The Gift, The Indian Gift

TIe OiJl, lIe Indian OiJl and lIe 'Indian OiJl

'
AulIov|s)· JonalIan Favv¸
Souvce· Man, Nev Sevies, VoI. 21, No. 3 |Sep., 1986), pp. 453-473
FuIIisIed I¸· Bo¸aI AnlIvopoIogicaI Inslilule oJ Oveal Bvilain and IveIand
SlaIIe UBL· http://www.jstor.org/stable/2803096 .
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THE OIFT, THE INBIAN OIFT ANB
THE 'INBIAN OIFT'*
JONATHAN FABBY
London ScIooI oJ Econonics & FoIilicaI Science
TIis avlicIe cvilicises nucI oJ lIe convenlionaI exegesis oJ Mauss's ceIeIvaled Essai suv Ie don,
and pvoposes a valIev diJJevenl veading oJ lIe lexl vIicI slvesses ils evoIulionav¸ aspecls. TIe
Hindu 'Iav oJ lIe giJl' is sIovn lo Iave a Ie¸ voIe in lIe slvucluve oJ Mauss's avgunenl, lIougI in
Jacl il is quile inconsislenl vilI Iis cenlvaI lIesis. In lIis pavlicuIav inslance Ie vas vigIl vIeve
anlIvopoIogisls Iave genevaII¸ lIougIl Iin vvong, and vvong vIeve anlIvopoIogisls Iave
genevaII¸ lIougIl Iin vigIl. In lIe Maovi case, Iovevev, Iis inlevpvelalion Ias nucI nove lo
veconnend il lIan Ias genevaII¸ Ieen vecognised. Hindu and Maovi ideoIogies oJ excIange
vepvesenl JundanenlaII¸ opposed l¸pes: and il is suggesled lIal ve nigIl Iegin lo accounl Jov lIis
Iind oJ conlvasl in levns oJ Ivoad diJJevences in poIilico-econon¸, and-nove especiaII¸-in
levns oJ lIe conlvasl Ielveen a WovId BeIigion and lIe Iind oJ veIigion cIavaclevislic oJ
snaII-scaIe lviIaI sociel¸. FoIIoving Mauss, an ideoIog¸ oJ lIe 'puve' giJl is sIovn lo Ie
insepavaIIe Jvon lIe ideoIog¸ oJ lIe puveI¸ inlevesled individuaI puvsuil oJ uliIil¸, and lo enevge
in pavaIIeI lo il.
Siv Ba¸nond FivlI vecaIIs lIal on Iis va¸ lo TiIopia Ie Iad lo veI¸ Jov lvanspovl
and IospilaIil¸ on lIe MeIanesian Mission, and vas Jov sone veeIs lIe guesl oJ
lIe BisIop on lIe Mission ¸acIl.
As ve lvaveIIed logelIev anong lIe isIands ve discussed nan¸ pvoIIens oJ Iunan veIalionsIip in
lIe isIand connunilies. MaIinovsIi Iad onI¸ vecenlI¸ puIIisIed Iis IooI Cvine and Cuslon in
Savage Sociel¸ in vIicI Ie slvessed lIe inpovlance oJ vecipvocil¸ as a Jovce oJ Iinding oIIigalion in
MeIanesian sociaI ovganizalion. . . . TIe BisIop Iovvoved lIe IooI Jvon ne, vead il, and
slvongI¸ disagveed. He avgued veIenenlI¸ lIal MeIanesians, IiIe olIev peopIe Ie said, pevJovned
nan¸ acls Jov olIevs JveeI¸ and vilIoul lIougIl oJ veluvn . . . and Ie denied lIe inpIicalion oJ
seIJ-inlevesled aclion. . . . We avgued anicaII¸ aIoul lIis and olIev lIenes. . . . Al Iasl lIe line
cane Jov Iin lo Iand ne on lIe IeacI oJ TiIopia and Ieave ne lo n¸ Jale. He Iad sIovn ne nan¸
Iindnesses, vIicI I couId nol vepa¸ . . . Ie vas veliving Jvon lIe Mission aJlev nan¸ ¸eavs and ve
IolI Inev lIal il vas unIiIeI¸ lIal ve sIouId evev neel again. . . . As Ie said goodI¸e, Ieaving
ne aIone in lIis venole connunil¸ Ie sIooI ne JivnI¸ I¸ lIe Iand, said gvuJJI¸ 'No
vecipvocil¸!', luvned Iis IacI and vaIIed oJJ dovn lIe IeacI lo lIe Ioal |FivlI I973· 400-I).
TIis vignelle oJ lIe InigIl and lIe IisIop, saiIing ovev a dislanl lvopicaI sea
engaged in eavnesl deIale ovev lIe lIesis oJ an expalviale FoIisI FvoJessov,
pvovides ne vilI an apl inlvoduclion lo n¸ cenlvaI lIene-Jov I visI lo speaI
oJ ideoIogies oJ vecipvocil¸ and non-vecipvocil¸, oJ lIe 'Indian giJl' and lIe Indian
giJl.
*TIe MaIinovsIi MenoviaI Lecluve, I985
Man |N.S.) 21, 453-73
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454 JONATHAN FABBY
In Avgonauls oJ lIe Weslevn FaciJic |I922· I76-9I), MaIinovsIi vanges lvans-
aclions aIong a conlinuun Jvon 'puve giJls' lo 'veaI Iavlev'. TIe concepl oJ
vecipvocil¸ is cenlvaI: Iul il Ias nol Iavdened inlo lIe dogna il suIsequenlI¸
Iecane in Cvine and cuslon in savage sociel¸ |I926), vIeve lIe nolion oJ'puve giJl'
is velvacled. TaIing a suJJicienlI¸ Iong-levn viev, ve sIaII Jind lIal even vilI
vegavd lo lvansaclions Ielveen a TvoIviand nan and Iis viJe and cIiIdven 'lIe
nuluaI sevvices IaIance' |I926· 4I) Jov 'Ieen seIJ-inlevesl and a valcIJuI
vecIoning . . . vuns vigIl lIvougI' |p. 27). BalIev lIan Ieing sIave lo cuslon,
lIe 'savage' is as cann¸ as lIe 'civiIised Iusinessnan' and Ias quile as sIavp an
e¸e Jov lIe nain cIance. He caves nove, il is lvue, Jov pveslige lIan naleviaI
pa¸-oJJs: and lIougI Ie is cevlainI¸ nol Econonic Man, Ie is nonelIeIess
Maxinising Man. OIIigalions ave Iepl Iecause 'lIe cIain oJ vecipvocaI giJls and
counlev-giJls . . . |IeneJil) IolI sides equaII¸' |p. 40): and Iecause lIe cosls oJ
veneguing on lIen ave loo gveal in levns oJ 'seIJ-inlevesl, anIilion and vanil¸'
|p. 67). SupevnaluvaI sanclions ave eilIev aIsenl aIlogelIev |p. 5 I), ov ave
veIaliveI¸ easiI¸ evaded I¸ neans oJ counlev-nagic |p. 8o).
TIe vavious eIenenls in lIis nodeI-lIe lendenc¸ lo see excIanges as
essenliaII¸ d¸adic lvansaclions Ielveen seIJ-inlevesled individuaIs, and as pvenissed
on sone Iind oJ IaIance: lIe lendenc¸ lo pIa¸ dovn supevnaluvaI sanclions, and
lIe lolaI conlenpl Jov queslions oJ ovigin-aII lIese consliluled an inpovlanl
Iegac¸ oJ MaIinovsIi's leacIing, and diveclI¸ ov indiveclI¸ exevcised a najov
inJIuence ovev nucI oJ lIe suIsequenl Iilevaluve. In FivlI's vvilings, Jov
exanpIe, ve nol onI¸ Jind aII MaIinovsIi's nislvusl oJ lIe sanclioning povev oJ
'vecondile IeIieJs' |FivlI I929· 4I 5), Iul aIso a siniIav enpIasis on lIe individuaI
cIoice-naIing aclov |e.g. FivlI I 967).
TIe sane inJIuence can aIso Ie seen in LeacI's cvilicisn oJ Levi-Slvauss's
|I969) lIesis lIal vanIed vegines oJ genevaIised excIange ave inIevenlI¸ unslaIIe
since lIe¸ inIiIil a cIosuve oJ lIe nalvinoniaI c¸cIe. AIlIougI lIe viJe-givevs
na¸ nol veceive vonen in excIange, sa¸s LeacI, lIe vuIe oJ vecipvocil¸ is
nonelIeIess nainlained since lIe¸ ave conpensaled I¸ aII Iinds oJ counlev-
pveslalions oJ a diJJevenl naluve: and il is Jov lIis veason lIal lIe KacIin s¸slen is
nol in Jacl suIjecl lo lIe Iind oJ inslaIiIil¸ envisaged I¸ Levi-Slvauss |LeacI
I96I· 90). So vIiIe Levi-Slvauss's nodeI oJ genevaIised excIange is Iased on a
s¸slen oJ indivecl vecipvocil¸ and-veIalive lo s¸slens oJ veslvicled excIange
-pvesupposes an expansion oJ lvusl and cvedil, LeacI's aIlevnalive inviles us lo
viev lIe silualion in levns oJ an endIess sequence oJ d¸adic excIanges vIicI ave
in lIe Iong levn IaIanced. Inslead oJ a specuIalive venluve, excIange is a quidpvo
quo Iased on a cevlainl¸ oJ veluvns.
SiniIav assunplions ave IuiIl inlo BIau's |I967) discussion oJ excIange and
povev, and Weinev's |I976, I980) cvilicisns oJ SaIIins. BolI opevale vilI a
siniIav pveniss oJ IaIance so lIal vIen-in BIau's case-lIe excIange ilseIJ is
nol IaIanced, lIe deJicil is conpensaled Jov I¸ an incvenenl in povev lo lIe
cvedilov vIicI vesloves lIe equiIiIviun. BolI assune lIal excIange laIes pIace
Ielveen caIcuIaling individuaIs, so lIal Weinev can cIain lIal vilI vIal sIe
caIIs lIe 'giJl n¸lI', lIe anlIvopoIogisl is neveI¸ 'pevpelualing and cvealing an
inage oJ¨lIe pvinilive¨ as a pevson, ov ¨pvinilive sociel¸¨ as a va¸ oJ IiJe, lIal
Ias suvvived on sone JundanenlaI pvincipIe olIev lIan seIJ-inlevesl' |I976· 22I).
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JONATHAN
FABBY 455
Il vouId Ie ledious, Iul nol diJJicuIl, lo nuIlipI¸ exanpIes. TIe genevaI
nessage vouId Ie lIe sane. TIe giJl is aIva¸s an 'Indian giJl'-lIal is, one 'Jov
vIicI an equivaIenl veluvn is expecled'1-and lIe nolion oJ a 'puve giJl' is neve
ideoIogicaI oIJuscalion vIicI nasIs lIe supposedI¸ non-ideoIogicaI vevil¸ lIal
noIod¸ does an¸lIing Jov nolIing. So il is lIal anlIvopoIog¸ oJlen seens lo Ie
endIessI¸ vediscoveving lIe novaI oJ MandeviIIe's FaIIe oJ lIe Iees. FuIIicI
BeneJil devives Jvon Fvivale Vice. Sociel¸ is cvealed I¸, and ils coIesion vesuIls
Jvon, an endIess sequence oJ excIanges in vIicI aII puvsues lIeiv ovn
advanlage |Iovevev conceived).
AII lIis na¸ Ie oIvious. Bul vIal is pevIaps Iess so is lIal lIis IaIil oJ
lIougIl Ias dislovled ouv veading oJ Mauss's essa¸ on TIe giJl. TIougI
MaIinovsIi and Mauss ave connonI¸ lvinned as lIe joinl pvogenilovs oJ lIe
anlIvopoIogicaI undevslanding oJ excIange, il is as veII lo venenIev lIal lIe
BuvIIeinians veve one oJ MaIinovsIi's nain poIenicaI lavgels in Cvine and
cuslon. Yel pavadoxicaII¸ MaIinovsIian pvenisses ave onI¸ loo oJlen vead inlo
lIe Maussian lexl, vIicI is unconsciousI¸ pvocessed lIvougI a lIeovelicaI JiIlev
Iovvoved Jvon Iis dislinguisIed conlenpovav¸.
