Nils Bubandt, The Empty Seashell: Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island (Review)

…Bubandt’s book is … a highly original contribution to debates around the ontological turn. The witch does not only raise a problem of knowledge and belief, but of what we mean by being, since it cannot itself be. It remains invisible and is capable of appearing in many different forms. The witch cannot be known, […]

Haus Man, Haus Krai: The Politics of Cosmology in Papua New Guinea

The campaign against sorcery in PNG continues For now nearly two years, groups in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and abroad have been campaigning to end the killing and torture of women accused of sorcery. Recently, grassroots organizations in provincial centres have taken up the cause in earnest, and brought renewed international attention to the matter. […]

A New Government Breaks With The Past in The Papua New Guinea Parliament’s “Haus Tambaran”

Previously posted on Material World. The 2013 session of the Parliament of Papua New Guinea (PNG) ended with drama from an unexpected place. After months of stories from PNG of mobs and armed gangs torturing women and men they accused of sorcery, and a campaign of symbolic mourning by women across the country against violence, […]

Witches’ Wealth: Witchraft, Confession and Christian Personhood in Auhelawa, Papua New Guinea

The argument that contemporary examples of witchcraft belief demonstrate an alternative form of modern subjectivity has been doubted by many anthropologists, who claim that so-called modern witchcraft is often only a reflection of traditional cultural epistemologies. In Auhelawa (Milne Bay province, Papua New Guinea), new beliefs about witchcraft suggest that the epistemic basis for knowledge […]

One Mind: Enacting the Christian Congregation in Auhelawa, Papua New Guinea

This article examines the relationship between Christian worship and the production of religious identity among Auhelawa speakers of Normanby Island, Papua New Guinea. Auhelawa people live in a society in which a locally developed form of Christianity has emerged from a long engagement with missionaries. In the colonial era, missionaries spoke in terms of light […]