NAMING IN KANAK GROUPS: NAMES, RELATIONS, AND PERSONAL IDENTITY AMONG THE PAICÎ KANAK (PONERIHOUEN, NEW CALEDONIA)

Abstract : In this text, I discuss the methodological framework of my research on naming in general 1 and naming in Kanak groups in particular. Based on fieldwork in the Ponerihouen area (east coast of Grande Terre, New Caledonia), it shows the various levels of Paicî names, their usage in context, their transmission , and their relation with kin terms. A number of processes are at work in the naming of people (different categories of name, etc.) from one society to the next, as well as within a society, and naming can even depend on the speech context. Likewise, it is important to study the processes (or their absence) by which names are chosen and transmitted. The anthropological approach helps in understanding the practices involved in naming and seeing how they articulate with other social practices. While name giving is universal , each society has its own complex set of norms governing the practice. The "why and how people switch from one level to another" is one of the subjects dealt with here. Using examples from genealogies, I explain how names are transmitted by both paternal and maternal kin, how the transmission of these names enables at the same time the transmission of lineage and individual histories, and why names are an integral part of the constitution of the person. We thus come to understand what the naming system entails in the way of social reproduction and the constitution of groups and individuals, as well as their affinal relations from one generation to the next. In conclusion, I stress the importance of Kanak naming systems for social relations and local
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Isabelle Leblic. NAMING IN KANAK GROUPS: NAMES, RELATIONS, AND PERSONAL IDENTITY AMONG THE PAICÎ KANAK (PONERIHOUEN, NEW CALEDONIA). Pacific Studies, The Pacific Institute, Brigham Young University Hawai'i 2016, Pacific Studies special issue "Austronesian Personal Naming Systems", 39 (1-2), pp.54-79. ⟨hal-02299797⟩

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