Zhigoneshi: A Culture of Connection
Keywords:Kogi, Exchange, Mutuality, Symbiosis, Profit, Reciprocity
Zhigoneshi describes the symbiotic dependencies that weave together to produce the world. The Kogi concept of mutuality, as expressed in their word zhigoneshi, conveys a picture of life as a series of collaborative, cooperative relationships, which the Kogi understand as axiomatic to all living processes, including human societies. This is evident in relation to their vertical mountain economy and in their view of exchange. Consequently, for the Kogi, materials, knowledge and thought are not simply connected but are also fundamentally entwined. This approach does not simply describe ecological dependencies; it also holds that economic and biological life existentially inform each other and therefore cannot be separated, even in thought. Chiming with the reality of cellular symbiotic practices at the very origins of life (as articulated by Margulis), zhigoneshi rejects the notion of the self-interested in pursuit of accumulation and profit, as employed by capitalist economic methods, in favor of actions that understand connectivity and ensure balance and harmony are maintained. Using numerous cultural examples, we illustrate how many alternative ideas of economy continue to inform current exchange practices out from the market and suggest that these examples provide a useful understanding of post-capitalist possibilities in the Anthropocene.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Alan Ereira, Luci Attala
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