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Gift Giving - Elena's Journal
Gift Giving
Just some school reading.

From Wilk:
"For Mauss, the answer was that the giving and reciprocating of gifts creates a link between the people involved. His book made some groups of people famous for their "gift economies"... the New Zealand Maori for having a complex philosophy of how the essence of a person is carried in their gifts..."

From Mauss:
"What imposes obligation in the present received and exchanged, is the fact that the thing received is not inactive. Even when it is abandoned by the giver, it still possesses something of him. Through it the giver has a hold over the beneficiary just as, being the owner, through it he has a hold over the thief...

It is clear that in Maori law, the legal tie, a tie occurring through through things, is one between souls, because thinking itself possesses a soul, is of the soul. Hence it follows that to make a gift of something to someone is to make a present of some part of oneself."

Wilk again:
"Thus, upon giving the object away, part of the owner's hau (energy/soul) goes with it. This is why recieving the gift always carries an obligation to reciprocate, because the hau 'wants' to return to its original owner, though it may now be attatched to another's object."

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