in their detachability they are things without necessarily
being commodities), we may say that it is the Melanesian person, as described here,
who is in a state of perpetual detachability. The partible person is constituted in the
process of detaching relations from relations. (On singular and plural, see Strathern
1988: Chapter 1. As to the conceptual distinction between person and agent: ‚Ä˜The
person is construed from the vantage point of the relations that constitute him or her:
she or he objectiÔ¬Āes and is thus revealed in those relations. The agent is construed as
the one who acts because of those relationships and is revealed in his or her actions‚Ä™
25. My observation: her agency, manifest in her orientation toward these diverse kin, is
not to be denigrated. Recall O‚Ä™Hanlon‚Ä™s observation about free and forced marriages
(n. 6). In itself, the ‚Ä˜skull in a netbag‚Ä™ arrangement is often a matter of retrospec-
tive classiÔ¬Ācation if a match can be found to Ô¬Āt the bill; these are not ‚Ä˜remorseless
customary practices which demand to be over-ridden by respect for individual au-
tonomy‚Ä™ (personel communication). Jolly‚Ä™s (1996: 183) comments from Vanuatu add
a qualiÔ¬Ācation to the notion of tradition relevant to Miriam: ‚Ä˜human rights are not
necessarily inconsistent with kastom (Bislama, ‚Ä˜tradition‚Ä™) . . . [and] tradition is not
a static burden of the past but something created for the present‚Ä™.
26. Although he criticises anthropologists who avoid universalisms and retreat into
cultural relativities, Wilson acknowledges the out-of-date concept of culture that
the critics of cultural relativism in turn often use. Yet, he argues, to insist on the
relativism of cultural diversity, as he claims anthropologists often do, is to neglect
both the forces of hybridisation and globalisation and a principal contemporary
arena in which ideas about common humanity are voiced: human rights discourse.
Where, he asks, have the anthropologists been in developing notions of common
194 NOTES TO PAGES 130‚Ä“137
27. For an exploration of this dilemma in a Melanesian context, see Jolly (1996); Banks‚Ä™
(2000) criminological perspective on cultural speciÔ¬Ācity is germane.
28. Many of the contributions (to Wilson 1997) address context ‚Ä“ historical, social/
cultural, politico-economic ‚Ä“ without exploring the issue of concrete relations. In
respect of a murdered Guatamalan anthropologist, Wilson points out that none of the
human rights reports deal with her (interpersonal) situation as a professional social
researcher, nor was there any mention that her child was in the Ô¬Āeld. ‚Ä˜By disengaging
an agent from their socio-historical circumstances, what we are left with is a universal
decontextualised individual which is the basic unit of liberal political, economic and
legal theory‚Ä™ (1997: 148). He contrasts this with the regular anthropological view:
‚Ä˜As opposed to a universal maximising individual with a natural set of rights, there
are [in the anthropological view] social persons who are engaged in the making
and remaking of complex interconnected social processes, and whose rights in those
contexts are not natural, but are the results of historical struggles for power between
persons and corporate groups‚Ä™ (1997: 148).
chapter 6: divided origins and the arithmetic of ownership
1. Understood as signs of ‚Ä˜overlap and intersection‚Ä™ (Barron 1998: 44). Note that Barron
intervenes in a debate that asserts either that the author deÔ¬Āned by copyright is a
Romantic individual or that there is no connection at all. She argues that the con-
nection is one of resemblance between different systems of practice, that is, a con-
tingency. Sherman and Bently (1999, Chapter 2) draw out the role that ideas about
creativity played in earlier developments of IPR, and argue that in pre-twentieth
century IPR thinking the intangible was thought of not so much as a thing as
an action or performance ‚Ä“ the productive effort ‚Ä“ embodied in material form
(1999: 47‚Ä“48). Insofar as it is arguable that this is still an element in contempo-
rary thinking, the position of Davies and NafÔ¬Āne that I take up for its reading of
an Euro-American approach is controversial. Finally, I would note the eloquent
discussion of Aboriginal authenticity in ‚Ä˜art‚Ä™ and ‚Ä˜ownership‚Ä™ proffered by Myers
2. Or God owns them (but not another human being). This is a truncated, and democra-
tised, version of a devolution of ideas that began with the patriarchal formula that
there was only one self-owner, God‚Ä™s steward Adam, who owned all progeny. From
what should have been evident in Chapter Five, I talk about ownership of ‚Ä˜persons‚Ä™
not ‚Ä˜bodies‚Ä™; ideas about bodies are usefully analysed as contributing to different
modes of being a person in the world. (It should be acknowledged that there is a
strong sociological tradition that takes bodies as the primary entity [so that per-
sons are whole bodies and body parts part bodies], summarised, for example, by
Richardson and Turner .)