Mauss's
giJl
Mauss's essa¸ Ias acquived Jov anlIvopoIog¸ nan¸ oJ lIe quaIilies oJ a sacved
lexl. Il is lvealed vilI vevevenliaI ave, lIe gvealev pavl oJ ils leacIing is ignoved,
and il is cIained as lIeJons el ovigo oJ quile divevgenl lIeovelicaI posilions. Il Ias
Ieen ciled as a Jovevunnev oJ BavlI's lvansaclionaIisn |KapJevev I976· 3): as
denonslvaling an undevI¸ing conlinuil¸ Ielveen giJl and connodil¸ excIange
|FivlI I973· 370) and as denonslvaling lIe opposile |Ovegov¸ I983· i8 sq.). Il
Ias Ieen Jound lo conlain an inpIicil evoIulionav¸ nodeI 'venavIaII¸ pavaIIeI lo
Mavx's avgunenl in Ovundvisse' |Havl I983· 46), vIiIe Levi-Slvauss-nodeslI¸
avoiding cIains lo lIe nanlIe oJJosIua-IiIens Mauss lo Moses Ieading Iis
peopIe inlo lIe Fvonised Land oJ SlvucluvaIisn, lIougI nevev quile naIing il
IinseIJ |Levi-Slvauss I973· 37). Ouv undevgvaduale sludenls, voulineI¸ ex-
pecled lo naslev lIis lexl in lIeiv Jivsl ¸eav, nigIl veasonaII¸ Ie Jovgiven Jov
vondeving jusl Iov lIe¸ ougIl lo undevsland il.
So eIIiplicaI is Iis vviling lIal Mauss IinseIJ does nol aIva¸s seen lo Ie on
lIeiv side. Nov is lIe lvansIalion, vIicI is IolI caveIessI¸ inaccuvale and an
unconscious nivvov oJ lIe pvejudices oJ ils ovn peviod2. Mauss sa¸s al lIe oulsel
lIal Ie is concevned 'vilI vovds and lIeiv neanings', and lIal Ie Ias cIosen lo
concenlvale onI¸ on aveas 'vIeve ve Iave access lo lIe ninds oJ lIe socielies
lIvougI docunenlalion and pIiIoIogicaI veseavcI' |I966· 2-3: I973· I49). TIe
lvansIalion, Iovevev, Ias IillIe palience vilI lIese pveoccupalions. TIe lexluaI
noles ave oJlen eIided ov even suppvessed. Bul vIal is nove veIevanl Ieve is lIal I
IeIieve lIal Cunnison's lexl IolI veJIecls, and Ias IeIped lo pevpeluale, a
'MaIinovsIian' veading oJ Mauss's oviginaI. Lel ne give ¸oujusl one exanpIe,
laIen Jvon lIe vev¸ Jivsl page. Mauss vviles oJ pveslalions as Iaving a
'voIunlav¸ cIavaclev, so lo speaI, appavenlI¸ Jvee and vilIoul cosl, and ¸el
conslvained and inlevesled . . . TIe¸ ave endoved neavI¸ aIva¸s vilI lIe Jovn
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456 JONATHAN FABBY
oJ a pvesenl, oJ a giJl genevousI¸ oJJeved even vIen in lIe gesluve vIicI
acconpanies lIe lvansaclion lIeve is onI¸ a Jiclion, JovnaIisn and sociaI
deceplion, and vIen lIeve is, al Iollon, oIIigalion and econonic inlevesl'. In
Cunnison's vevsion vIal is voIunlav¸ 'and ¸el conslvained and inlevesled'
Iecones-in lIe nannev oJ MaIinovsIi-a disinlevesled lIeov¸ conlvadicled I¸
an inlevesled pvaclice: 'econonic inlevesl' Iecones 'econonic seIJ-inlevesl': and
'even vIen' lIe gesluve oJ genevosil¸ is onI¸ a Jiclion is luvned inlo an assevlion
3
lIal il is
onI¸
a Jiclion
In Jacl, oJ couvse, Mauss vepealedI¸ slvesses a conIinalion oJ inlevesl
and disinlevesl, oJ Jveedon and conslvainl, in lIe giJl. Nov couId 'inlevesl'
possiII¸ Ie a nallev oJ seIJ- |in lIe sense oJ individuaI) inlevesl. Il is nol indivi-
duaIs Iul gvoups ov novaI pevsons vIo cavv¸ on excIanges. TIe individuaIs
oJ nodevn sociel¸ ave endoved vilI inlevesls as againsl lIe vovId. TIe
pevsons vIo enlev inlo lIe excIanges vIicI cenlvaII¸ concevn Mauss do so as
incunIenls oJ slalus posilions and do nol acl on lIeiv ovn IeIaIJ |cJ. EIeI
I974· 32).
Nov do pevsons sland in opposilion lo lIe lIings excIanged. TIe giJl conlains
sone pavl oJ lIe spiviluaI essence oJ lIe donov, and lIis conslvains lIe vecipienl
lo naIe a veluvn-an avgunenl vIicI Ias Ieen lIe souvce oJ sone enIavvass-
nenl lo Mauss's adnivevs, vIo Iave lended lo disniss il as pevipIevaI. TIe
Maovi nolion oJ Iau is genevaII¸ laIen as lIe exenpIav¸, ov even as lIe onI¸,
inslance oJ lIis 'spivil oJ lIe giJl'. SaIIins |I972), Jov exanpIe, suggesls lIal in
eJJecl Mauss Ias lvo
diJJevenl
ansvevs lo lIe queslion· 'vI¸ ave giJls vecipvo-
caled?' TIe Jivsl-vIicI is vvong-is lIe Maovi Iau 'vaised lo lIe slalus oJ a
genevaI expIanalion'. TIe second-vIicI is vigIl-is lIe HoIIesian Slale oJ
Wavve-lIe giJl Ieing lIe pvinilive anaIogue oJ lIe sociaI conlvacl. SiniIavI¸
Levi-Slvauss sees lIe discussion oJ lIe Iau as a vegvellaIIe inslance oJ lIe
anlIvopoIogisl aIIoving IinseIJ lo Ie n¸sliJied I¸ lIe nalive, vIose cuIluvaII¸
speciJic valionaIisalions cannol possiII¸ expIain a genevaI slvucluvaI pvincipIe.
HappiI¸, Iovevev, lIe avgunenl onI¸ appeavs al lIe Ieginning oJ lIe vovI, and
is neveI¸ a poinl oJ depavluve supevseded I¸ lIe end |Levi-Slvauss I973· xIvi).
FivlI |I929) cones lo an opposile concIusion. Mauss's avgunenl is nol a Maovi
valionaIisalion Iul a FvencI one-in suppovl oJ vIicI ve couId poinl, I lIinI, lo
ils siniIavil¸ lo Lev¸-BvuII's nolion oJ 'pavlicipalions' |cJ. MacCovnacI I982).
I suspecl, Iovevev-lIougI I cannol pvove-lIal lIe veaI souvce oJ lIe idea is
neilIev Maovi nov FvencI, Iul Indian-Jov as ve sIaII see lIe Iasic nolion is
cIeavI¸ avlicuIaled in lIe Hindu lexls on vIicI Mauss Iad vovIed inlensiveI¸
Iong IeJove Lev¸-BvuII Jivsl puIIisIed Iis ideas.
As againsl FivlI and SaIIins I viII avgue al a Ialev slage lIal Mauss's
inlevpvelalion oJ lIe Maovi dala Ias nove lo veconnend il lIan lIe¸ aIIov. As
againsl SaIIins and Levi-Slvauss I sIouId IiIe al lIis slage lo suggesl lIal Mauss
does nol in Jacl advance a cuIluvaII¸ speciJic ideoIog¸ as a genevaI expIanalion:
nov is Iis poinl pevipIevaI and Iiniled lo lIe opening seclions oJ lIe essa¸. Move
ov Iess lIe sane avgunenl vecuvs in veIalion lo lIe pIedge vIicI nusl Ie
excIanged Ielveen lIe pavlies lo a conlvacl in lIe Iav oJ lIe ancienl Oevnanic
lviIes. TIe indeIled pavl¸ is conslvained lo naIe a veluvn since Ie Ias Ianded
ovev as pIedge an oIjecl vIicI is inIued vilI Iis ovn pevsonaIil¸, and vIicI
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JONATHAN FABBY 457
lIeveJove puls Iin quile IilevaII¸ in lIe Iands oJ Iis cvedilov. B¸ vedeening il Ie
vedeens IinseIJ |I966· 6o-i: I973· 253-5).
TIe genevaI pvincipIe-oJ vIicI lIis and lIe Maovi Iau ave onI¸ lvo anongsl
a vIoIe Iallev¸ oJ iIIuslvalions-is lIe aIsence oJ an¸ aIsoIule disjunclion
Ielveen pevsons and lIings4. Il is Iecause lIe lIing conlains lIe pevson lIal lIe
donov velains a Iien on vIal Ie Ias given ava¸ and ve cannol lIeveJove speaI oJ
an aIienalion oJ pvopevl¸: and il is Iecause oJ lIis pavlicipalion oJ lIe pevson in
lIe oIjecl lIal lIe giJl cveales an enduving Iond Ielveen pevsons. SaIIins lIus
nisvepvesenls Mauss vIen Ie suggesls lIal lIe avgunenl aIoul 'lIe spivil oJ lIe
giJl' is independenl oJ lIe avgunenl aIoul lIe giJl as sociaI conlvacl. TIe giJl
onI¸ succeeds in suppvessing lIe Wavve oJ aII againsl aII Iecause il cveales spiviluaI
Ionds Ielveen pevsons I¸ neans oJ lIings vIicI enIod¸ pevsons. TIe lvo
aspecls ave insepavaIIe: and iJ lIe¸ veve nol il vouId Ie Iavd lo undevsland
nucI oJ Mauss's anlipalI¸ lo lIe nodevn navIel.
WIal is aIso slviIing aIoul SaIIins's connenlav¸ on lIe essa¸ is lIal Ie nevev
acluaII¸ nenlions ils cenlvaI puvpose· lo conslvucl a Iind oJ pveIislov¸ oJ ouv
nodevn Iind oJ IegaI and econonic conlvacl. EvoIulionav¸ specuIalions ave al lIe
Ieavl oJ lIe enlevpvise, vIicI dispIa¸s lIal genelic concevn Jov lIe ovigins oJ
IegaI Jovns vIicI vas lIe doninanl cIavaclevislic oJ BuvIIeinian sludies oJ
Iav |Vogl i983· 3 I). Il is lIis concevn vilI lIe ovigins oJ lIe nodevn conlvacl
vIicI expIains vI¸ oJ lIe lIvee oIIigalions Mauss isoIales, il is lIe oIIigalion lo
naIe a veluvn vIicI allvacls lIe gvealesl allenlion. Cases in vIicI lIe giJl is
nol vecipvocaled ave vivluaII¸ excIuded Jvon Mauss's puvviev I¸ lIe va¸ in
vIicI Ie Ias deJined Iis pvoIIen in levns oJ lIe avcIaeoIog¸ oJ conlvacluaI
oIIigalion.
TIe Ivoad oulIine oJ lIe evoIulion vIicI Mauss lvaces is Jvon 'lolaI
pveslalions' consisling oJ an excIange Ielveen gvoups in vIicI naleviaI goods
ave onI¸ one ilen anongsl a vIoIe vange oJ non-econonic lvansJevs, lo giJl
excIange Ielveen pevsons as vepvesenlalive oJ gvoups, lo nodevn navIel
excIange Ielveen individuaIs. TIe Iasl oJ lIese Ias evoIved Jvon lIe Jivsl I¸ a
gvaduaI pvocess oJ allenualion ov conlvaclion. ExcIanges Ielveen gvoups vIicI
Iad an aeslIelic, veIigious, novaI, IegaI and econonic aspecl Iave Ieen slvipped
dovn lo Ieave puveI¸ econonic excIanges Ielveen individuaIs5. |TIe oIjecls oJ
excIange lIenseIves undevgo a pavaIIeI evoIulion. CevenoniaI vaIuaIIes oJ lIe
Iind vepvesenled I¸ IuIa avnsIeIIs Iecone delacIed Jvon lIe gvoup and lIe
pevson, and deveIop inlo lIe Iind oJ depevsonaIised none¸ Jound in nodevn
econonies [Mauss I966· 93-4: I973· I78-9]).
