SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Kanengamah is an abstract quality and a manner of behaving fundamental to social life on Pohnpei, in Micronesia's Eastern Caroline Islands. It entails the habit of concealment; most social interactions are conditioned by the expectation that all parties are engaged in dissembling. Kanengamah enables Pohnpeians simultaneously to exalt their leaders and to remain remarkably free from their authority. As a consequence, “hierarchical” and “egalitarian” social forms are interdependent rather than mutually exclusive categories.