HAU

The gift in India

Thomas Trautmann

Abstract


This article is a previously unpublished conference talk on the use made by Marcel Mauss, in his essay on the gift, of sources in Sanskrit from ancient India. As Lévi-Strauss derives his theory of marriage as a special case of Mauss’ theory of the gift, the Sanskrit sources derive their ideal of gift marriage (the gift of a maiden, by her father, to the groom) as a special case of the concept of religious gifts; but the two theories are opposed, as the first is based upon reciprocity, and the second upon non-reciprocity.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau7.2.041