chapter
kula
Pages 3

The kula system is an exchange system in †Melanesia. In kula people rank themselves by exchanging two sets of shell valuables, counterclockwise circulating mwal and clockwise circulating bagi, through a circle of island cultures in Southeastern Papua New Guinea. The institution has been central to twentieth-century anthropological theories about *society, ‘primitive’ and ‘modern,’ ‘non-Western’ and ‘Western,’ ‘reciprocity-based’ versus ‘market-based’ and †‘gift’ versus †‘commodity’.