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Deborah Gewertz and Frederick Errington have worked as anthropologists in Papua New Guinea for nearly two decades. In this, their second joint study of the Chambri, they consider the way those in a small-scale society, peripheral to the major centers of influence, struggle to sustain some degree of autonomy. They describe the Chambri caught up in world processes of social and cultural change, and attempt to create a "collective biography" that conveys the intelligibility and significance of the twentieth century experience of these Papua New Guineans whom they have come to know well. This biography consists of interlocking stories, twisted histories, commentaries and contexts about Chambri who are negotiating their objectives while entangled in systemic change and confronting Western representations of modernization and development.
Reviews & endorsements
"What [the authors] have done best is to offer us a wealth of poignant insights into the ironies of life in the Chambri world of intersecting worlds. The altered contexts of development have indeed given Chambri histories new, often unpredictable twists that make fascinating reading." AnthropologicaSee more reviews
"...wonderful, lively, and readable accounts....this is a wonderful, sensitive, and rich ethnography....this book should be read by professional and student anthropologists alike." Nelson H.H. Graburn, Pacific Studies
"...an important and readable book...an original, thoughtful and above all lucid account of the Chambri people of Papua New Guinea and their struggles for identity and autonomy." Pacific Affairs
"This valuable book rises to the Chambri situation, conveying the profundity of the moral choices facing these people and the enlarged responsibilities of the ethnographer in doing justice to it all. I highly recommend it." American Anthropologist
"Twisted Histories, Alfred Contexts is readable and accessible, quite suitable for undergraduate courses on social change and the contemporary Pacific." Eric Kline Silverman, Reviews in Anthropology
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- Date Published: June 1991
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521395878
- length: 280 pages
- dimensions: 238 x 147 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.45kg
- contains: 27 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Introduction: On writing the Chambri
1. The new traditionalism: tourism and its transformation
2. The initiation: making men in 1987
3. The town
4. Western representations at home
5. The written word
6. Negotiating the state
Conclusion: interlocking stories, intersecting lives
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