Yumi olsem wantok tasol: An article from Rabaul News, 1948

Rabaul News was a Pidgin-language newsletter published with support from the Department of Education in the Territory of Papua-New Guinea in the late 1940s and 1950s. Like many such papers at the time, it aspired to bring a reliable news source to the indigenous residents of the Territory, encourage adult education, and explain (or justify) […]

Notes on the Sociology of Wantoks in Papua New Guinea

This paper was selected for the 2015 article prize of the Australian Anthropological Society. It is available as an Open Access article from Anthropological Forum. Abstract: In Melanesian pidgin languages, wantok means someone with a similar origin as oneself, and connotes a familiarity and mutual solidarity. Wantok has also become a watchword of politics and […]

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 […]