3. This has been one of the running concerns of the PTC project (see Preface). The
discussions by Blakeney (1995; 2000) and Weatherall (2001 ) deal with aspects of the
Australian situation with reference to communal ownership.
4. The basis of the claims and the nature of the rights may differ; per contra, one
can imagine different reasons for making a claim but similar rights of possession
and disposal being conferred. The ‚Ä˜joint ownership‚Ä™ provisions in Euro-American
property law are not helpful to the present case.
NOTES TO PAGES 139‚Ä“144
5. Given the role that such societies played in diverse earlier accounts of mine, this set of
apparently contingent materials is a challenge (what counts as a group is a separate
problem); Crook (in press) and Leach (2003) have been inÔ¬‚uential here. The present
discussion does not observe the usual anthropological distinctions between kinship
6. That does not mean that people‚Ä™s claims on one another are uniform. In talking about
clan interests in the Australian case, Barron does an excellent job of pointing out
how the exact rehearsal of someone‚Ä™s claims depends on diverse factors in their own
life history, the reproductive stage they are at and allegiances they have elsewhere.
7. The sense in which persons inhabit different life-worlds is not a matter of where you
are on a genealogical grid (Leach 2003); Pedersen (2001 : 413) uses ‚Ä˜grid‚Ä™ to distinguish
totemic difference from animist/perspectival relations.
8. Suckling can be a form of fathering too (Strathern 1988); the recursiveness of closed
or Ô¬Ānite perspectives is endless ([one set of] relations become metaphors for [another
set of] relations).
9. Andrew Moutu (National Museum of Papua New Guinea) writes on ontology and
on the limits of Euro-American epistemology in conceiving relations. However, as
his own work was in progress when this was being written, I have avoided drawing
on it directly and hope I do not trespass inadvertently. See Moutu 2003.
10. The stages are subject to transformation through ritual. Conversely, gender can be
used to discriminate between stages of growth, as in rites that pass boys from one
gendered state to another as their bodies grow. Astuti (2000: 93‚Ä“4) comments on
changing perspectives in Vezu, a cognatic/kindred based Madagascan society (where
a person‚Ä™s reproductive stage is crucial to the world of kin groups and descendants
he or she perceives).
11. Which in turn involves the suppression of some of what the parent passes on. In
unilineal descent group systems, each of the parents, themselves made up of differ-
entiated elements, passes on one of a pair of differences.
12. In sustaining a quadripartite structure to their kin universe so that a person always
has four originary clans, the Mekeo have to de-conceive earlier unions in order to
create fresh possibilities for new unions. Only then will a person‚Ä™s child also have
four originary clans.
13. And to a criticism of the partible model of person that rests on the child recreating
the relationship between parents (Strathern 1988), insofar as here the interest of one
parent in the procreative outcome is actively eliminated (Rohatynskyj 1990: 437).
14. In addition to published work (1990, 1997), I draw on her contribution to the 2001
PTC conference (2001); permission to cite and quote from the written version is
15. Patrilateral cross-cousin marriage overcomes the asymmetry of residence; when it
is followed, grandchildren replace the original grandparental sibling pair residing
together in a locality (Rohatynskyj 1990: 439). Anie can also refer to local group (1997:
16. The assumption is that by this point their grandfather will be deceased, or if not then
nearly so (and in any case ancestral). Boys acquire the adult male power that at this
point can damage women and children, even as contact with women‚Ä™s power would
stunt the boys‚Ä™ growth, and their manifestations of fertility are generally dangerous
for the opposite sex (Rohatynskyj 1990: 445; 1997: 443).
196 NOTES TO PAGES 144‚Ä“15 0
17. And vice versa. In Amazonian perspectivism, the departure of the body causes prob-
lems for living/dead identiÔ¬Ācation; the dead, without body to see with, are no longer
human (but for an important qualiÔ¬Ācation, which introduces a difference of per-
spectives between human beings related to the deceased, see Vilaca [2000: 94]).