Seen in lIis IigIl SaIIins's anaIog¸ vilI HoIIes IooIs pvoIIenalic. HoIIes,
vIo slavls vilI lIe individuaI, vas concevned vilI lIe cvealion oJ a videv unil¸
oul oJ an 'oviginaII¸' alonised slale oJ Iunanil¸: Iul Mauss, vIo slavls vilI lIe
gvoup, Ias vevevsed lIe sequence-Jvon an oviginaI IoIisn, Iunanil¸ and
Iunan inslilulions Iave Iecone alonised. WIal is nove lIe lvo essa¸s in Slone
Age econonics vIicI innedialeI¸ pvecede SaIIins's Ionage lo Mauss ivonicaII¸
veveaI a slviIing divevgence-in a HoIIesian diveclion-Jvon Mauss's avgu-
nenl. TIe giJl vepealedI¸ slvesses lIal lIeve is no sucI lIing as a 'naluvaI
econon¸' vIeve pvoduclion isJov use and sucI excIange as occuvs is oJ uliIilies.
Bul SaIIins's Boneslic Mode oJ Fvoduclion is suveI¸ onI¸ a vavianl oJ lIe
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458 JONATHAN FABBY
naluvaI econon¸ nodeI6, and il Iocales lIe ovigins oJ excIange IavgeI¸ in
lIe uliIilavian needs oJ lIe pvopovlion oJ IouseIoIds vIicI inevilaII¸ Jace
suIsislence JaiIuve7.
To visI a diJJevenl anaIog¸, lIeve is-I vouId avgue-a nove lIan supevJiciaI
convevgence Ielveen lIe evoIulionav¸ scIenes oJ Mavx and Mauss |CJ. Havl
I983): Jov nucI in Mauss's essa¸ vecaIIs lIe pvogvessive vupluve Mavx dis-
coveved Ielveen nan and lIe naleviaI vovId, nan and Iis pvoducls, and nan
and nan-lIis vesuIling in a Jvagnenled vovId in vIicI lIe veIalions oJ lIe
pavls lo lIe vIoIe can no Iongev Ie discevned, and Ieaving lIe pevson as a neve
vunp, an 'aIslvaclion' |cJ. OIInan I976·
I33J).
IJ lIe Maussian lIesis is lIal lIe nodevn conlvacl is lIe enduving vennanl oJ
avcIaic giJl excIange, vIal lIen ave nodevngiJls? Tvo veadings oJ lIe lexl seen
possiIIe. TIe convenlionaI one vouId slvess a Iasic conlinuil¸ Ielveen giJls in
nodevn and pve-nodevn sociel¸. Bul vIal I undevsland lo Ie lIe doninanl
pvoposilion-vIicI seens lo Iave Ieen conpIeleI¸ ovevIooIed-is lIal in ouv
Iind oJ sociel¸ giJls cone lo vepvesenl sonelIing enliveI¸ diJJevenl. OiJl-excIange
-in vIicI pevsons and lIings, inlevesl and disinlevesl ave nevged-Ias Ieen
Jvacluved, Ieaving giJls opposed lo excIange, pevsons opposed lo lIings and
inlevesl lo disinlevesl. TIe ideoIog¸ oJ a disinlevesled giJl enevges in pavaIIeI
vilI an ideoIog¸ oJ a puveI¸ inlevesled excIange. So, Jov exanpIe, al lIe
Ieginning oJ Iis cIaplev on avcIaic socielies, Mauss vviles expIicilI¸ oJ a cIeav
dislinclion Ielveen oIIigalov¸ pveslalions and |puve) giJls in ouv ovn cuIluvaI
Ievilage8, and asIs vIelovicaII¸ vIelIev sucI dislinclions 'ave . . . nol oJ
veIaliveI¸ vecenl appeavance in lIe codes oJ lIe gveal civiIizalions?' [I966· 46:
I973· 229). Il is ve, Ie sa¸s eIsevIeve |I966· 46: I973· 229), vIo Iave opposed
'lIe ideas oJ lIe giJl and disinlevesledness' lo 'lIal oJ inlevesl and lIe individuaI
puvsuil oJ uliIil¸': and il is Iecause lIe Iallev Iave nov Iecone lIe guiding
pvincipIes oJ econonic IiJe lIal Mauss vislJuII¸ IooIs IacI on a pvinilive pasl
vIeve inlevesl and disinlevesl ave conIined.
TIe vIoIe ideoIog¸ oJ lIe giJl, and convevseI¸ lIe vIoIe idea oJ 'econonic
seIJ-inlevesl', ave ouv invenlion: and lIe lexl expIicilI¸ acInovIedges lIe diJJi-
cuIl¸ oJusing lIese levns Jov socielies sucI as lIe TvoIviands vIevepveslalions-lIe
vovd ilseIJ nusl Iave Ieen cIosen Jov ils connolalions oJ conslvainl-ave a Iind
oJ I¸Ivid Ielveen giJls, Ioans and pIedges. TIe MaIinovsIi oJ Avgonauls vas
cevlainI¸ in evvov lo suggesl lIal vIal is given I¸ a JalIev lo Iis cIiIdven is a 'puve
giJl'. Bul as lIe conlexl naIes enliveI¸ cIeav, Mauss's veaI puvpose Ieve is nol lo
suggesl lIal lIeve is no sucI lIing as a puve giJl in an¸ sociel¸, Iul valIev lo sIov
lIal Jov nan¸ lIe issue sinpI¸ cannol avise since lIe¸ do nol naIe lIe Iinds oJ
dislinclion lIal ve naIe. So vIiIe Mauss is genevaII¸ vepvesenled as leIIing us
Iov inJacl lIe giJl is nevev Jvee, vIal I lIinI Ie is veaII¸ leIIing us is Iov ve Iave
acquived a lIeov¸ lIal il sIouId Ie.
TIe inlevesled excIange and lIe disinlevesled giJl lIus enevge as lvo sides oJ
lIe sane coin. Oiven a pvoJound disIiIe oJ lIe Jivsl, nislvusl oJ lIe second is
onI¸ IogicaI. TIe unvecipvocaled giJl deIases lIe vecipienl, and lIe cIavil¸ oJ lIe
'vicI aInonev' is condenned |I966· 63: I973· 258)-pvesunaII¸ Iecause il
denies oIIigalion and vepIaces lIe vecipvocaI inlevdependence on vIicI sociel¸
is Jounded vilI an as¸nnelvicaI dependence. TIe vened¸ Jov ouv nodevn iIIs is
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JONATHAN FABBY 459
a s¸slen oJ sociaI secuvil¸ Jounded on lIe oId novaIil¸ oJ giJl-excIange, lo vIicI
ve loo ave Ieivs.
TIe Ieginnings oJ lIe ideoIogicaI vevoIulion vIicI deslvo¸ed lIis ancienl
visdon ave Iocaled in lIe Iale Bonan Enpive vilI lIe IegaI sepavalion oJ
pevsons Jvon lIings. Bul lIe nain lIvusl oJ lIe discussion on Bone is lIal
lIis dislinclion-vIicI is cenlvaI lo ouv concepls oJ pvopevl¸ and navIel
excIange-evoIved oul oJ eavIiev concepls slviclI¸ conpavaIIe lo lIose oJ lIe
giJl econonies descviIed Jov lIe 'pvinilive' vovId. TIe vecovd, Iovevev, does
nol aIIov Mauss lo eslaIIisI lIis as an¸lIing nove lIan a 'IiIeI¸ I¸polIesis': and
il is Ieve lIal India cones lo Iis aid as sIoving lIal Indo-Euvopean Iav once Iad
giJl-excIange inslilulions IiIe lIose oJ lIe FaciJic and Anevica. In a nannev
vIicI is lIovougII¸ nineleenlI cenluv¸ in spivil, and vIicI IiIe nucI in lIe
essa¸ is slvongI¸ veniniscenl oJ Maine9, India slands in-as Tvaulnann |n. d)
noles-Jov Euvope's nissing pasl. TIougI Maine and Mauss did nol agvee on
vIelIev ils innovalions slood Jov novaI pvogvess, Jov IolI il vas Bone vIicI
cavvied lIe lovcI oJ Iislov¸ |as again il did in Mauss's essa¸ on lIe pevson) and
India vIicI veveaIed lIe JossiI vecovd oJ Indo-Euvopean Iav. Il is nol pevIaps so
Iavd lo see vI¸ Mauss's lIeovies Iave Ieen suIjecled lo seIeclive pvoJessionaI
annesia.
TIe Indian giJl
TIe cenlvaI lIesis oJ lIe essa¸ aIoul lIe evoIulionav¸ ovigins oJ lIe nodevn
conlvacl lIus Iinges on sIoving lIal giJl-excIange in lIe Hindu lexls conJovns
lo lIe nodeI conslvucled Jov pve-Iilevale socielies. Mauss Jocuses Ieve on
danadIavna, lIe 'Iav oJ |veIigious) giJls', and in asIing Iov veII Iis nodeI in Jacl
appIies I viII JoIIov Iin in lIis |vilIoul, oJ couvse, visIing lo inpI¸ lIal lIis
Iav covevs aII-ov even a najovil¸-oJ lvansaclions). LiIe Mauss, lIen, n¸
nain concevn is vilI lIose giJls vIicI vale as dana: and I sIaII veJev onI¸ in
passing lo olIev calegovies oJ 'giJl', and in ovdev lo conlvasl lIen vilI dana. Lesl
lIe veslviclion appeav lo conJine ne lo lIe esolevic, Iel ne venind ¸ou oJ lIe
enovnous poIilico-econonic signiJicance oJ veIigious giJl-giving in lIe socielies
vIicI ave Ieivs lo lIis Iav· one Ias onI¸ lo lIinI oJ lIe Iuge Ianded eslales
donaled lo lIe Iig SoulI Indian lenpIes: oJ lIe Jacl lIal al lIe Ieginning oJ lIe
nineleenlI cenluv¸ an eslinaled I7 lo 20 pev cenl. oJ lIe popuIalion oJ Benaves
|lIen one oJ lIe Iavgesl cilies in India) veve BvaInans Iiving oJJ veIigious cIavil¸
|Ba¸I¸ I983· I26): ov oJ eslinales oJ 25 lo 40 pev cenl. oJ nel disposaIIe casI
incone Ieing given lo nonIs in lIe l¸picaI Uppev Buvnese viIIage |Spivo I970·
459).
Mauss's souvces pvovided Iin vilI nan¸ oIvious iIIuslvalions oJ lIe va¸ in
vIicI lIe giJl enIodies lIe pevson. TIe donov oJ callIe sIeeps in lIe I¸ve, eals
IavIe¸ and cov-dung, and al lIe nonenl oJ lvansJev pvocIains· 'vIal ¸ou ave, I
an: loda¸ I an Iecone ¸ouv essence, and giving ¸ou I give n¸seIJ' |I966· 57:
I973· 248). Move speciJicaII¸ lIe giJl is IeId lo enIod¸ lIe sins oJ lIe donov10,
vIon il vids oJ eviI I¸ lvansJevving lIe dangevous and deneaning Iuvden oJ
dealI and inpuvil¸ lo lIe vecipienl |Heeslevnan I 964). Nov is il vilIoul peviI lo
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460 JONATHAN FABBY
lIe donov, Jov il Iinds Iin dangevousI¸ cIose lo one vIo na¸ pvove unvovlI¸.
'A BvaInana vIo neilIev pevJovns auslevilies nov sludies lIe Veda, ¸el deIigIls
in acccpling giJls, sinIs vilI lIe |donovinlo IeII). .' |Manu 4· I90). TIe nevil oJ
lIe giJl is lIus conlingenl on lIal oJ a vovlI¸ vecipienl. And vIo sIouId lIis Ie
Iul lIe one vIo is nosl unviIIing lo veceive il?
