South Coast New Guinea Cultures

History, Comparison, Dialectic

South Coast New Guinea Cultures

South coast New Guinea has long been a focus of ethnographic attention, with its varied cultures, its reputation for flamboyant sexual practices, and its traditions of headhunting. Dr. Knauft examines previous ethnographic material to reanalyze the region's seven major language-culture areas, covering a range of topics including sexuality, social inequality, the status of women, religion, politics and violence. Ethnographically rich and theoretically sophisticated, this book will be essential reading for all those interested in Melanesia, and should be read by anyone concerned with the problems of cultural comparison.


"In the 1990s, a comparative ethnography of a region extending some 2,500 kilometers must be either very old-fashioned or postmodern. This work has the virtues of both....The result is a stimulating and useful book." Choice