Unamai: A hot ticket in Rabaul, New Guinea, 1951

An announcement of a string band concert at Unamai Restaurant in Rabaul, 1951 In the January 13, 1951 issue of Rabaul News, a small item appeared at the top of page 4, in the Village News section. It read: UNAMAI RESTAURANT (HAUS KAIKAI) Baai (Nodup) String Band – baimbai oli pilai gita TUDEI LONG NAIT! […]

Paternalism on patrol: An officer’s report on health promotion in colonial Papua

As part of my research on cultural changes in Auhelawa, a society on the south coast of Normanby Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG), I’ve read through many of the reports written by the young Australian men who worked as officers of the colonial government. You can tell as you read them how […]

Pei bilong sosopen: An article from Lae Garamut, 1948

Another of the postwar education department newsletters in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea was Lae Garamut. It published mainly announcements and instructions from local colonial officials in Pidgin, but like Rabaul News and others, aspired to be a newspaper for indigenous people, and invited readers to submit their own articles.  In 1948, the […]

Birds Will Cover the Sky: Humiliation and Meaning in Two Historical Narratives from Auhelawa, Papua New Guinea

This article examines how the people of Auhelawa, a society on the south coast of Normanby Island, Papua New Guinea, make use of two historical figures—one a warrior, the other a police officer—to represent the nature of social transformation. In different ways, the stories of these heroes produce a dichotomous temporality of a time of […]

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 […]