Exchanges – The Gift, Place and Ethnography: Images and Text from Field Research in the Visayan Philippines

Soma W. Morse


In this article I entwine together discursive strands – ethnography as exchange and the role of place in these substantive practices are used in presenting and discussing the visual and textual dimensions of fieldwork conducted in the Central Philippines. I present three photographs as a means through which knowledge is formed and informed by the visual and textual process of doing ethnography in the context of Mauss’ theory of the gift. Through ethnographic practice these strands knit together a network of places in time and space. These manifestations, constructed through the power of resistance and domination, serve as a potent reminder that as anthropologists we must analyze our own cycle of exchange and its links to ethnography and the world at large.

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University of Victoria