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Chiefly Consumption in Commonwealth Iceland

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Durrenberger, E. Paul
Conference: Society for Economic Anthropology
Location: Champaign-Urbana, IL
Conf. Date: 1986
Date: 1986
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/8139
Sector: History
Social Organization
Region: Europe
Subject(s): consumption
culture
trade
history
Abstract: "For 400 years from 870 there was a stratified society without a state in Iceland. Manipulating reciprocal exchanges, chieftains built entourages of followers in other classes and coalitions among themselves. In their political maneuvers, chieftains consumed such imported luxury goods as clothing, weaponry, wood for houses, and grain for brewing. Chiefly consumption and subsistence requirements for grain created demand for foreign goods. I analyze the social-political context of luxury consumption, and its relationship to changing patterns of production, exchange, cultural patterns, trade with Norway, and the development of internicine strife from 1220 to 1262 which ended when the warring chieftains yielded authority to the King of Norway."

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