Trobriand Islands

Jesse Harasta, a grad student in cultural anthropology at Syracuse University created a card game based of the peoples of the Trobriand Islands in the 1890′s. The chieftains ability to maintain power came form the ability to aggregate people, land, and the primary resource for food, yams.  

In our class we have the land (The Facilities), and peoples(The Students) gathered under our chieftains (The Staff) but what is our food?

In The past when rival tribes became aware of prosperity amongst the group raider parties were sent out in order to obtain the excess riches.

Today the ‘yams’ of our class are our ideas. The attachment to our ideas has always been an enduring one. We will fight to the death for what we believe in, even if our ideas are not entirely logical or grounded in reality.

On Tuesday 9/30/2014 the first 3d prints for our Making Meaning Matter class failed collectively. The class was assigned to create tokens, small coins 4mm in  height and 30mm in diameter. The pieces were gathered and thrown on to the floor in the middle of a lecture. Students quickly rose and scrambled to gather the ‘refuse.’ The value to the students of their ideas became as apparent as the value of food to a starving nation.

We must be careful not to let two things happen:

  1. Let our ideas take hold of us like hunger driving one to obesity
  2. Letting our ideas fall victim to thieves
Photo of 'Yams!' card

Photo of ‘Yams!’ card