GLENN PETERSEN is Professor, Department of Anthropology, Graduate Center and Baruch College, City University of New York, NY 10010.
Kanengamah and Pohnpei's Politics of Concealment
Article first published online: 28 OCT 2009
1993 American Anthropological Association
Volume 95, Issue 2, pages 334–352, June 1993
How to Cite
Petersen, G. (1993), Kanengamah and Pohnpei's Politics of Concealment. American Anthropologist, 95: 334–352. doi: 10.1525/aa.1993.95.2.02a00040
- Issue published online: 28 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 28 OCT 2009
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.