It is easy to understand the Infamous Quote and we all here must agree with Luke's intent in posting it. Peter's questions and Vera's comment led me to do more digging. This was a story from modern times published in 2000. The anthropologists were on-site in the 1990s.
To speak to Peter's questions and VSD's irony, linguistically, the concept of "ownership" began with individual possession and control. The idea that the village or the king "owns" you came much later. That is not the same thing as saying that you "belong to" a tribe in the same sense that apples belong to the class of objects called fruit. We discussed here before "The Success of the WEIRD People" (Western, educated, industrialized, rational, democratic). (On RoR here and here; on my blog more fully here.) A project of ten teams of anthropologists went out into marginalized ("primitive") societies and administered standard survey instruments to gauge their attitudes. We are special. But among the ranges of other behaviors, they found a tribe where hunters bring home the prey to share but also at least one where hunters come back after dark so that they do not have to share. The point is that whatever we find now may or may not be how these people always were. Likely, they were not. From your grandfather to your grandchild is five generations. That is the limit of verbal knowledge.
Note, however, also, that these Bima peoples apparently had writing about the 15th century, at least. Moreover, they established a commercial hegemony of their own before being overthrown by the Dutch c. 1617. You cannot have maritime commerce without sophisticated concepts of ownership, property, and justice.
Also, while it does seem to contravene our expectations for objective law, it is not unknown in our society. It is called plea bargaining. Some Objectivists call for a "continental" or "civil law" society: the legislature defines the laws in excruciating detail. The purpose of the court is to see if the case fits the law. You killed my dog, but there is no law against killing dogs, so you go free. In the English system of bench-made law, the judge (with jury) is an adjudicator who discovers whether and to what extent the law fits the case. You killed my dog -- and in so doing, you violated my right to property; and there is a law against that. Whether plea bargaining would be allowed in an Objectivist society is an interesting question.
To read the full story behind the flirting and false accusation, find the journal article, "A Dispute in Donggo" by Monaghan and Just here:
(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 12/13, 11:56am)