TIe conlenpovav¸ signiJicance oJ lIis lIeov¸ Ias vecenlI¸ Ieen docunenled
I¸ sevevaI elInogvapIevs. I Iave descviIed, Jov exanpIe, Iov lIe BvaInan
pviesls oJ Benaves see lIenseIves as endIessI¸ accunuIaling lIe sin lIe¸ accepl
vilI lIe giJls oJ lIe piIgvins and nouvnevs vIo visil lIe cil¸, and Iov lIe¸
IiIen lIenseIves lo a sevev lIvougI vIicI lIe novaI JiIlI oJ lIeiv palvons is
passed. TIeovelicaII¸ lIe¸ sIouId Ie aIIe lo 'digesl' lIe sin I¸ dinl oJ vavious
viluaI pvoceduves oJ expialion, and I¸ donaling lIe giJls lIe¸ veceive lo anolIev
BvaInan vilI incvenenl. Bul quile apavl Jvon lIe Jacl lIal lIis is pIainI¸ an
econonic inpossiIiIil¸, lIc¸ sadI¸ adnil ignovance oJ lIe covvecl viluaI pvo-
ceduves. TIe sevev Iecones a cess-pil, vilI lIe vesuIl lIal lIe pviesl conlvacls
Iepvos¸ and vols: Ie dies a levviIIe and pvenaluve dealI and lIen Jaces lIe
lovnenls oJ IeII. TIe donov loo is an endangeved Ieing, Jov iJ lIe pviesl nisuses
Iis giJl Jov sone eviI puvpose Ie sIaves in lIe sin. He nusl lIeveJove give lo a
'vovlI¸ vesseI': Iul lIe one vIo is pvepaved lo accepl Iis giJls is aInosl I¸
deJinilion unvovlI¸ lo veceive lIen |Favv¸ I980: n.d.).
Sone oJ n¸ Indianisl coIIeagues viII Ie as used lo n¸ vecilaI oJ lIese dala as I
lo lIeiv vesponse. SucI ideas, lIe¸ cIain, ave oJ puveI¸ IocaI dislviIulion and do
nol veJIecl videspvead popuIav alliludes in vuvaI aveas ava¸ Jvon lIe najov
cenlves oJ SansIvilic cuIluve, ov exisl nucI oulside lIe Hindi-speaIing vegion
|cJ. FuIIev I984· 67 sq.). In Jacl, Iovevev, lIeve is evidence oJ vev¸ siniIav
nolions Jvon Tvavancove, TaniInadu and Oujeval1¨: and lIanIs lo BaIeja's
|I985: n.d.) exceIIenl elInogvapI¸ lIeve can nov Ie IillIe douIl lIal lIe¸ ave
pevvasive in sone vuvaI aveas oJ lIe novlI.
BaIeja descviIes lvo Ivoad calegovies oJ pveslalion as ideoIogicaII¸ cenlvaI in
lIe viIIage vIeve sIe Iived. TIe Jivsl oJ lIese is cIavaclevised I¸ vecipvocil¸ and
an ideoIog¸ oJ nuluaIil¸. B¸ conlvasl vilI lIis is lIe calegov¸ oJ giJls
genevicaII¸ Inovn as dana-lIese consliluling lIe nosl inpovlanl Jealuve oJ
nosl viluaIs and JeslivaIs, Ieing given aInosl daiI¸, and uliIising enovnous
naleviaI vesouvces. SucI giJls 'send ava¸' inauspiciousness Jvon lIe donov lo
lIe vecipienl, vIo na¸ Ie a BvaInan, BavIev, Sveepev ov a viJe-laIing aJJine,
lo vIon lIe giJl viII Iving nisJovlune unIess lIe covvecl viluaI pvecaulions ave
laIen. Oiven lIal lIese dala devive Jvon a vegion on vIicI nan¸ anlIvopoI-
ogisls Iad pveviousI¸ vvillen, I slvongI¸ suspecl lIal sucI ideas aIoul dana Iave
a Jav videv dislviIulion lIan Ias so Jav Ieen vecognised: and lIal il is nol Iecause
lIe¸ ave aIsenl lIal lIe¸ Iave nol Ieen nove videI¸ vepovled in lIe viIIage
elInogvapI¸, Iul valIev Iecause lIe JieIdvovI vas conducled vilI olIev
pveoccupalions in nind, and I¸ a genevalion oJ elInogvapIevs IIinded I¸ a
deep-vooled pvejudice lIal lIe spivil oJ lIe giJl vas neveI¸ Maussian nela-
pI¸sicaI n¸sliJicalion.
In lIe Hindu conlexl lIis nolion lIal lIe giJl conlains lIe pevson is associaled
vilI lIe idea lIal lIe giJl is a Iind oJ sacviJice. Il is in Jacl a suvvogale Jov sacviJice
appvopviale lo ouv degenevale age |Manu i· 86: Biavdeau I976· 27). In levns oJ
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JONATHAN FABBY 46I
lIeiv s¸nIoIisn and slvucluve lIeve ave nan¸ oIvious pavaIIeIs Ielveen lIe lvo
pvoceduves12. Bul vIal is nosl veIevanl Ieve is lIal lIe idenliJicalion Ielveen
lIe sacviJiev and lIe viclin-vIicI in lIe cIassicaI lIeov¸ is expIicilI¸ a
suIslilule Jov Iis ovn pevson-is cavvied ovev inlo lIe lIeov¸ oJ dana as an
idenliJicalion Ielveen lIe donov and Iis giJl. As lIe viclin is a suvvogale Jov lIe
sacviJiev, so lIe giJl is a suvvogale Jov lIe donov. Il slands, noveovev Jov vIal Ie
nusl expiale. Nov il is vIen lIe oIjeclive oJ lIe sacviJice is lo eIininale Iad
sacvedness lIal HuIevl and Mauss |I964· 55) pvedicl lIal lIe idenliJicalion vilI
lIe viclin viII Ie cIosesl IeJove lIe innoIalion, and lIal lIeiv suIsequenl
sepavalion viII Ie as JinaI as possiIIe. Consislenl vilI lIis, lIe idenliJicalion oJ
lIe donov vilI Iis giJl is oJlen IigII¸ eIaIovaled IeJove lIe lvansJev |as Jov
exanpIe vIen Ie is veigIed againsl a vaIuaIIe suIslance vIicI Ie lIen
donales), and Iis sepavalion Jvon il aJlevvavds is aIsoIule.
TIeve is no queslion, lIen, oJ lIe giJl Ieing a Ioan ov pIedge. Il is aIienaled in
an aIsoIule va¸, and lIe vev¸ deJinilion oJ lIe giJl is lIal il invoIves lIe
conpIele exlinclion oJ lIe donov's pvopvielav¸ vigIls in Javouv oJ lIe vecipienl
|Ai¸av I94I· 77: Lav I926· i). TIe giJl lIvealens lo cenenl lIe lvo logelIev in a
dangevous inlevdependence: Iul evev¸ allenpl is nade lo sevev lIeiv Iond I¸
insisling on lIe conpIele aIienalion oJ lIe lIing. Undev no civcunslances, and
on pain oJ levviIIe supevnaluvaI penaIlies, is lIe giJl vesuned. Ils eviI 'spivil' nusl
nol cone IacI. WIiIe Mauss oviginaII¸ inlvoduced lIis nolion oJ 'spivil' lo
expIain lIe inaIienaIiIil¸ oJ lIe oIjecl and lIe necessil¸ oJ naIing a veluvn, vIal
il in Jacl expIains in lIis conlexl is vI¸ lIe giJl nusl Ie aIienaled, sIouId nevev
veluvn, and sIouId endIessI¸ Ie Ianded on.
TIe oIIigalion lo naIe a veluvn is nol lIeveJove encoded in lIe danadIavna.
Mauss |I966· I23: I973· 243) IinseIJ vas uneas¸ Ieve and conceded in a Joolnole
lIal 'on lIe oIIigalion lo naIe veluvn giJls-ouv nain suIjecl-lIeve ave Jev
Jacls excepl pevIaps Manu VIII, 2I3. TIe cIeavesl vuIe consisls in a vuIe
JovIidding lIe veluvn oJ giJls'. In lvulI even lIe vevse ciled denands lIe nosl
viIJuII¸ cocI-e¸ed veading lo naIe il sa¸ an¸lIing aIoul vecipvocil¸. 'TIe
cIeavesl vuIe' is in veaIil¸ unquaIiJied. A puve as¸nnelv¸ nusl oIlain. TIe
donov sIouId seeI oul lIe veIuclanl vecipienl and give JveeI¸, Jov lIe genuine giJl
is nevev soIiciled. No veluvn oJ an¸ eavlII¸ Iind is counlenanced and even an
incvenenl lo lIe pveslige oJ lIe donov veaIens lIe giJl, vIicI sIouId lIeveJove
Ie nade in secvel. Il is as iJ-lo pavapIvase Tvaulnann |I98I· 28I-2)-lIe
ancienl Fandils Iad avvived al lIe nodevn lIeov¸ oJ vecipvocil¸, didn'l IiIe vIal
lIe¸ Jound, and snavlI¸ luvned IeeI.
TIe pallevn oJ aJJinaI veIalions anongsl lIe IigI casles in conlenpovav¸ novlI
India cIeavI¸ veJIecls lIis ideoIog¸. Kan¸a dana, lIe 'giJl oJ a vivgin' aIong vilI
Iev dovv¸, is neveI¸ lIe Ieginning oJ an endIess sevies oJ giJls vIicI JIov
uniIalevaII¸ Jvon viJe-givevs lo viJe-veceivevs. Nol even a gIass oJ valev na¸
Ie accepled in a viIIage lo vIicI one oJ lIe daugIlevs oJ lIe Iineage Ias Ieen
given in navviage: and sucI pvoIiIilions na¸ even exlend lo lIose vIo vale as
viJe-laIevs lo one's ovn viJe-laIevs |IIIelson quoled in Levis I958· I88-9:
Favv¸ I979· 304-5). TIe cIain is concepluaII¸ nevev cIosed-as is iIIuslvaled I¸
ValuI's |I969) anaI¸sis oJ lIe Hindi IinsIip levninoIog¸. Levi-Slvauss |I969·
398-9), oJ couvse, avgues lIal lIis lIeov¸ oJ navviage I¸ giJl is neveI¸
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462 JONATHAN FABBY
genevaIised excIange in an iIIusov¸ guise. In lIe I¸pevganous vavianl oJ lIe
s¸slen, Iovevev, JenaIe inJanlicide vas in lIe pasl videspvead, and lIe IigIesl
vanIing Iineages veceived Ivides Iul gave lo none¨3. TIe vev¸ exislence oJ
I¸pevgan¸, oJ couvse, innedialeI¸ suggesls a vecipvocaI excIange in vIicI lIe
viJc-givevs
in Jacl gain an
incvenenl
in slalus. In lIc case oJ nan¸ novlI Indian
casles, Iovevev, lIeve is no I¸pevgan¸ in lIe sense oJ a s¸slenalic vanIing oJ
descenl Iines, and an¸ inJeviovil¸ on lIe pavl oJ lIe Ivide's JaniI¸ is cvealed I¸
lIe navviage ilseIJ |e.g. ValuI I
975). CIeavI¸ in sucI civcunslances lIe endIess
slvean oJ giJls cannol Ie a quid pvo quo Jov an eIevalion in vanI and lIeve is no
queslion oJ a d¸adic excIange.
A vange oJ quile diJJevenl exanpIes oJ lIis sane deniaI lIal lIe giJl sels up an
oIIigalion lo naIe a veluvn couId Ie given. Bul vIal lIe¸ vouId aII sIov is lIal
lIe lIeov¸ is-as Tvaulnann |I98I· 279) puls il-a 'solevioIog¸, nol a socioIog¸
oJ vecipvocil¸ . '14. TIe giJl does indeed veluvn lo lIe donov, Iul il does so as
lIe Jvuils oJ Iavna. Il is lIis 'unseen Jvuil' |advslapIaIa) vIicI vilIevs on lIe
IvancI iJ an¸ veluvn is accvued in lIe Ieve and nov |cJ. Ai¸av I94I). TIe veluvn
is deJevved |in aII IiIeIiIood lo anolIev exislence): ils necIanisn Ias Iecone
enliveI¸ inpevsonaI, and lIe vecipienl is neveI¸ a 'vesseI' |palva) ov conduil Jov
lIe JIov oJ nevil and is IinseIJ in no va¸ conslvained I¸ lIe giJl ov Iound lo lIe
donov. Even a spiviluaI accounling is sonelines IooIed upon vilI suspicion,
and so lIe Iesl giJls ave given neveI¸ Jvon a delacIed sense oJ dul¸ and vilIoul
lIinIing oJ lIen as giJls al aII |Kane I974· 8· 42: MaIaIIavala I3· 49· 3).
