18. Moka Politics

For Intro to Anthropology 2021 after reading about Economies we read chapter 12, “How do anthropologists study political relations?” (369-399) and also watch the 52-minute ethnographic film Ongka’s Big Moka. We’ll be using this film to tie together different sections of the course. So while you are watching, think about:

  1. Economics: What is the Moka system?
  2. Politics (this class): What authority does Ongka have? What is the relationship between the Kawelka and the nation-state of Papua New Guinea?
  3. Gender: How is the division of labor gendered?
  4. Kinship: How does kinship intersect with economics & politics?
  5. What evidence of colonialism or capitalism do you see?
  6. The film series is titled “Disappearing World.” Is Ongka’s world disappearing?

The next class is on Sex-Gender-Sexuality.



Living Anthropologically means documenting history, interconnection, and power during a time of global transformation. We need to care for others as we attempt to build a world together. This blog is a personal project of Jason Antrosio, author of Fast, Easy, and In Cash: Artisan Hardship and Hope in the Global Economy. For updates, follow on Twitter, watch on YouTube, or subscribe to e-mail list.

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