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The Abandoned Narcotic: Kava and Cultural Instability in Melanesia (Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology) Hardcover – August 31, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0521373753 ISBN-10: 0521373751

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Ron Brunton revives a problem posed by the great anthropologist W. H. R. Rivers in History of Melanesian Society (1914): how to explain the strange geographical distribution of kava, a narcotic drink once widely consumed by south-west Pacific islanders. He suggests that kava's abandonment can best be explained in terms of its association with unstable religious cults.

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