WIelIev ve enpIasise lIe inpevsonaIil¸ oJ lIe veluvn, ov lIe ideoIog¸ vIicI
denies lIal a 'lvue' giJl is nade 'vilI desive' Jov an¸ Iind oJ vevavd, il seens cIeav
lIal ve ave deaIing vilI a lvansaclionaI lIeov¸ quile unIiIe Mauss's MeIanesian,
FoI¸nesian and Anevican exanpIes. TIe Hindu 'Lav oJ lIe giJl' does nol cveale
sociel¸ I¸ insliluling lIal conslanl give-and-laIe vIicI MaIinovsIi descviIed
Jov lIe TvoIviands. TIe TvoIviand giJl na¸ Ie an 'Indian giJl', Iul lIe Hindu
giJl is nol.
In passing ve nigIl nole lIal nucI lIe sane lIene vecuvs in TIevavada
BuddIisn, vIeve indeed ve Jind lIe giJl vilIoul a vecipienl al aII. OJJevings ave
veguIavI¸ nade lo lIe BuddIa, Iul Ie Ias allained nivvana, and no Iongev exisls.
Il is lIe gods vIo govevn lIe pvagnalic aJJaivs oJ lIe vovId, and vilI lIen
signiJicanlI¸ lIe ideoIog¸ is one oJ vecipvocil¸-oJJevings Jov Ioons. TIe
vecipvocaled giJl IeIongs lo lIe pvoJane vovId: lIe unvecipvocaled giJl lo a quesl
Jov saIvalion Jvon il |Anes I966). OiJls nade lo lIose vIo cavv¸ lIe solevio-
IogicaI nessage oJ lIe BuddIa-as lIe¸ al an¸ vale insisl-ave nevev vecipvo-
caled. Oul oJ conpassion lIe nonI neveI¸ pvovides a 'JieId oJ nevil' Jov lIe
Iail¸: Iul Ie is nol lIe donov oJ lIe nevil acquived lIvougI lIe oJJevings Ie
veceives |SlvensIi I983).
Nov is an oIIigalion lo veceive lIe giJl enliveI¸ cIeav. Accovding lo lIe
veII-Inovn lexluaI JovnuIa il is in an¸ case onI¸ lIe BvaInans vIo Iave sucI a
dul¸-and lIis is pavadoxicaII¸ evaded I¸ lIe Iesl oJ lIen. TIe Hindu
ascelic-unIiIe lIe BuddIisl nonI-is cevlainI¸ undev no sucI oIIigalion. Nov
is a
viIIingness lo veceive giJls enliveI¸ consislenl vilI lIe Ionouv oJ lIe navliaI
KsIalvi¸a, vIo nusl nevev Ie a suppIicanl. Hence Jov Iin-as Hava |I974)
sIovs-lIe nosl appvopviale Jovn oJ navviage vIicI lIe lexls can envisage is
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JONATHAN FABBY 463
navviage I¸ capluve and lIe open exevcise oJ vioIence |cJ. Tvaulnan I98i·
283). TIe Iing's dul¸ is lo naIe giJls and Ie sIouId Jund Iis genevosil¸-as lIe
sacviJice |Heeslevnan 1959)-lIvougI Jovce and vaIouv. Hence lIe Iing is in
nan¸ s¸nIoIic va¸s oJlen idenliJied vilI lIe Iandil |SIuInan I980: cJ. BivIs
I982).
BanadIavna lIus poses a nunIev oJ diJJicuIlies Jov ouv genevaI lIeovies oJ
excIange. Il consciousI¸ vepudiales OouIdnev's |I960) univevsaI 'novaI novn oJ
vecipvocil¸'. Nov is il cIeav lIal lIe unvecipvocaled giJl pvoduces lIe diJJevenlia-
lion in povev pvedicled I¸ BIau |I967)-Jov in novlI India viJe-giving aJJines
ave connonI¸ vequived lo pul up vilI lIe nosl pevenplov¸ and disdainJuI
lvealnenl al lIe Iands oJ lIose lo vIon lIe¸ acl as pevpeluaI donovs. WilI lIe
I¸pevganous vavianl oJ lIis s¸slen il seens lIal Hindu ideoIog¸ Ias even
succeeded in peviodicaII¸ excIuding segnenls oJ novlI Indian sociel¸ Jvon vIal
Levi-Slvauss |I969· 143) caIIs 'lIe univevsaIJovn oJ navviage'-one Iased on
vecipvocil¸. Nov does SaIIins's |1972·
I85 sq.) l¸poIog¸ oJ excIange, in vIicI
lIe 'soIidav¸ exlvene' oJ genevaIised vecipvocil¸ is seen as coinciding vilI lIe
cIosesl sociaI veIalions, seen vIoII¸ appIicaIIe. Heve lIe nosl unIaIanced
excIanges ave vepvesenled I¸ lIe giJls nade lo lIe vandeving ascelic ov lo lIe
pviesl oJ a Javava¸ piIgvinage cenlve: vIiIe lvansaclions Ielveen, Jov exanpIe,
a JalIev and son ave oJlen laIIed aIoul in lIe idion oJ a quidpvo quo in vIicI lIe
son JinaII¸ sellIes Iis deIls lIvougI lIe pevJovnance oJ Iis JalIev's novluav¸
viles |Favv¸ I985).
As Jov Mauss, I lIinI lIal vilI vegavd lo lIe Iinds oJ giJls coveved I¸
danadIavna, lIal pavl oJ Iis lIesis vIicI anlIvopoIogisls Iave genevaII¸ Jound
nosl pvoIIenalic |lIe spivil oJ lIe giJl) is-vilI lIe quaIiJicalions I Iave
vegisleved-in Jacl lIe nosl acceplaIIe: vIiIe lIal pavl oJ Iis lIesis vIicI
anlIvopoIogisls Iave accepled nosl veadiI¸ |lIe oIIigalions lo veceive and naIe
a veluvn) is acluaII¸ lIe nosl pvoIIenalic. Nov il is, oJ couvse, lvue lIal
danadIavna does nol enIvace lIe vIoIe vange oJ lvansaclions vIicI ve vouId
vale as giJls. As vas indicaled eavIiev in connexion vilI BaIeja's naleviaI, lIeve
ave nan¸ olIev Iinds oJ pveslalion-nosl oJ vIicI ave expIicilI¸ vecipvocaI |cJ.
Favv¸ n. d.). Heve, Iovevev, lIeve is IillIe indicalion lIal lIe giJl conlains lIe
donov-excepl in lIe Ioose sense lIal il na¸ Ie inlevpveled as an oIjeclive
naniJeslalion oJ Iis suIjeclive disposilions |ov pevIaps as naleviaI leslinon¸ lo
lIe sIiIIs vilI vIicI Iis casle is innaleI¸ endoved). WIeve ve Iave lIe 'spivil',
vecipvocil¸ is denied: vIeve lIeve is vecipvocil¸ lIeve is nol nucI evidence oJ
'spivil'. TIe lvo aspecls oJ lIe nodeI do nol Iang logelIev.
TIe 'Indian giJl'
I Iave sIovn, lIen, lIal lIe Hindu Iav oJ lIe giJl does nol dispIa¸ convincing
evidence oJ conlinuil¸ vilI lIe excIange s¸slens
Mauss descviIed Jov
MeIanesia and FoI¸nesia. Bul Iov veII do lIese cases lIenseIves conJovn lo Iis
nodeI? Bellev, I lIinI, lIan is sonelines cIained.
Il vas Mauss vIo oviginaII¸ noled lIe pvoIIen vilI MaIinovsIi's cIassiJi-
calion oJ lIe pvesenls nade vilIin lIe TvoIviand doneslic gvoup
as
'puve
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464 JONATHAN FABBY
giJls'. TIe TvoIviandevs lIenseIves descviIe lIen as napuIa, a levn vIicI
MaIinovsIi lvansIaled as 'pa¸nenl' ov 'equivaIenl', and lIe¸ cIeavI¸ slale lIal
lIe pvesenls vIicI a nan naIes lo Iis viJe and Iev cIiIdven ave a veluvn Jov Iev
sexuaI and doneslic sevvices. I an avave lIal Weinev |I980) Ias denied lIal lIis
is lIe excIange, and Ias queslioned MaIinovsIi's gIoss Jov napuIa. WIal sIe
sIovs nevevlIeIess is lIal sucI lvansJevs ave visuaIised as pavl oJ a Iong-levn
c¸cIe oJ vecipvocaI and uIlinaleI¸ IaIanced excIanges. OiJls oJ descenl-gvoup
pvopevl¸ lo oulsidevs viII evenluaII¸ Ie vecIained, and lIeveI¸ veluvn-as
Mauss said oJ lIe Maovi giJl-lo lIeiv anceslvaI IeavlI.
In viev oJJoIansen's |1954· II8) expevl concIusion lIal 'a cevlain uncevlainl¸'
pvecIudes 'acluaI cevlainl¸' on lIe nallev oJ lIe Maovi Iau, and oJ OalIevcoIe's
vavning |I978) lIal aII ve veaII¸ Iave lo go on is 'lIe delvilus oJ an |anacIvonis-
lic) discouvse Ielveen vavious Viclovian genlIenen', one nigIl lIinI lIal
Banapivi's Janous pavling sIol sIouId Ie laIen seviousI¸-'enougI on lIal
suIjecl'. I lIeveJove connenl on lIe Maovi case vilI aII due lvepidalion.
TIe cvuciaI evidence is conlained in Banapivi's expIanalion oJ a sacviJiciaI
oJJeving oJ Iivds lo lIe Jovesl. TIis is eIucidaled I¸ anaIog¸ vilI a giJl excIange
in vIicI A gives a vaIuaIIe lo B vIo passes il on lo C. WIen C naIes a veluvn lo
B, Ie nusl give il lo A Iecause il is lIe Iau oJ lIe Jivsl giJl, and Ie viII Iecone
sicI ov die iJ Ie velains il |Mauss I966· 8-9: 1973· 158-9: SaIIins 1972· 152). To
Mauss il seened lIal lIe giJl ilseIJ is aninaled vilI lIe spivil oJ ils oviginaI
IoneIand and donov, lo vIon il slvives lo veluvn.
TIis inlevpvelalion vas seveveI¸ cvilicised I¸ FivlI, vIo conJivned lIe Maovi
pveoccupalion vilI vecipvocil¸, Iul avgued lIal lIe veaI sanclions IeIind il ave
lIe lIveal oJ vilcIcvaJl and lIe econonic and sociaI cosls oJ deJauIling on lIe
excIange. TIe Iau is nol a 'puvposive enlil¸': nov can lIe Iau oJ lIings Ie
idenliJied vilI lIal oJ pevsons |1929· 413). TIese cvilicisns Iave Ieen genevaII¸
accepled |e.g. JoIansen 1954·
II7: Fovge 1972· 529: FavIin 1976· 171)15. In
conlesling lIen I pa¸ lviIule lo FivlI's ovn elInogvapI¸, and acInovIedge lIe
cenlvaI inpovlance oJ lIe sanclions Ie oulIined.
In lIe FoI¸nesian conlexl Mauss naIes il cIeav lIal lIe Iinds oJ lIings vIicI
enIod¸ pevsons IeIong lo lIe calegov¸ oJ vaIuaIIes Inovn as laonga, vIicI
conslilule lIe sacva oJ lIe JaniI¸. TIe supvene exanpIe oJ laonga ave lIe
'lveasuve ilens', ov 'IeivIoon vaIuaIIes', oJ lIe IinsIip gvoup-vilI vIose
Iand and Iislov¸ lIe¸ ave idenliJied, and inlo vIose geneaIogies lIe¸ enlev.