18. de Coppet (1981 ) describes how ‚Ä™Are‚Ä™are speciÔ¬Ācally detach the deceased‚Ä™s image
from the body at its mortuary ceremony. Note that just as an Omie person acquires
names, the land also has names, and a man learns about his land rights through
learning the names of the totemic species (ma‚Ä™i ma‚Ä™i) that reside there. They advertise
who has the right to work.
19. Note Hirsch (2000) on Fuyuge origin stories: the knowledge is not a representation
but an instruction to the knowledge-holder to look after (caretake, nurture) the
things, places and persons referred to in the myths.
20. Bolton (2003) offers a synthesis based on Vanuatu materials. Blakeney (2000: 251 ‚Ä“2)
observes that replacing folklore with traditional knowledge in the IPR deliberations
‚Ä˜signiÔ¬Ācantly changes the discourse‚Ä™, from copyright-related concerns to patent law
and biodiversity concerned with, for example, knowledge about the medicinal qual-
ities of plants.
21. See Hirsch and Strathern (2004). In the draft Model Law for the PaciÔ¬Āc, traditional
knowledge covers all tradition-based innovations and creations, including literary,
artistic and scientiÔ¬Āc works, along with names, symbols, information and such.
22. In the same way as the discourse of property, Brown (1998) argues, obscures or
displaces what should be moral discussion on the implications of exposing Native
people‚Ä™s sacred knowledge to unwarranted scrutiny.
23. People‚Ä™s interest in their futures goes alongside new ethnographic sensibilities about
ownership of knowledge nurtured from two distinct sources: postcolonial critique
and an IPR-sensitive world. For a robust criticism along these lines of my own
research (and that of others) in Mt. Hagen, see Muke (2000).
24. A timeless statement to convey neither the imputation that it is only ‚Ä˜today‚Ä™, with
commodiÔ¬Ācation, that such things circulate nor the imputation that ‚Ä˜traditional‚Ä™
reasons for such circulation have lost all signiÔ¬Ācance.
25. At the same time, the spirit is now lodged in another network of people and, hidden
from view, people may dream of new designs or forms. ‚Ä˜Tamberan [spirit] songs
are being innovated all the time‚Ä™ (Leach 2000: 69) and this includes the dreaming of
new Tamberan, made public with the distribution of pork everyone can eat, that is,
among the villagers who become its co-owners. Although an innovation may have
a single creator, it is owned by the residential group, who would together be paid if
it were transferred to another.
26. Growth or creativity, the time when people hatch innovations for the designs they
own, come from experiences that occur out of public view. Leach contrasts this with
the world of local business and marketing enterprises in this area where no one owns
the innovations people try out, and everyone rushes to imitate other people‚Ä™s little
27. An analogue in Euro-American contexts might be conÔ¬‚icting demands on copyright
as applying to something both individual and replicable (Sherman and Bently 1999:
28. He writes that Ô¬Ānding a suitable regulatory regime for ‚Ä˜indigenous cultural and
intellectual property and traditional knowledge‚Ä™ can be enhanced if we separate the
NOTES TO PAGES 15 0‚Ä“15 4
issues relevant to a regime for the preservation of culture from those relevant to IPR
protection. One reason Kalinoe offers for avoiding the IPR route in the protection
of cultural property is because IPR brings things into the public eye. The limited
restriction guaranteed by IPR protection is nothing compared to the long-term
publication entailed when copyright (say) expires. He is discussing items identiÔ¬Āed
with particular groups ‚Ä“ perhaps secret property, not unlike the Tamberan songs
described earlier ‚Ä“ that should only be revealed under controlled conditions, for
example when the moment for their reproduction is ripe. The public domain aspect
of IPR causes problems for this kind of resource (Brown 1998; Brush 1999).
29. I draw on K¬® chler (1987, 1992, 1999); Lincoln (1987); Sykes (2004). Much of the
phrasing in what follows comes directly from K¬® chler‚Ä™s various writings; Malanggan
is also spelled Malangan. For a critical comment on emphasising display, see K¬® chler
30. K¬® chler observes: ‚Ä˜names, as the carriers of a transcending body politic, are con-
sidered the property of the ancestral domain, are ‚Äúfound‚ÄĚ and recollected through
dreaming [prior to being reproduced] to be validated and transferred as images‚Ä™
(1999: 66). The named image that is the subject of such rights and that can be ex-
changed is what kin own of one another.
31. Figures or efÔ¬Āgies (‚Ä˜skins‚Ä™) appear as material objects in a particular form, and once
they have disappeared, what is retained is the memory of this form as an abstract
image. Unless otherwise indicated from its context, image refers primarily to the
latter. What is owned includes the capacity to turn such a memory into a realisation
and make a new efÔ¬Āgy (K¬® chler 1992: 105, 107).
