Florence Young: Missionary to Melanesians in Queensland of the 1880s

Florence S. H. Young was a mostly self-trained Christian missionary who preached to and taught Melanesian migrant workers in Queensland in the 1880s and 1890s. In the golden age of European Christian missions, she proposed an alternative to the mainstream model of how Europeans should preach gospel to indigneous peoples, and provoked a minor controversy […]

Frontier, colony, pre-border: PNG’s latest role in Australian sovereignty

Kissing points As a Californian, one of the more prominent elements in the current debate over refugees is the role played by boats. A sign on Interstate 5, the main north-south corridor of the US West coast, introduced me to the idea of irregular migration.

Where else are there wantoks?

Throughout PNG people talk about wantoks, people who have a relationship based on affinity of origin or other shared trait. Urban places are marked by wantok groups and wantok networks. Also people invoke a ‘wantok system’ as a model for how institutions function (or don’t as the case may be). Do other places have wantoks […]

Cultivation of pineapple in PNG

This is the time of year when people eat pineapples on Normanby Island, PNG. Many people plant large gardens of pineapples and offer them as Christmas gifts. Few are sold in markets. I’m wondering how common this is. Across PNG, who plants pineapples, in what ways and one what kind of scale. Is it always […]