JoIansen |1954· 104) vepovls lIal one is veIaled lo lIen as a Iinsnan, and lIal
lIe¸ ave gveeled and Ionouved IiIe cIieJs. SucI vaIuaIIes veve excIanged as
giJls Ielveen gvoups, and veve used lo concIude a peace lveal¸, Jov lIe nana
inIevenl vilIin lIen Ias lIe capacil¸ lo cveale a slvong Iond Ielveen peopIe.
TIese IeivIoons ave cIoseI¸ associaled vilI vigIls lo Iand |FivlI 1929· 348), and
lIe Iand is conceived lo Ie lIe souvce oJ a Maovi's spiviluaI veII-Ieing and
idenlil¸ |Hanson & Hanson I983· 65). Il lIeveJove seens cIeav lIal in
giJling sucI
vaIuaIIes a Maovi vas in an inpovlanl sense giJling an aspecl oJ Iis pevsonIood.
TIis idenliJicalion Ielveen pevsons and lIings is again iIIuslvaled I¸ lIe IeIieJ
lIal lIe possessions oJ a nan oJ vanI-ov indeed an¸lIing Ie caIIed I¸ Iis nane
ov veJevved lo as a pavl oJ Iis Iod¸-veve pevnealed I¸ Iis sacved povev, and
lIeveJove dangevous lo olIevs |FivlI 1929· 336). Oiven aII lIis I cannol see Iov
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JONATHAN FABBY 465
lIeve can Ie an¸ cIeav-cul dislinclion Ielveen lIe Iau oJ pevsons and lIings.
FevIaps lIeiv IIending logelIev veJIecls nol so nucI lIe nelapI¸sicaI pve-
occupalions oJ lIe CoIIege de Fvance, as lIeiv sepavalion veJIecls lIe pvagnalic
valionaIisn oJ lIe LSE. Al Ieasl in lIe case oJ IeivIoon vaIuaIIes lIe idea oJ lIe
lIing ilseIJ slviving lo veluvn lo ils IoneIand seens pevJeclI¸ consislenl vilI
Maovi vepvesenlalions oJ lIese oIjecls.
Bul lIeve is aIso, I lIinI, a nove inpovlanl Iind oJ connexion Ielveen
vecipvocil¸ and lIe Iau. Al lIe IigIesl IeveI oJ aIslvaclion, SaIIins gIosses lIe
Iau as a 'genevaI pvincipIe oJ pvoducliveness', vIicI in speciJic conlexls nigIl
Ie vendeved as '¸ieId', 'veluvn on' ov even 'pvoJil'. TIus lIe Iau oJ a good is ils
'¸ieId', and vIen Banapivi sa¸s lIal B nusl veluvn lIe second vaIuaIIe lo A
Iecause il is lIe Iau oJ lIe Jivsl vaIuaIIe, vIal Ie is veaII¸ enuncialing is lIe
pvecepl lIal 'one nan's giJl sIouId nol Ie anolIev nan's capilaI'. 'We Iave', sa¸s
SaIIins |I972· I62), 'lo deaI vilI a sociel¸ in vIicI Jveedon lo gain al anolIev's
expense is nol envisioned I¸ lIe veIalions and Jovns oJ excIange'. TIe Iau lIus
vepvesenls a Iind oJ pve-enplive ideoIogicaI slviIe againsl navIel pvincipIes. Il
is Ieve lIal I Jind SaIIins's avgunenl veaIesl. Banapivi said nolIing vIalevev
aIoul an equivaIence in excIange. On lIe conlvav¸, a 'pvoJil' is cIeavI¸ inpIied
I¸ lIe vev¸ inslance Ie vas lv¸ing lo expIain. TIe Iunlevs veluvn sone oJ lIe
Iivds lo lIe Jovesl, Iul Ieep lIe vesl.
As SaIIins sees il, lIe gveal advanlage oJ Iis anaI¸sis ovev pvevious ones is lIal
il enaIIes Iin lo expIain vI¸ Banapivi invoIed a lIvee-pavl¸ excIange-lIe
lIivd aclov Ieing IogicaII¸ necessav¸ lo iIIuslvale lIe pvincipIe oJ a ¸ieId ov pvoJil
on lIe oviginaI giJl. SaIIins anaI¸ses accounls oJ lIvee diJJevenl excIanges in
vIicI lIe Iau Jiguves, and cIains lIal aII veveaI a siniIav lviadic slvucluve. Bul
vIal a cIose veading oJ lIese exanpIes acluaII¸ veveaIs is lIal il is onI¸ I¸ sIeigIl
oJ Iand lIal lvo oJ lIen can Ie vepvesenled in lIis va¸. TIe onI¸ one vIicI in
Jacl dispIa¸s lIis slvucluve is lIal conlained in Banapivi's lexl, and lIis is easiI¸
accounled Jov in olIev levns'6. WIal vas Ieing expIained aJlev aII vas a sacviJice
vIicI vequived lIe nedialion oJ pviesls. Il vas, in olIev vovds, a lIvee-pavl¸
lvansaclion Ielveen Iunlevs, pviesls and Jovesl: and lIe econonic anaIog¸
lIeveJove Iad lo Ie lviadic.
WIal is, in n¸ viev, vaIuaIIe in SaIIins's anaI¸sis is Iis slvess on lIe Iau as a
genevaI pvincipIe oJ pvoducliveness: and lIis insigIl can-I lIinI-Ie laIen
JuvlIev. WIal Banapivi is acluaII¸ lv¸ing lo leII us, I vouId avgue, is lIal lIe
souvce oJ veII-Ieing and pvoducliveness is vecipvocaI excIange-and il is lIis
pvincipIe lIal Jecundil¸ and incvease slen Jvon vecipvocil¸ vIicI Ie enpIasises
I¸ inlvoducing lIe Iau inlo Iis discussion al lIe slage oJ lIe veluvn. TIal
excIange ilseIJ is JevliIe and pvonoles incvease nusl Iave appeaved as a seIJ-
evidenl lvulI lo lIe Maovi, since lIe giJl novnaII¸ allvacls an incvenenl, and as il
civcuIales il gvovs |FivlI 1929· 416: Hanson & Hanson I983· i io). B¸ veluvning
A's giJl, B 'nouvisIes lIe Iau' and lIeveI¸ ensuves-conlva SaIIins-a Juluve
'pvoJil' ov '¸ieId'. B¸ JaiIing lo do so, I¸ 'avevling lIe Iau', B vouId deslvo¸ lIe
souvce oJ Iis ovn pvoducliveness and vilaIil¸, and vouId lIeveJove succunI lo
vilcIcvaJl ov olIevvise sicIen and die. Again expevience pvoves lIe lIeov¸, Jov
one vIo deJauIls on Iis excIanges viII cease lo Ie an acceplaIIe pavlnev, and
viII Ie excIuded Jvon lIis appavenlI¸ nagicaI souvce oJ gvovlI and pvoducliv-
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466 JONATHAN FABBY
il¸. TIe giJl oJ a Maovi vaIuaIIe, I concIude, does enIod¸ lIe pevson: and vIal
FivlI disnisses as 'vecondile IeIieJs' aIoul lIe Iau do sanclion a veluvn. B¸
conlvasl vilI lIe 'spivil' oJ lIe Hindu giJl vIicI Ivings deslilulion and dealI lo
one vIo JaiIs lo pass il on aIong a cIain vIicI is concepluaII¸ nevev cIosed,
lIe 'spivil' oJ lIe Maovi giJl enlaiIs IiIe consequences Jov one vIo JaiIs lo veluvn
il lo lIe oviginaI donov.
TIe ideoIog¸ oJ lIe 'puvegiJl'
Il is in an¸ case oIvious lIal IolI TvoIviand and Maovi excIange veveaI a
pveoccupalion vilI vecipvocil¸ as a novn oJ sociaI conducl vIicI conlvasls vilI
ils deniaI in lIe Hindu Iav. In vIal Iinds oJ sociaI s¸slen, lIen, do ve Jind
vaIues oJ lIis Iallev Iind, and vI¸? Since lIe nolion oJ vecipvocil¸ Ias Ieen used
so uncvilicaII¸ lIal il is oJlen uncIeav vIelIev vIal is Ieing descviIed is a nallev
oJ enpivicaI Jacl, indigenous lIeov¸ ov anlIvopoIogicaI assunplion aIoul lIe
naluve oJ Iunan IeIaviouv |MacCovnacI 1976), an ansvev lo lIese queslions
can onI¸ Ie lenlalive.
In sone conlexl vecipvocil¸ is suveI¸ a novnalive expeclalion in evev¸ sociel¸:
and I lIinI il pvoIaIIe lIal lIe vasl najovil¸ aIso naIe sone pIace Jov lIe nolion
oJ a Jvee giJl. A veluvn, avgued SinneI |1950· 392), is aIva¸s elIicaII¸ con-
slvained: Iul lIe vev¸ Jivsl giJl vIicI iniliales a veIalionsIip Ias |ov Iellev, is
oJlen seen as Iaving17) a voIunlav¸ and sponlaneous cIavaclev vIicI no
suIsequenl giJl can possess, and Jov lIis veason il can nevev Ie enliveI¸
vecipvocaled. ScIvinnev |1973) descviIes a MeIanesian sociel¸ in vIicI evev¸
sociaI veIalionsIip is ideoIogicaII¸ pvenissed on excIange. Yel Iov couId
excIange evev Iegin in lIe Jivsl pIace? OnI¸, lIe OvoIaiva n¸lIs leII us, I¸ an
oviginaI Jvee giJl oJ lIe pvinaI anceslovs18. EnpivicaII¸, lIen, il is nol a queslion
oJ eilIev an ideoIog¸ oJ vecipvocil¸ ov oJ ils vepudialion, Iul valIev oJ a
signiJicanl diJJevence in lIe exlenl lo vIicI lIese possiIiIilies ave eIaIovaled.
TIe pveniun pIaced on vecipvocil¸ in MeIanesian socielies is so slviIing lIal
Levi-Slvauss |1973· 33), connenling on lIe convevgence Ielveen Mauss and
MaIinovsIi, vas Ied lo vondev vIelIev il vas nol lIe MeIanesians lIenseIves
vIo veve lIe lvue aulIovs oJ lIe lIeov¸. Il vas lIe socielies oJ MeIanesia and
FoI¸nesia vIicI Jivsl allvacled expIanalion in lIese levns, and lIe pvincipIe does
nol Iave lIe sane pvoninence in lIe AJvicanisl Iilevaluve |MacCovnacI 1976).
Fov 'lvadilionaI' AJvican socielies, Iovevev, I can Jind IillIe evidence oJ an¸
eIaIovaled ideoIog¸ oJ lIe 'puve giJl'. Il is suveI¸ valIev lIe ancienl Iilevale
civiIisalions oJ Euvope and Asia vIicI Iave slvessed lIis nolion.
Mauss-as I Iave sIovn-pvovides sone pveIininav¸ Iinls as lo vI¸ lIis
nigIl Ie. TIose vIo naIe Jvee and unconslvained conlvacls in lIe navIel aIso
naIe Jvee and unconslvained giJls oulside il. Bul lIese giJls ave deJined as vIal
navIel veIalions ave nol-aIlvuislic, novaI and Ioaded vilI enolion. As lIe
econon¸ Iecones pvogvessiveI¸ disenIedded Jvon sociel¸, as econonic veIa-
lions Iecone incveasingI¸ diJJevenlialed Jvon olIev l¸pes oJ sociaI veIalionsIip,
lIe lvansaclions appvopviale lo eacI Iecone evev nove poIavised in levns oJ
lIeiv s¸nIoIisn and ideoIog¸. We nigIl lIeveJove avgue lIal an ideoIog¸ oJ lIe
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JONATHAN
FABBY 467
'puve giJl' is nosl IiIeI¸ lo avise in IigII¸ diJJevenlialed socielies vilI an
advanced division oJ IaIouv-sucI an ideoIog¸ Ieing a IogicaI end-pvoducl oJ
lIe Iind oJ sequence Levi-Slvauss |I969) lvaces Jvon veslvicled lo genevaIised lo
conpIex s¸slens oJ vecipvocil¸, vIeve eacI slep inpIies a gvealev indiveclness oJ
veluvns and an expansion oJ lIe sociaI univevse. Again, in an econon¸ vilI a
sizeaIIe navIel seclov giJl-excIange does nol Iave lIe naleviaI signiJicance il
Ias Jov lIe nan¸ lviIaI socielies in vIicI il pvovides lIe onI¸ access lo cvuciaI
scavce vesouvces. OiJls can lIeveJove Ie given vilI lIe soIe oIjeclive oJ
cenenling sociaI veIalions and vilIoul an¸ insislence on an equivaIenl veluvn
|cJ. ScIvinnev 1973· 49). Moveovev iJ-as Mauss avgues-giJls ave lIe
pvinilive anaIogue oJ lIe sociaI conlvacl, lIen lIe¸ cIeavI¸ cavv¸ a sociaI Ioad
vIicI in cenlvaIised poIilics is assuned I¸ lIe slale. In olIev vovds, giJls can
assune a nucI nove voIunlavislic cIavaclev as lIeiv poIilicaI Junclions ave
pvogvessiveI¸ laIen ovev I¸ slale inslilulions.
