The processes of concern here are historical.l This chapter will show what kamals were like and what their importance was in the early part of this century. It then describes how their economic context changed with colonisation and independence, and how this affected the role kamals played in island life, and indeed the way they were formed. In particular, this chapter looks at the element of kamals that most fits the classic structural lineage model, their agnatic composition.2 In the 1980s, as we have said, kamals were strictly agnatic. They did not absorb sisters' children, refugees, immigrants or others. Ponam stories of the past, however, made it very clear that kamals were much less rigid in the past, more like the kamals Margaret Mead had described in the 1920s and more like Highlands clans as they were described in the 1960s and 1970s. They were focused on leaders who recruited not only agnates, but anyone else who would make the leader and his kamal strong. And much of the activity of kamal leaders centred on ceremonial exchange, the domination of which gave them

the power to recruit and hold kamal members. Over the years of this century, however, this completely changed.