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“It is a milestone in subaltern studies, a biographical journey penned by a living relic of the indentured experience and a scholar whose thoroughly interdisciplinary approach is a good example for the anthropologist, the sociologist or the economist who wish to see the proper integration of their disciplines in a major historical work.” Brinsley Samaroo, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad “Professor Lal has made a most... more...

Papua New Guinea’s general election in 2007 attracted particular interest for several reasons. Not only did it follow what was widely acknowledged as the country’s worst election ever, in 2002 (in which elections in six of the country’s 109 electorates were declared to be ‘failed elections’), it was the first general election to be held under a new limited preferential voting system. It also followed the first full parliamentary term under... more...

The Southern Highlands is one of Papua New Guinea’s most resource-rich provinces, but for a number of years the province has been riven by conflict. Longstanding inter-group rivalries, briefly set aside during the colonial period, have been compounded by competition for the benefits provided by the modern state and by fighting over the distribution of returns from the several big mining and petroleum projects located within the province or impinging... more...


Despite the heated competition for colonial possessions in Papua New Guinea during the 19th and early 20th centuries, the personnel required to run an effective administration were scarce. As a result, the Australian colonial regime opted for a quick solution - it engaged Papua New Guineans, often to perform the most hazardous and most unpopular responsibilities. Based on extensive interviews with former policemen, written records of the time, and... more...


Hawaiian culture as it met foreign traders and settlers is the context for Sahlins's structuralist methodology of historical interpretation

On the eve of Papua New Guinea's attainment of independence from Australia, Chief Minister Michael Somare referred to the new nation's cultural treasures as "living spirits with fixed abodes." He was referring to the prevailing belief of Papua New Guineans that everything is invested with spirit, not least the objects carved, modeled, or constructed for ceremonial, and often everyday, use. The Masterpieces Exhibition includes the most significant... more...

This is a summary of colonial rule in the Caroline and Marshall Islands.

Leviathans at the Gold Mine is an ethnographic account of the relationship between the Ipili, an indigenous group in Papua New Guinea, and the large international gold mine operating on their land. It was not until 1939 that Australian territorial patrols reached the Ipili. By 1990, the third largest gold mine on the planet was operating in their valley. Alex Golub examines how "the mine" and "the Ipili" were brought into being in... more...

In 1987 Fiji, which had often been regarded as a model for racial co-existence, surprised the rest of the world by staging not one but two coups. Most interpreters of the Fijian political scene saw the events as a result of tension between native Fijians and members of other ethnic groups. This text argues that this interpretation is simplistic. Instead, it points out that the May coup was a strike against democratic government by elements associated... more...