Everything and Its Opposite: Kava Drinking in Fiji

  title={Everything and Its Opposite: Kava Drinking in Fiji},
  author={Matthew Tomlinson},
  journal={Anthropological Quarterly},
  pages={1065 - 1081}
Kava is a supersaturating sign in indigenous Fijian public life. Called yaqona in Fijian, kava is both a shrub (Piper methysticum) and the drink made from it. The plant is not especially impressive to look at: it has none of the slender grace of a tall coconut palm, none of the rude heft of yams or taro. It is a medium-sized shrub with knobby stems and stringy, dusty brown roots. What makes it impressive is the semiotic range of its social embeddings. Put simply, kava means radically different… Expand
Janus and the Siren's Call : kava and the articulation of gender and modernity in Vanuatu.
In the South Pacific Islands of Vanuatu, it is often said that ‘Women can't drink kava because kava is a woman, and a woman can't take back a woman’. Such proscriptive reasoning relates to deeplyExpand
A matéria da imaginação: o que podemos aprender com as ideias das crianças fijianas sobre suas vidas como adultos
By means of an analysis of Fijian children's essays about the future, this paper explores ideas of sociality, personhood and the self that are the very stuff of intersubjectivity and thus of theExpand
Contradictory moralities: alcohol consumption in Inner Mongolia
Alcohol consumption is a central aspect of social life among Mongols in Mongolia and Buryatia as well as in Inner Mongolia. Despite its prominence, however, it has not yet been addressed as aExpand
The evolution of stratification in Fijian ritual participation
Social scientists have long sought to explain the complex relationships between religion and social inequality. Building from a recent theoretical model, I predict that social hierarchies influenceExpand
Kava Hangover and Gold-standard Science
Kava, a beverage drunk in much of the South Pacific, is both celebrated and controversial. It is often considered an emblem of traditional indigenous practice but also criticized for its physicalExpand
The milieu of reporting of Nacamaki and Nabuna villages of Koro Island
Purpose – This paper seeks to examine the milieu of reporting in two villages operating on Koro Island, Republic of Fiji Islands. It aims to analyse how both western‐narrow and traditional reportingExpand
Exploring Sport and Intergroup Relations in Fiji: Guidance for Researchers Undertaking Short-Term Ethnography
There is a key tension associated with ethnographic explorations into the lives of people in the Global South – ‘outsider’ researchers from the Global North who lack experience of the environmentsExpand
How Does Male Ritual Behavior Vary Across the Lifespan?
It is demonstrated that when controlling for household composition, men with young offspring participated less frequently and exhibited greater variance in their time spent at ceremonies than men without young children, and found that the number of dependents a man has in his household is positively correlated with total food production, and the amount of kava he cultivates. Expand
– June 2019 Review of kava use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Introduction This review provides a comprehensive synthesis of key information on the use of kava among Aboriginal people in Australia. The review begins by summarising how kava is usedExpand
The Influence of the Traditional Reporting Model on Fijian Budgetary Addresses
While Western and hybridization reporting models appear to be an acceptable form of modern rationality for developing countries of the Melanesian region, it is really the indigenous Traditional Reporting model that has served the higher purpose of the prevailing Fijian military regime. Expand


The water of life: kava ritual and the logic of sacrifice
From the earliest period of European contact, foreign observers have been struck by the importance some peoples of the Pacific attribute to kava, a beverage infused from the root of a pepper plant,Expand
The Anthropology of Christianity
This collection provides vivid ethnographic explorations of particular, local Christianities as they are experienced by different groups around the world. At the same time, the contributors, allExpand
The Social Life of Things
The meaning that people attribute to things necessarily derives from human transactions and motivations, particularly from how those things are used and circulated. The contributors to this volumeExpand
In Oceania: Visions, Artifacts, Histories
In this collection of essays, Nicholas Thomas, a leading theorist of historical anthropology, explores the historicization of cultural encounters in the region referred to as Oceania. Basing hisExpand
The social life of things: The cultural biography of things: commoditization as process
For the economist, commodities simply are. That is, certain things and rights to things are produced, exist, and can be seen to circulate through the economic system as they are being exchanged forExpand
The social life of things: Introduction: commodities and the politics of value
This essay has two aims. The first is to preview and set the context for the essays that follow it in this volume. The second is to propose a new perspective on the circulation of commodities inExpand
On Key Symbols
IT IS by no means a novel idea that each culture has certain key elements which, in an ill-defined way, are crucial to its distinctive organization. Since the publication of Benedict’s Patterns ofExpand
Perpetual lament: kava-drinking, Christianity and sensations of historical decline in Fiji
Le declin historique est un theme recurrent dans toutes les cultures. Dans certains contextes, il peut transcender la nostalgie pour devenir un moteur d'action politique. L'auteur etudie les manieresExpand
Islands of History
On Key Symbols1
This paper reviews the use of the notion of “key symbol” in anthropological analysis. It analyzes phenomena which have been or might be accorded the status of key symbol in cultural analyses,Expand