South Coast New Guinea Cultures: History, Comparison, Dialectic
The communities of south coast New Guinea were the subject of classic ethnographies, and fresh studies in recent decades have put these rich and complex cultures at the centre of anthropological debates. Flamboyant sexual practices, such as ritual homosexuality, have attracted particular interest. In the first general book on the region, Dr Knauft reaches striking new comparative conclusions through a careful ethnographic analysis of sexuality, the status of women, ritual and cosmology, political economy, and violence among the region's seven major language-culture areas. The findings suggest new Melanesian regional contrasts and provide for a general critique of the way regional comparisons are constructed in anthropology. Theories of practice and political economy as well as post-modern insights are drawn upon to provide a generative theory of indigenous social and symbolic development.
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Theoretical and ethnographic context
Historical background and regional configuration
Sexuality in the regional analysis of south New Guinea
The analytic legacy of homosexual emphasis language subsistence and political economy
Trends in comparative analysis
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A. C. Haddon affiliation analysis anthropology Baal beliefs Boelaars boys bridewealth bullroarer canoe cargo cults Casuarina central Asmat ceremonial clan coast New Guinea coastal colonial comparative competitive contrast core highland cosmological cult culture areas cycle dema dialectic dimensions domination economic elaborate Elema emphasis ethnic ethnographic exchange existential Eyde feasts female status fertility gender gerontocracy Gogodala groups Guinea highlands Haddon headhunting Herdt hevehe highly ibid important indigenous initiation inland Kamoro Keraki Kiwai Knauft Kolopom Landtman language families language-culture areas leadership life-force longhouse Marind Marind-anim marriage mayo mbai Melanesia myth mythic novices orientations particularly patterns permutations phratries politicoeconomic polygyny population postmodern practice precolonial Purari raids region relationship rites ritual heterosexuality ritual homosexuality ritual sexuality sago Schneebaum Serpenti sexual intercourse significant sister-exchange societies sociocultural Sosom south lowland south New Guinea South Pacific Commission Sowada spiritual Strathern structure subsistence suggests Trans-Fly village warfare Williams wives women Zegwaard