Empowering the Past, Confronting the Future: The Duna People of Papua New Guinea (Contemporary Anthropology of Religion)

Pamela Stewart, Andrew Strathern, 2004


Empowering the Past, Confronting the Future provides a new analysis of changes in the lifeworlds of the Aluni Valley Duna people living in a remote part of the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Influenced by companies mining for gold, cooper, and oil, they have devised ingenious ways to adapt their own myths about the cosmos in order to make claims for compensation and royalty payments. They have also improvised their own responses to the demands of Christian missionaries. The book expands out from this case study, providing a comparative framework for analyzing changes in neighboring societies and a general evaluation of work on the politics of tradition in Pacific societies.