I an suggesling, lIen, lIal an eIaIovaled ideoIog¸ oJ lIe 'puve' giJl is nosl
IiIeI¸ lo deveIop in slale socielies vilI an advanced division oJ IaIouv and a
signiJicanl connevciaI seclov. Bul vIal is aIso in n¸ viev essenliaI lo ils
avlicuIalion is a speciJic l¸pe oJ IeIieJ s¸slen, as is suggesled I¸ lIe Jacl lIal in aII
oJ lIe najov vovId veIigions gveal slvess is Iaid on lIe nevil oJ giJls and aIns,
ideaII¸ given in secvec¸ and vilIoul expeclalion oJ an¸ vovIdI¸ veluvn.
TIeve ave, as OIe¸eseIeve |I968: I980) Ias avgued, cevlain JundanenlaI
diJJevences Ielveen lIese IislovicaI vovId veIigions and lIe veIigions cIavaclev-
islic oJ snaII-scaIe lviIaI sociel¸. TIougI lIe idea oJ saIvalion-deJined as 'a
slale ov condilion Jvon vIicI suJJeving Ias Ieen eIininaled'-is Jound in IolI
conlexls, lIe najovil¸ oJ lviIaI veIigions ave nol saIvalion veIigions: and in lIose
vIicI ave, 'conpensalion Jov suJJeving is neled oul in lIe olIev vovId
ivvespeclive oJ lIe aclov's IeIaviouv in lIis vovId. ElIicaI considevalions do nol
inJIuence lIe lopogvapI¸ oJ lIe olIev vovId. . . . TIe Iingdon oJ Ieaven is Jov
sainl and sinnev aIiIe' |I968· 12, 14). In sucI socielies sociaI IeIaviouv lends lo
Ie sanclioned IavgeI¸ I¸ secuIav valIev lIan veIigious novaIil¸: 'lIeve is no
s¸slenalic allenpl lo incovpovale lIe secuIav novaI code inlo a veIigious one'
and Ience no lIovougIgoing 'elIicizalion' |I980· 154). WIeve veIigious novns
ave vioIaled, supevnaluvaI sanclions lend lo Ie innediale valIev lIan saved up
Jov lIe aJlev-IiJe'9. In lIe vovId veIigions, I¸ conlvasl, sociaI IeIaviouv is s¸s-
lenalicaII¸ elIicised. TIis 'inpIies lIe veIigious evaIualion oJ novaI aclion,
aclions lIal ave novaII¸ good ov Iad ave . . . aIso veIigiousI¸ good ov Iad' |I980·
147). TIe consequence is an eIaIovalion oJ lIe concepls oJ sin |in lIe sense oJ 'a
vioIalion oJ lIe veIigious elIics oJ novaIil¸'
[I968·
14]) and veIigious nevil.
TIese delevnine lIe individuaI's uIlinale deslin¸ on lIe pvincipIe oJ conlin-
genc¸ oJ supevnaluvaI vevavd, and enlaiI lIe IiJuvcalion oJ lIe olIev vovId-
IeII Jov sinnevs and Ieaven Jov sainls. In lIe SoulI Asian conlexl, OIe¸eseIeve's
conlvasl is cIeavI¸ iIIuslvaled I¸ lIe conpavisons vIicI Fuvev-HainendovJ
|I967: 1974) and BaiIe¸ |I98I) Iave dvavn Ielveen lviIaI veIigions and lIe
Indian vovId veIigions.
An elIicised saIvalion veIigion, in vIicI vevavds ave conlingenl on conducl,
is cIeavI¸ IiIeI¸ lo Iave lIe eJJecl oJ ovienling lIe ideaI goaIs oJ sociaI aclion
lovavds a Juluve exislence. TIose vIose Iovizons ave Iiniled I¸ lIe vevavds oJ
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468 JONATHAN FABBY
lIis vovId viII nol galIev lIe 'unseen Jvuils' oJ lIe nexl: and lIe elIic oJ
inlenlion vequives lIal lIe expeclalion oJ a veluvn in lIe Ieve and nov sIouId Ie
denied. Moveovev, lIe nolion oJ saIvalion ilseIJ devaIues lIis pvoJane vovId oJ
suJJeving. TIe unvecipvocaled giJl Iecones a IiIevalion Jvon Iondage lo il, a
deniaI oJ lIe pvoJane seIJ, an alonenenl Jov sin, and Ience a neans lo saIvalion.
TIe nove vadicaI lIe opposilion Ielveen lIis vovId and a vovId Jvee Jvon
suJJeving lo cone, lIe nove inevilaIIe is lIe deveIopnenl oJ a conlenplus nundi
vIicI cuIninales in lIe inslilulion oJ venuncialion, Iul oJ vIicI lIe cIavilaIIe
giJl -as a Iind oJ Ia¸ exevcise in ascelicisn-is aIso oJlen an expvession. In
aIandoning ils niIIenavian expeclalions in Javouv oJ an escIaloIog¸ oJ Ieaven
and IeII, lIe eavI¸ CIvislian CIuvcI videned lIe cIasn Ielveen lIis vovId and
lIe Kingdon oJ Ood, and lIeveI¸ enovnousI¸ Ioosled IolI lIe spivil oJ
ascelicisn and a pveoccupalion vilI cIavilaIIe 'good vovIs' |TvoeIlscI 193 I·
113).
Il is oJ couvse lIe case lIal lIe connon Jale oJ sucI 'Jvee' giJls is lo Iecone a
puvcIase pvice oJ saIvalion, vesuIling in lIe Iind oJ acluaviaI caIcuIalion vep-
vesenled I¸ lIe Mevil BooIs oJ lIe pious BuddIisl |e.g. Spivo 1970), ov lIe
avilInelicaI veIalionsIip Ielveen aIns-oJJevings and lIe eIininalion oJ sin
eslaIIisIed I¸ C¸pvian |WeslevnavI I906·
555).
Bul lIis sane ideoIog¸ na¸
veacl againsl sucI vecIoning in lIe nane oJ an ideaI oJ puveI¸ disinlevesled
aclion.
I do nol, oJ couvse, den¸ lIe inpovlanl diJJevences Ielveen lIe WovId
BeIigions. I Iave spoIen oJ an olIev-vovIdI¸ ovienlalion, Iul in lIe case oJ
cevlain Fvoleslanl secls |and oJ sone Ivands oJ IsIan) il nigIl Iave Ieen nove
accuvale lo speaI oJ an enpIasis on cvealing an inage oJ lIal olIev vovId in lIis
one. TIe eJJecl is nonelIeIess lo divecl aclion lovavds a lvanscendenlaI ideaI, and
lo devaIue lIe vovId vIicI acluaII¸ exisls aIong vilI lIe veluvns vIicI can Ie
expecled vilIin il. TIougI lIe slvess vIicI Hinduisn and BuddIisn pIace on
lIe nolion lIal lIe spiviluaI vovlI oJ lIe giJl is conlingenl on lIal oJ ils vecipienl
Ias nan¸ pavaIIeIs in nedievaI CIvislianil¸ |Lavvence I984), again lIeve is
cevlainI¸ a diJJevence in enpIasis. To a Jav gvealev exlenl lIan in lIe Indian
veIigions, CIvislianil¸-vilI ils nolion lIal aII nen ave JasIioned equaII¸ in lIe
inage oJ Ood-Ias deveIoped a univevsaIislic conceplion oJ puveI¸ disinlevesled
giving.
Bul il vas aIso, oJ couvse, lIe CIvislian vovId vIicI deveIoped lIe lIeov¸ oJ
puve uliIil¸, and lIal-as Mauss indicaled-is pevIaps no accidenl. Since lIe
lIings oJ lIis vovId ave seen as anlilIelicaI lo lIe pevson's lvue seIJ, Iis souI, an
elIicised saIvalion veIigion is I lIinI IiIeI¸ lo encouvage lIal sepavalion oJ
pevsons Jvon lIings vIicI is an ideoIogicaI pvecondilion oJ navIel excIange,
and vIicI signiJicanlI¸ vas Jivsl eJJecled in lIe Wesl I¸ lIe Iavs oJ a CIvislian
Enpevov. Il is suveI¸ signiJicanl lIal lIe pagan pvaclice vIicI lIe eavI¸
nissionav¸ nonIs vIo CIvislianised lIe Oevnanic peopIes veve nosl con-
cevned lo exlivpale vas lIe Iuv¸ing oJ lveasuve vilI lIe dead |LillIe 1978· 5).
'TIe CIvislian souI', as Kievnan |1978· 374) noles, 'vas puviJied in Ieaven Jvon
aII lainl oJ ovnevsIip', and nol even lIe Toviesl lIeoIogian Ias lIougIl lo asI
'vIelIev eacI nev avvivaI viII Ie assigned Iis ovn pevsonaI Iavp'.
Move inpovlanlI¸ a univevsaIislic elIic oJ disinlevesled giving can suveI¸ onI¸
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JONATHAN FABBY 469
encouvage lIe cvealion oJ a sepavale spIeve vIicI is innune Jvon lIe vequive-
nenls oJ sucI a denanding pvecepl. TIe ideoIog¸ oJ lIe puve giJl na¸ lIus ilseIJ
pvonole and enlvencI lIe ideoIogicaI eIaIovalion oJ a donain in vIicI seIJ-
inlevesl vuIes supvene. Il is nol I lIinI coincidenlaI lIal lIe ideoIog¸ oJ lIe 'puve
giJl' is accovded sucI pvoninence anong gvoups-sucI as lIe Jevs and
Jains-vIicI Iave a pavlicuIavI¸ cIose IislovicaI associalion vilI navIel lvade,
Jov lIe lvo spIeves deJine eacI olIev-sonelines Iess, Iul vilI us loda¸ as
sIavpI¸ as evev. WilI veneved ideoIogicaI slvess on lIe aulonon¸ oJ lIe navIel
go veneved pIeas Jov pIiIanlIvop¸ lo assune lIe vesponsiIiIilies il denies. Il vas
possiII¸ lIvougI sucI specuIalions lIal Mauss avvived al Iis nov pevIaps nol so
quainl-sounding novaI concIusion-lIal lIe conIinalion oJ inlevesl and dis-
inlevesl in excIange is pveJevaIIe lo lIeiv sepavalion.
Even IeJove lIe puIIicalion oJ Cvine and cuslon, Mauss Iad sIovn lIal IolI
posilions in lIal Iong-vunning avgunenl spavIed oJJ I¸ MaIinovsIi's IooI,
adjouvned on lIe IeacI al TiIopia and endIessI¸ vesuned in lIe anlIvopoIogicaI
Iilevaluve, ave enliveI¸ given I¸ lIis ideoIogicaI sepavalion and IeIong lo a
discouvse pecuIiav lo a cevlain Iind oJ sociel¸.
