By the 1980s at least, anthropologists writing on kinship and exchange in Melanesia had become concerned with the issue of time. The idea that the meaning and significance of ceremonial exchange is best understood by looking at the temporal cycles of exchange, rather than just at non-temporal relations of reciprocity, was attracting growing attention. This was particularly true of those working in the Milne Bay area of eastern Papua New Guinea. These writers argued that individual exchanges must be understood as part of a temporal sequence based primarily on life cycles. Because they follow life cycles, exchange sequences themselves are cyclical. They begin with marriage, proceed through the life of the marriage and its children and conclude, perhaps several generations later, with the mortuary ceremonies that both complete the cycle and allow it to begin again, as we described for Ponam in the preceding chapter. This is why much recent analysis has featured mortuary ceremonies (e.g. Damon & Wagner 1989; Mosko 1989; see M. Strathern 1984b: 50).