Juniors, then, experience the authority and autonomy of The Dreaming as mediated by their seniors. Through their own acquisition of knowledge, they move toward a similar autonomy vis à vis their successors.

The metaphor of "holding" and "passing on" the Law, conceived of as an object, mediates the relations between generations [...]

[Fred R. Myers]
Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self, p.242

Ritual knowledge constitutes the widest, hierarchically encompassing sphere of exchange among men within a region.

The transmission of knowledge not only differentiates older from younger, but comprises a critical element in reproducing the regional system by increasing the ties of "overall relatedness" which an individual has with people from far away. This hierarchy is established in the social production of persons.

Such hierarchy in Pintupi life assures that “relatedness” does not have to be totally recreated anew by each individual. 

Shared identity already exists, as it were, not merely as the product of individual arrangements but inscribed in The Dreaming, objectified in the landscape from which persons come.

[Fred R. Myers]
Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self, p.221

Related posts: