There has been a growing acceptance that food has an important role in establishing and structuring social and kin relations in South East Asian societies. This study looks at a wide variety of groups in the region and demonstrates that within all of them the feeding relationship is fundamental to the establishment and the nature of relations within generations and between generations. Presenting material from ten societies in the region, the papers included in this volume argue that the feeding of foods, drink and meals based on the focal starch crop grown by these agricultural groups - rice in eight of the groups covered here, sago in one and cassava in one - is used to manipulate 'biological' kinship and to construct a 'kinship' particular to humans; which is nevertheless founded in a 'natural' process, the 'flow of life', blessings and potency between generations.
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