"Paths of precedence: tensions, loss and the transfer of value over time"
Ingjerd Hoëm (University of Oslo)
Paper short abstract:
How does intergenerational tranfer of value occur in the absence of enduring material objects, and in the face of loss of the one inalienable value, land? An immaterial imaginary landscape of home plays an important role in the transformation of a Pacific House Society over time.
Paper long abstract:
"Paths of precedence: tensions, loss and the transfer of value over time" In the atoll society of Tokelau, historically a House Society, inter-generational transfer has occurred since approximately 1925 without a concomitant exchange of enduring material objects. The one, significant exception is the inalienable category of land (Weiner 1992). A main question is whether set paths of precedence, linked to the creation of value (Graeber 2013, Hoëm 2018), impact differently on inter-generational transfer of kin-based estates at present. The paper explores how a significant increase in material wealth, from the mid-eighties until present, affects the intergenerational transfer of goods, and relationship patterns. An inherent tension between ephemeral material objects and an enduring attachment to place, is brought to the fore by two simultaneous, but conflicting ongoing processes in Tokelau at present: 1. Aid driven increased material accumulation (Hoëm forthcoming), and 2. The ultimate threat of losing of the land altogether, that climate change represents (Hviding 2017). Migration and the exchange of perspectives on the meaning and significance of 'home', contributes in novel ways to an immaterial imaginary. How this imaginary landscape of home shapes patterns of material transfer (including inclusion or exclusion from intergenerational transfer) in the face of loss of inalienable value, is the analytical focus of this paper (Tabe 2016).
Passing on: the materialisation of kinship