The four figures of gift: kula, potlatch, dan e hau
Drawing on actual reinterpretation of Mauss’s classical essay on “the Gift”, the authors examine four ideal-typical forms of gift which recur in the anthropologic literature, and theoretically analyze them under relevant contemporary phenomena. Kula - as reciprocity gift-, Potlach – as competitive gift-, Hau – as non-returnable gift - and Dan - as asymmetrical gift- do not have in common something that allows us to use the same term for all, however they are tied to each other in many different ways. There is a complicate net of similarities that overlap and cross one another. According with this perspective the “gift” appears as a polythetic and polisemic concept: it is crucial tools in the understanding contemporary societies, cultures and economies as well as useful starting point for a new dialogue between anthropologists and economists.
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