Hau: the Aura of the Gift

In his 1925 essay The Gift, Marcel Mauss addresses the nature of the gifts exchanged in rituals such as the potlatch. Asking “what force is there in the given thing that causes its recipient to pay it back?” (GT, 41) Mauss names this “force” hau, a Maori word which might be translated as “aura.” Hau signals […]

via Hau: the Aura of the Gift — Art & Theory Reading Group

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