Metamorphosis of the Cassowaries: Umeda Society, Language and Ritual: Monographs on Social Anthropology no. 51 from the London School of Economics by Alfred Gell
In this work, author Alfred Gell offers the most detailed interpretation of the symbolic system of a New Guinea people yet attempted. An analysis of the social structure and languages of the Umeda-Punda connubium in the West Sepik district of Northern New Guinea brings to light a 'three-fold analogy' containing the key elements of Umeda symbolism. This is then applied in a full account of the Umeda fertility ritual, as embodied in the metamorphosis of the Casowary, emblem of the wild, into a 'New Man', the epitome of Umeda cultural values. This book will interest all students of ritual systems and all Melanesian specialists, as well as workers in the field of primitive art, structural theory, and semantics.
Book is in overall good condition, but there is significant wear and tear to the jacket. Pages and illustrations are clean.