Query: nasty trading

Richard L. Warms (RW04@SWT.EDU)
Wed, 6 Mar 1996 15:19:23 -0600

I wonder if someone could help me with a reference. I'm looking for a modern
ethnographic reference to a group for whom it is morally acceptable to deceive
outsiders during trade. I have an unreferenced quote from a textbook that
reads: "Among the aboriginal Navajo, for example, the rules vary with the
situation; to deceive when trading with foreign tribes is a morally accepted
practice. Even witchcraft techniques are considered acceptable in trading with
members of foreign tribes." Can anyone tell me if this, in fact is the case
and supply a reference? If it is not true for the Navajo, is or was it true
for others? If none of the above, is it one of our inherited myths?

Any help appreciated.

Best regards,

Rich Warms