NOTES
TIis avlicIe vepvesenls a sIigIlI¸ vevised vevsion oJ lIe oviginaI Iecluve, duving lIe pvepavalion oJ
vIicI Mauvice BIocI, CIvis FuIIev, Liz Nissan andJocI Slivval gave ne sone sound advice, nan¸
useJuI suggeslions and nucI novaI suppovl. I an aIso pavlicuIavI¸ indeIled lo Ton Tvaulnann Jov
Iis expevl connenls on lIe lexl oJ lIe Iecluve, pevnission lo cile Iis unpuIIisIed avlicIe, lIe
slinuIus oJ Iis vovI and lIe genevosil¸ oJ Iis encouvagenenl. BesponsiIiIil¸ Jov lIe deJiciencies oJ
lIe end-pvoducl venains, oJ couvse, enliveI¸ n¸ ovn.
1 TIis deJinilion is given IolI I¸ lIe SOEB and, in I764, I¸ HulcIinson in TIe Iislov¸ oJ lIe
coIon¸ oJMassacIusels-Ba¸ |ciled in H¸de I979· 3). One ov lvo nalive inJovnanls Iave loId ne lIal in
lIeiv undevslanding lIe expvession veJevs lo a giJl vIicI is vecIained aJlev il Ias Ieen nade: Iul Ieve I
JoIIov lIe diclionav¸ usage.
2 TIe deJiciencies oJ lIe lvansIalion Iave Ieen connenled on I¸ LeacI I955: ScIvinnev I973·
IO: van BaaI I975· io: Tvaulnann I98I· 279 and n.d., and FuIIev |in a Iellev lo Man vIicI
suIslanlialed lIe cIavge oJ inaccuvac¸ in sone delaiI, Iul vIicI vas nol puIIisIed).
'
Mauss |I973· I47) vvole oJ
'Ie cavacl&ve voIonlaive, pouv ainsi dive, appavennenl IiIve el gvaluil, el cependanl conslvainl el
inlevess6 de ces pveslalions. EIIes onl vevelu pvesque loujouvs Ia Jovne du pv6senl, du cadeau oJJevl
g6neveusenenl nene quand, dans ce gesle qui acconpagne Ia lvansaclion, iI n'¸ a que Jiclion,
JovnaIisne el nensonge sociaI, el quand iI ¸ a, au Jond, oIIigalion el inlev&l 6cononique'.
Cunnison I¸ conpavison, speaIs oJ
'pveslalions vIicI ave in lIeov¸ voIunlav¸, disinlevesled and sponlaneous, Iul ave in Jacl
oIIigalov¸ and inlevesled. TIe Jovn usuaII¸ laIen is lIal oJ lIe giJl genevousI¸ oJJeved: Iul lIe
acconpan¸ing IeIaviouv is JovnaI pvelence and sociaI deceplion, vIiIe lIe lvansaclion ilseIJ is
Iased on oIIigalion and econonic seIJ-inlevesl' |Mauss I96I).
TIe Jivsl senlence quoled aIove vas one oJ FuIIev's exanpIes oJ lIe pvoIIens vilI lIe lvansIalion.
4
Teslinon¸ lo lIe inpovlance vIicI Mauss allacIed lo lIis insepavaIiIil¸ oJ pevsons and lIings
in pvinilive and avcIaic socielies is again Jound in Iis nucI Ialev essa¸ on lIe pevson |Mauss I979).
Bul in viev oJ lIe enovnous signiJicance Jov ouv nodevn concepls oJ pvopevl¸ and excIange vIicI
TIe giJl allviIules lo lIeiv evenluaI sepavalion, il is pevIaps suvpvising lIal in lIe suIsequenl essa¸ Ie
did nol vevevse lIe pevspeclive lo expIove lIe consequences oJ lIis IislovicaI IveaI Jov lIe concepl oJ
lIe pevson.
5 In lIe conlexl oJ sacviJice Mauss |I973· I67) oIsevves lIal one oJ lIe Jivsl gvoups oJ Ieings vilI
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470 JONATHAN FABBY
vIon nen Iad lo conlvacl veve lIe gods and lIe spivils oJ lIe dead. TIis nigIl pevIaps Ie laIen lo
suggesl lIal jusl as BuvIIein and Mauss |1973) Iad discoveved lIe ovigins oJ lIe lIeovelicaI
cIassiJicalions oJ nodevn science in veIigion, so lIe giJl essa¸ lenlaliveI¸ Iocaled lIe ovigins oJ
nodevn secuIav Jovns oJ conlvacl and excIange in sacviJice.
6 Il is, Ie sa¸s, 'cousin lo Mavx's ¨sinpIe civcuIalion oJ connodilies¨, lIus lo lIe ceIeIvaled
JovnuIa C-I M-* C' . . . pvinilive peopIes venain conslanl in lIeiv puvsuil oJ use vaIues, veIaled
aIva¸s lo excIange vilI an inlevesl in consunplion, so lo pvoduclion vilI an inlevesl in pvo-
visioning' |SaIIins I972· 83).
7
'AInosl evev¸ JaniI¸ Iiving soIeI¸ I¸ ils ovn neans soonev ov Ialev discovevs il Ias nol lIe
neans lo Iive'. UnIess, lIeveJove, 'lIe doneslic econon¸ is Jovced Ie¸ond ilseIJ lIe enlive sociel¸
does nol suvvive' |SaIIins 1972· IOI, 86).
8 Il is lvue lIal lIe adjeclive 'puve' is Cunnison's inlevpoIalion, Iul il seens jusliJied in lIal il
dvavs allenlion lo lIe slvong dislinclion Mauss enpIasises Ielveen 'I'oIIigalion el Ia pveslalion non
gvaluile, d'une pavl, el Ie don, de I'aulve'.
'
Move speciJicaII¸, I Iave in nind Ieve lIeiv connon inlevesl in lIe evoIulion oJ lIe conlvacl:
and lIe ideas lIal ancienl Iav Inev 'nexl lo nolIing oJ individuaIs' |Maine I960· 152), lIal lIe
conJIalion oJ pevsons and lIings is cIavaclevislic oJ socielies Iased on slalus, and lIal lIeiv IegaI
sepavalion consliluled a najov IislovicaI valevsIed |I960· 164).
10
Mauss |1973· 249-50: I966· 125-6) acInovIedged lIis IasliI¸ in a Joolnole, onI¸ lo disniss il
as an 'aIsuvd lIeoIogicaI inlevpvelalion'. Since vIal-as ve sIaII see-lIe nolion acluaII¸ expIains is
vI¸ lIe giJl sIouId nol Ie accepled in lIe Jivsl pIace, and cannol in lIe second pIace Ie vecipvocaled,
Mauss cIeavI¸ Iad diJJicuIl¸ in coning lo levns vilI il.
11
FuIIev |I984· 67 sq., 196) veJevs lo an avva¸ oJ souvces vIicI cIeavI¸ docunenl lIe exlveneI¸
vide dislviIulion oJ sucI nolions, lIougI pavadoxicaII¸ Iis ovn discussion is pvenissed on lIeiv
IacI oJ Fan-Indian signiJicance. On lIe pvevaIence oJ lIese ideas in lIe SoulI Indian Iilevav¸
lvadilion, see SIuInan I985.
12 Al lIe nosl oIvious IeveI, IolI vequive a consecvalion: IolI lvansJovn lIe veIigious slale oJ lIe
donov/sacviJiev, and IolI conslilule a neans oJ connunicalion vilI lIe divine via an inlevnediav¸.
Oiven lIese pavaIIeIs il is indeed cuvious lIal, as FuIIev |I984· I96) noles, Mauss 'JaiIed lo lie
expIicilI¸ Iis anaI¸sis oJ giJls lo Iis eavIiev vovI on sacviJice'. In a pavagvapI vIicI slviIingI¸
pvesages TIegiJl, HuIevl and Mauss |I964· IOO) descviIed sacviJice in levns oJ 'disinlevesledness . . .
ningIed vilI seIJ-inlevesl. TIal is vI¸ il Ias JvequenlI¸ Ieen conceived as a Jovn oJ conlvacl'.
SacviJice, lIe¸ conlinue, pvesupposes an inlevnediav¸ vIicI |IiIe lIe giJl) sinuIlaneousI¸ uniles and
sepavales lvo opposed pavlies vIo 'dvav cIose lo eacI olIev vilIoul giving lIenseIves enliveI¸'.
TIe¸ vind up, vIal is nove, I¸ endovsing T¸Iov's |I904) accounl oJ an evoIulion Jvon lIe sacviJice
nade in lIe expeclalion oJ a veluvn, lo an ideoIog¸ in vIicI il Iecones an acl oJ seIJ-aInegalion-on
n¸ veading pveciseI¸ lIe deveIopnenl vIicI Mauss lvaced Jov lIe giJl |ov lo Ie nove pvecise, Jov one
aspecl oJ lIe avcIaic pveslalion).
13 Il is lvue lIal sucI s¸slens ave pvone lo lIe Iind oJ inslaIiIil¸ vIicI L6vi-Slvauss pvedicled: Iul
il is aIso lIe case lIal lIe¸ Iave a lendenc¸ lo ve-eslaIIisI lIenseIves-aIong vilI lIe pallevn oJ
nalvinoniaI non-vecipvocil¸ lIe¸ inslilule |Favv¸ 1979· 247 sq.).
14 In lIe avea oJ poIilicaI vaIues lIe sane ideoIogicaI deniaI oJ vecipvocil¸ Ias Ieen docunenled in
Ma¸ev's |i98i) Jine discussion oJ lIe concepl oJ seva: and il is sucI ideas vIicI undevIie lIe BIudan
|ov 'Iand giJl') novenenl oJ VinoIa BIave-vIose oIjeclive vas quile as nucI lo pvovide lIe
Ianded vilI a voule lo saIvalion lIvougI disinlevesled giving as il vas lo pvovide Iand Jov lIe IandIess
|Oonnen I972· 35J: Oonda I965· 228).
15
Tvo vecenl dissenling voices ave MacCovnacI |I982) and Weinev |I985). UnJovlunaleI¸ lIe
Iallev Iad nol Ieen puIIisIed al lIe line oJ vviling, Jov il conlains nucI lo suppovl lIe viev lIal
Banapivi vas laIIing aIoul laonga-vaIuaIIes: lIal lIese vaIuaIIes do indeed enIod¸ lIe pevson and
lIal Mauss vas essenliaII¸ covvecl in suggesling lIal lIe giJl is nol inevl. In cevlain olIev vespecls,
Iovevev, Weinev's inlevesling inlevpvelalion diJJevs Jvon n¸ ovn.
16 TIe olIev lvo exanpIes veve lIose oJ lIe cape vIicI Besl Iad ovdeved Jvon a veavev |SaIIins
1972· i6i): and lIe 'pa¸nenl' nade lo Iis leacIev I¸ lIe 'sovcevev's appvenlice' |I972· 103-5). In lIe
Jivsl case lIe veavev veJused lo deaI vilI lIe lvoopev vIo lvied lo Iu¸ lIe cape, and lIeveI¸ pvesevved
lIe pvopev d¸adic lvansaclion: vIiIe lIe second case can onI¸ Ie nade lviadic I¸ lvealing lIe viclin as
a pavl¸ lo lIe excIange |valIev lIan as lIe 'lIing' excIanged).
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JONATHAN FABBY 47I
17
TIe quaIiJicalion is necessav¸, Jov il is suveI¸ aIso lIe case lIal veIalionsIips ave sonelines
lIougIl lo Ie inilialed oul oJ seIJ-inlevesl.
18
Il nigIl, I vecognise, Ie possiIIe lo avgue lIal ve sIouId inlevpvel lIese n¸lIs nol so nucI as a
slalenenl aIoul lIe inpossiIiIil¸ oJ inilialing excIange vilIoul pvining lIe punp vilI a Jvee giJl,
Iul nove as a slalenenl lIal lIe onI¸ Ieings capaIIe oJ naIing sucI a giJl veve lIe oviginaI anceslovs.
EilIev va¸, n¸ cenlvaI poinl vouId sland· even in lIis case ve Jind sone ideoIogicaI space |Iovevev
nininaI) Jov lIe nolion oJ a Jvee and unconslvained giJl.
19 We ave deaIing, oJ couvse, vilI an ideaI l¸pe, and OIe¸eseIeve |i980· 153) naIes il cIeav lIal
enpivicaII¸ lIeve is no veIigion enliveI¸ devoid oJ elIicaI inpIicalions.
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