Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of by Janet Hoskins

By Janet Hoskins

During this leading edge learn, six men and women from japanese Indonesia narrate their very own lives through speaking approximately their possessions; household items used to build a coherent id via a means of identity and "self-historicizing." Janet Hoskins explores how issues are given biographical value, entangled in sexual politics, and expressed in dualistic metaphors the place the standard differences among individual and item and feminine and male are drawn in strange methods.

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Extra resources for Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of Peoples' Lives

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As the day approached, I began to hear a nwnber of intriguing stories about him. Christian schoolteachers complained to me that he had backed away from his commitment to the church and returned to the worship of the ancestral spirits. " These interests finally led him to drop out of government service and to sponsor an expensive and elaborate series of pagan rituals. Accusations were made that his wandering from the church had brought catastrophe and death on his own family, that it angered not only the Christian God but also the marapu, and that his life was now cursed on both sides.

Fifty people were burned as the blaze spread to the crowd. Amid all the screaming and confusion, rwo people were caught inside and perished: Maru Daku's younger brother, the only member of the family who had continued his education in Christian secondary schools, and Mali Ambu, a lineage brother of the only native Kodi minister. In one night the lineage houses of the rwo earliest converts in Balaghar were destroyed, and rwo of their number were killed. Had the marapu spirits refused to sanction the rebuilding of the lineage house?

I placed a small amount of money (Rp. 10,000, about five dollars) on the plate, and it was passed back to him. The payment signaled that the interview would be a formal one, and I turned on my tape recorder. He began to recite a catalog of objects, names, and ancestors associated with particular places in Balaghar, pointing out where they were and making sure that I recorded them correctly. He also told a few of the animal fables in Indonesian that Needham had published (1957,1960), and gave an account of the origins of certain customs, which seemed dry and predigested.

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