This article discusses the existence of property rights in ritual symbolism, focusing particularly on disputes over these rights. A universe of such rights is comparable in certain respects to a prestige economy such as the Kula system. They both manifest the same conception of property as a symbolic representation of persons. Both involve contests for the control of high-status forms of property, between political actors competing for prestige and legitimacy. Some illustrations are given of the uses of this perspective in analysing processes of change in ritual systems.
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Jun 1992|