Sing Sing in Mt. Hagen
Sing Sing in Mt. Hagen
Acknowledgement: Greg Kiss,
Welcome to the Millennium unit @ Hawker College, Semester 1 2013, with Christopher Kenna.

Map of Papua New Guinea
Map of Papua New Guinea
Map of Papua New Guinea

external image indonesia_adm_98.jpg
Map of Indonesia showing Irian Jaya (New Guinea)
Weeks 1-6
Our first area of focus has been to look mainly at Papua New Guinea (before and after independence) and, to a lesser extent, Irian Jaya (a province of Indonesia). We have been particularly interested in seeing how people there became exposed to and responded to contact with the wider modern world.

Some of the handouts in class have related to the time of the Australian administration, before PNG's independance in 1975. For example, there was a photocopy from Hank Nelson's book Taim Bilong Masta. We saw the documentary "Trobriand Cricket" which showed how Trobriand Islanders adapted cricket for their own cultural and social purposes in the context of Australian administration; see the clip on Youtube. We have also seen the documentary about the Leahy brothers' activities in PNG, called "First Contact", see the linkto Youtube. We have also been watching a film narrated by Bruce Parry called "Cannibals and Crampons" in which there is some very thought-provoking footage showing the reactions of some indigenous people whom they came upon: here is a link to this on Youtube. How would you describe their reaction?

The next aspects to be looked are "millennial movements" and "cargo cults" in New Guinea. To learn more, please see Wessinger's account of "nativist millennian movements". See Worsley's article about cargo cults, and also the handout in class from his book The Trumpet Will Sound. You might like to see a passage from the Bible (King James Version with modernised spelling) which deals with a "new heaven and new earth". Is there anything significant about these ideas?

Week 7
Please remember that the first assessment, the in-class document study, will take place in the Line 7 double in week 7. The area to be covered will relate broadly to New Guinea.

Week 8
This week we will continue to look at issues relating to the island of New Guinea, and in particular the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya. We have read about some of the concerns of Robert Mitton. He was also concerned about the effects of the Freeport project on the Amume people. Before Thursday, please see two views about this mine, from the perspective of the mining company and of WWF. We started to watch Bruce Parry's Tribe episode on his time with the remote Kombai people in Irian Jaya. What was your impression of the extent to which these people had experience of the "outside world"? Is this changing?

Week 9
This week we started to look at a new topic - the Yanamamo people in the Amazon, South America. We have borrowed our next text, Paul Henley, Masters of the Spirit World, 1995. For out-of-class work, please read the introduction section, then pp. 18-23 by Monday Week 10. Is it accurate that this chapter is called "An Affluent Society"?

We also began to read in class Nicholas Chagnon's book on the Yanomamo, and began to see another episode of "Tribe" with Bruce Parry, on the Sanama people in Venezuala. What is the concept of the "shaman" that he has been talking about?

Week 10
This week, we will continue to work on the Yanamamo. We will also start to think about preparing for the essay which is due on Thursday of Week 12, after the break. Please see this suggested essay proforma from Teachit . Please note in particular the need to have an overall argument, and to consider evidence for "counter-arguments" before you reach your conclusion.