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Made in Niugini

This impressive and inspiring volume has as its modest origins the documentation of a contemporary collecting project for the British Museum. Informed by curators' critiques of uneven collections accompanied by highly variable information, Sillitoe set out with the ambition of recording the totality of the material culture of the Wola of the southern highlands of Papua New Guinea, at a time when the study of artefacts was neglected in university anthropology departments. His achievements, presented in this second edition of Made in Nuigini with a new contextualizing preface and foreword, brought a new standard of ethnography to the incipient revival of material culture studies, and opened up the importance of close attention to technology and material assemblages for anthropology. The `economy' fundamentally concerns the material aspects of life, and as Sillitoe makes clear, Wola attitudes and behaviour in this regard are radically different to those of the West, with emphasis on `maker users' and egalitarian access to resources going hand in hand with their stateless and libertarian principles. The project begun in Made in Niugini, which necessarily restricted itself to moveable artefacts, is continued and extended by the newly published companion volume Built in Niugini, which deals with immoveable structures and buildings. It argues that the study of material constructions offers an unparalleled opportunity to address fundamental philosophical questions about tacit knowledge and the human condition.
Product Details

Table of Contents

CONTENTS: Foreword; Preface to the second edition; List of maps; List of figures; List of tables; List of plates; Preface; Chapter 1 - Artifacts and people; Chapter 2 - Environment and resources; Chapter 3 - Tools; Chapter 4 - Weapons; Chapter 5 - Consumption utensils; Chapter 6 - Apparel; Chapter 7 - Finery and self-destruction; Chapter 8 - Musical instruments; Chapter 9 - Art and facts pertaining to Wola artifacts; Appendix I - Technical glossary; Appendix II - Property survey questionnaire; References; Index

Promotional Information

Trade discounts available on application to Sean Kingston Publishing.

About the Author

Paul Sillitoe FBA is Professor of Anthropology at Durham University. His research interests focus on tropical farming systems and indigenous natural resource management strategies. He specialises in development and social change, subsistence and technology, land issues, human ecology and ethno-science. His regional interests focus on the Pacific in particular. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, where he first championed the competitive sociability of institutionalised exchange individualism, and he is currently involved in projects in South Asia, researching local agricultural knowledge and development programmes. He seeks to further the incorporation of indigenous knowledge in development, particularly in the context of sustainable livelihood initiatives and appropriate technologies.


What a stunning and rewarding book! Te Rangi Hiroa, C.S. Ford, Darryl Forde, Clark Wissler and Edward Gifford - to mention a few of my earlier friends and teachers - would all have enjoyed this work immensely. Harold C. Conklin. Not many anthropologists could have brought to fruition a work like this. Its singleness of purpose offers what amounts to a unique perspective on Papua New Guinea Highland life ... It will be a work of reference for Melanesianists. But social anthropologists in general should take note. The relentlessness of Sillitoe's investigation has its own effect. It throws up quite unexpected detail: the chert knappers' care that people will not cut their feet on fragments, the different times it takes men to tease their hair into wigs, why barbed arrows are feared ... the number of skirts a woman needs to feel adequately attired ... [A] magnificent epic to human endeavour. Regardless of whether they hold collections from Melanesia, this should be in the library of every ethnographic museum: and regardless of whether they think they are interested in material culture, this should be available to every anthropology department. Marilyn Strathern, Man. Made in Niugini is an extraordinarily ambitious and finely executed account, encyclopedicin scope and design, and expertly illustrated. Thomas G. Harding, American Anthropologist.

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