Objects of Love
Department of Anthropology Faculty of Humanities, Charles University Prague 1, Czech Republic
The paper is based on the social anthropological research on trans-national female migrants from Ukraine working and living without their children in Czech Republic.
These trans-national mothers have to experience the spatial, temporal and emotional separation from their own children and at the same time be responsible for the breadwinning of their nuclear and extended families in Ukraine. In my paper, I will "follow the thing" /Marcus,1998/ with those they are trying to supply their role and identity in families. I focus on the meanings /"uses and trajectories", Appadurrai , 1986/ of objects which trans-national mothers send and transfer back home. These goods are not just the form of the migrants´ remittances ,but there are embodied objects of mother love. Through these objects /presents, dresses, radio, tv, PC, money etc. / they are trying to construct their new "elastic" /Sotelo, 1997/ forms of the motherhood. On the other hand, trans-national mothers are bringing objects /pictures, toys, dresses etc. that belong to their children and help them to reconstruct and evoke their own mother´s love. I examine the categories and qualities of those goods, as well as its meanings for the construction and the reconstruction of motherhood. I describe the material side of these objects /in sense of the material culture/ as well as its narrative representations in biographical-narrative interviews. I argue that these "objects of love" have important evocative and "advocating" role in the experiencing of the trans-national mothering.