32. To say it is held in the head (and mind) would already be a Euro-American
perspective; to say body would already be a Melanesian view, in the most appro-
priate but still inadequate vocabulary the English language can offer.
33. They note that Radin‚Ä™s emphasis on property for personhood compels her to produce
an alternative category (‚Ä˜fungible property‚Ä™) to cover property that is interchangeable
with other things and exists largely for wealth creation. We can see this as a Romantic
version of the legal assumption that the law makes possible rights of ownership
and thereby the exchange of commodites by creating the individual as a bearer of
rights, the starting point of Barron‚Ä™s (2002) re-examination of the legal properties
34. In law, a necessary condition for dealing with the intangible, which must be turned
into an object that ‚Ä˜can be incorporated in a commodity and subjected to the process
of [commercial] exchange‚Ä™ of the kind with which the law deals (Barron 1998: 56).
I have since read Barron (2002), which puts it all much more succinctly (e.g., her
comment that copyright‚Ä™s requirement of embodiment or Ô¬Āxation means Ô¬Āxation
in a thing; materialisation of work cannot be a human being as such).
35. This is why performers who make their bodies creative ‚Ä“ in dance, song, athletics,
acrobatics, sport ‚Ä“ are, exactly, out of routine, are performers. I should add that
throughout the discussion I have assumed that property is a relation (between per-
sons, with respect to things). It is the concept of the ‚Ä˜thing‚Ä™ which is of interest here.
36. In the Malanggan case, K¬® chler (1999: 67) remarks that the names and imaged forms
of Malanggan are produced out of a source (wune) that refers to an originary womb
or water source, the template for the construction of an image (1992: 97); this source
is transmitted at the same time as the image.
198 NOTES TO PAGES 15 4‚Ä“160
37. This is quite explicit. Elsewhere in the book I have noted that the current distinction in
U.K. and European copyright between economic rights acquired through intellectual
property protection and moral rights identifying the author as the originator of
the work. Rights acquired through patenting may belong to any one of a number
of owners of the scientiÔ¬Āc work that went into the invention, separate from the
reputation that the inventors can acquire through scientiÔ¬Āc publishing.
38. Treating a fetus as part of the person (the mother) resolves the dilemma as to whether
‚Ä˜the woman or the foetus is the person‚Ä™ (2001 : 91). A Melanesian response would
point to the obvious, that she manifests the multiple embodiment that characterises
all persons; persons are made up of persons.
39. Davies and NafÔ¬Āne (2001 : 9) quote the observation that Western property is based
on self-possession as a primordial property right, which grounds all others. This
axiom holds whether or not the self-owning individual is given in the world (being
ultimately owned by God, Locke) or has to fashion that condition out of it (through
its own struggling, Hegel).
40. Most explicitly in structuralism, but with antecedents in comparative endeavours
to classify kinship terminologies or group structures that stumbled on relations
41. Leach (e.g. 2003: 24, 195) observes of the Nekgini speakers of Madang Province that
when they use kinship names, these usages are not classiÔ¬Ācatory or taxonomic but
part of the process by which persons are made to appear, in the perception of others,
as standing in a particular relationship to them and to one another.
42. This is not to rule out creativity. People may elaborate on sign switching, and indeed
such switching runs throughout revelatory practices in Melanesia; a notable example
is the Barok (Wagner 1987) demonstration that by changing positions one can make
male appear female and old appear young. Reed (2003) offers a provocative present-
day commentary on revelation and concealment.
43. Compare de Coppet 1985, and I may add Bamford (2004: 294) on Kamea. Australian
precedents lie in Aboriginal land claims (Barron 1998: 52‚Ä“3) such as this. The courts
had to confront the fact that people may relate to land either as members of a
territorial band or as members of a clan that has its sacred imprint on the landscape.
Neither together nor apart do the claims add up to property in the legal sense. They
are two ways of being, a position the court came close to endorsing in interpreting
them as two entities with different spheres of activity (‚Ä˜economic‚Ä™ and ‚Ä˜spiritual‚Ä™).
The judge could also have been drawing inspiration from the Torrens system of land
registration in Australia, by which title relates not to an owner‚Ä™s various holdings
but to a holding‚Ä™s various owners (Riles 2003).
