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Leviathans at the Gold Mine
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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 relation to one another, and how certain individuals were authorized to speak for the mine and others to speak for the Ipili. Considering the relative success of the Ipili in their negotiations with a multinational corporation, Golub argues that a unique conjuncture of personal relationships and political circumstances created a propitious moment during which the dynamic and fluid nature of Ipili culture could be used to full advantage. As that moment faded away, social problems in the valley increased. The Ipili now struggle with the extreme social dislocation brought about by the massive influx of migrants and money into their valley.
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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1. The Yakatabari Negotiations 2. The Birth of Leviathans 3. Being Ipili in Porgera 4. The Melanesian Way Afterword Bibliography Index

About the Author

Alex Golub is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. He is a cofounder of the anthropology blog savageminds.org.

Reviews

"Leviathans at the Gold Mine is an important contribution to our knowledge of the Porgera mine and mining in Papua New Guinea more generally. Alex Golub offers a subtle, original reading of mine-landowner relations, as well as new information about the microprocesses associated with Porgera mining, such as how landownership is determined and how royalty checks are distributed. Those insights will be welcomed by scholars interested in local-global articulations and the politics and misunderstandings associated with them." - Aletta Biersack, coeditor of Reimagining Political Ecology "Offers an ethnographic perspective on the relationship between the Ipili people and the international gold-mine operation on their land" - Chronicle of Higher Education

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