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Chapter Seven - Culture Heroes, Inalienable Goods, and Religious Sodalities

Long-Distance Exchange in Eastern North America at European Contact

from Part II - The Role That Specific Institutions And Agents Played in Long-Distance Exchange

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 August 2022

Johan Ling
Affiliation:
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Richard Chacon
Affiliation:
Winhrop University, South Carolina
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Summary

Linking political economy and ritual economy perspectives focuses our attention to the articulation of aristocratic behavior and social hierarchies in chiefly and transegalitarian societies. The emergence, legitimation, and maintenance of aristocracy, heterarchy, and hierarchy is often linked to the widespread circulation, deployment, production, and use of alienable and inalienable goods (Brumfiel and Earle 1987; Earle 1997, 2002; Hayden 1998, 2001, 2011; Mills 2004; Agbe-Davies and Bauer 2010), but while such items may be restricted, they may also be appropriated by rivals and non-elite aggrandizers are threatened. Social institutions based on an emergent political and ritual economy typically involve complex interactions of labor intensification, ritual structures, surplus mobilization, and control over the distribution of highly valued and often exotic goods. Inalienable goods become increasingly restricted as elite aggrandizers institutionalize their authority and exert limitations over exchange nodes and spheres of influence (Earle 2002: 39).

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Trade before Civilization
Long Distance Exchange and the Rise of Social Complexity
, pp. 142 - 172
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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