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By Stephen Gudeman

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Composed in the house, this energy is held in the base, passes in and out the doors through exchanges with the environment (and markets), and is given to others through the windows. org/core. org/core/terms. 002 After thought and forward thoughts vanishes. During our stay in Panama, I attended numerous wakes and funerals. A wake is held every evening for a week. On the last night, people stay through the darkness praying, talking, and dozing by candlelight in the stick and thatch house. At dawn they arise from their stools and move the wall next to the deceased’s bed inward so that were he there he would lie outside the home.

Org/core. org/core/terms. 001 Seeing straight In market economies, abstractions develop. Multiple forms of exchange become trade, and trade increasingly separates into the spheres of commerce, finance, and meta-finance, which is the province of financial centers. Each market sphere represents greater distance from the material world of the house and social relationships yet often recreates their images through the spells of advertising, ritual, and magical connections to bridge the gap between the world of the house and that of the corporation and keep the economy running.

Humans do not create these sources of strength, nor do they create strength itself. They secure, transform, and remake it; they are conveyors but not creators of strength. As the people say, their work “helps compose” it. They put it together in ways that can be used by themselves and others. Their work is like that of the artisan and craftsman. In Panama, for example, the slash-and-burn farmer who raises rice is seen in the image of a barber, who styles hair. After the forest is burned and the field is seeded, the agricultural artisan weeds or “cleans” it, which he can do in three ways: by waving his machete “clumsily” over the weeds, by “trimming the weeds slightly,” or by “breaking the skull” (of the earth).

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