44. Under the auspices of UNESCO and WIPO: a Model Law for the Protection of
Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture in the PaciÔ¬Āc Islands. At the time
of Simet‚Ä™s observations, it was being discussed at various fora, including the South
PaciÔ¬Āc Commission (e.g., Kalinoe 2001 ); it has since been partially adopted.
45. Indigenous systems, the principal architect of the Model Law (Puri 2002) opines, ‚Ä˜are
driven by characteristics of trans-generational, non-materialistic, and non-exclusive
or communal ownership of rights‚Ä™, which make IPR inappropriate. (For a critique,
Hirsch and Strathern 2004.) Nonetheless, the Model Law deliberately uses the term
property in accord with international usage, thus conferring a ‚Ä˜property right‚Ä™ on
NOTES TO PAGES 160‚Ä“161
those who own traditional knowledge and expressions of culture and seeks to have
‚Ä˜true owners‚Ä™ identiÔ¬Āable in each case.
46. The Model Law is based on an explicit objection to Western forms of private property,
and regards the PaciÔ¬Āc counterpart as communal property. Notes (from a draft)
appropriately observe that rights over a work of art are generally distributed over
several individuals or groups of individuals but then interprets the relevant subject of
traditional ownership as a group or community. Hence under ‚Ä˜collective ownership‚Ä™
it is noted that ‚Ä˜property rights in traditional knowledge and expressions of culture
can vest only in a group, clan or community of PaciÔ¬Āc Islanders‚Ä™ or ‚Ä˜ownership and
control over the reproduction of works is vested in the group, clan or community‚Ä™.
Simet (2000) wishes to make a strong distinction between a community as a kind of
public domain in which certain types of knowledge circulate on a non-exclusive basis
and clans or groups that assert exclusive claims, as may individuals. But, in Simet‚Ä™s
view, exclusive access does not mean that the clan or group has control over all its
property: aspects of its property may be under the control of others (non-members)
who act as custodians or guardians of it.
47. In this matrilineal system the relevant non-members are children born to male
members of a clan. The reproductive model is evident here (and is mirrored in rules
of exogamy; a clan is not auto-fertile but depends on other clans for its spouses). Tolai
land usage repeats the division, between the ‚Ä˜owners‚Ä™ of land and the ‚Ä˜custodians‚Ä™ of
the history associated with it that is in the safe keeping of non-owner children.
Alderson, Priscilla. 2002. The new genetics: Promise or threat to children? Bulletin of
Medical Ethics 176: 13‚Ä“18.
Arnold, Richard. 1990. Performers‚Ä™ rights and recording rights: UK law under the Perform-
ers‚Ä™ Protection Act 1958‚Ä“72 and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Oxford:
ESC Publishing Ltd.
Astuti, Rita. 1995. People of the sea: Identity and descent among the Vezo of Madagascar.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Astuti, Rita. 2000. Kindreds and descent groups: New perspectives from Madagascar,
in Cultures of relatedness: New approaches to the study of kinship, edited by Janet
Carsten. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Aug¬ī , Marc. 1995. Non-places: Introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity. London:
Bainbridge, David. 1992. Software copyright law. London: Pitman.
Bainbridge, David. 1999. Intellectual property. 4th ed. London: Financial Times Manage-
ment and Pitman Publishing.
Bamford, Sandra. 2004. Conceiving relatedness: non-substantial relations among the
Kamea of Papua New Guinea. JRAI (Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute)
(NS) 10: 287‚Ä“306.
Banks, Cyndi. 2000. Developing cultural criminology: Theory and practice in Papua New
Guinea. Sydney, Australia: Sydney Institute of Criminology.
Banks, Cyndi. 2001 . Women, justice and custom: The discourse of ‚Ä˜good custom‚Ä™ and ‚Ä˜bad
custom‚Ä™ in Papua New Guinea and Canada. International Journal of Comparative
Sociology 42: 101 ‚Ä“22.
Barron, Anne. 1998. No other law? Author-ity, property and Aboriginal art, in Intellectual
property and ethics, edited by Lionel Bently and Spyros Maniatis. London: Sweet and
Barron, Anne. 2002. The (legal) properties of art. UCL/Birkbeck conference, Marxism
and the Visual Arts now. London.
Barry, Andrew. 2001. Political machines: Governing a technological society. London:
Barthes, Roland. 1977. Image-music-text, translated by S. Heath. New York: Hill & Wang.
Barthes, Roland. 1986. The rustle of language. Translated by R. Howard. New York: Hill