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By Stephen Gudeman

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Org/core/terms. 002 Thrift a remainder that can be put to another use. In the Colombian highlands, for example, potatoes are brought to the house after the harvest. The first action is to separate the small potatoes for seeding in the next cycle; then, potatoes are selected for household eating in the coming year and are set aside; after, some potatoes may be put in a pile for feeding to animals; finally, if there are remainders, they may be sold. At each stage there is a leftover, which can be put to another use.

It is more attenuated than work within the house but remains a form of sharing that connects people by a current of vitality and denies the existence of the autarkic being. org/core. org/core/terms. 1 Junta preparing mud for house walls, © Roxane Harvey Gudeman If humans possess strength, strength also possesses them. When others work for the house – whether in a labor exchange, in a group, or in a junta – the house provides the strength for their work. The house does not own their labor but it does provide the strength that enables the laborers to work.

The main crop – rice, potatoes, maize, and beans – was talked about as having special strength and being needed in order to work. For example, in Colombia, one person said, Maize is basic, it provides all the strength – for humans, chickens and pigs. It all comes back to maize. The basics are the support of one and the family, from breakfast to dinner to clothes. They are all products of the land. org/core. org/core/terms. 002 The Strength of the House In both areas and elsewhere, people talk about “necessities” or what they need in the house to survive.

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Anthropology and Economy by Stephen Gudeman


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