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Not the way it really was : constructing the Tolai past

Neumann, Klaus

Description

This study is an attempt to write a history of the colonial past of the Tolai in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The history consists of seven parts, each of them dealing with a particular theme or episode: the Toma killings in 1902 (chapter 1). prophecies of the arrival of the white people (chapter 3), the coming of the mission (chapter 5), the life history of Abaram ToBobo of Vunabalbal (chapter 7), early political organisation among Tolai men on Matupit and around Vunamami from the...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorNeumann, Klaus
dc.date.accessioned2017-03-24T03:28:36Z
dc.date.available2017-03-24T03:28:36Z
dc.date.copyright1988
dc.identifier.otherb1709694
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/113872
dc.description.abstractThis study is an attempt to write a history of the colonial past of the Tolai in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The history consists of seven parts, each of them dealing with a particular theme or episode: the Toma killings in 1902 (chapter 1). prophecies of the arrival of the white people (chapter 3), the coming of the mission (chapter 5), the life history of Abaram ToBobo of Vunabalbal (chapter 7), early political organisation among Tolai men on Matupit and around Vunamami from the 1930s (chapter 9), images of the 'time of darkness' (chapter 11), and the alienation of Tolai land by Queen Emma and other planters in the late nineteenth century (chapter 13). The history uses European documentary sources and Tolai testimonies. The oral traditions and histories are used both as material to write a history and as elements of that history. The history draws also on observations made during twenty months of, fieldwork in Papua New Guinea. This study also attempts to analyse the way Tolai understand and use their past. In chapter 8 it is shown how the control of land is dependent on a control of the past. In chapters 10 and 12 it is demonstrated how customary exchanges guarantee a continuity between past and present, how customs change, and how customs become kastom. In chapters 3, 5 and 12, Tolci constructions of the past are compared with those of Tami and Kotte people. It is argued that a different pattern of colonisation changes the way people look at their past, and that the making of history has changed the production of histories. In chapter 6, I argue that academic oral historians need to recognise ora! histories and traditions as histories in their own right instead of using them only as sources to establish what really happened. In chapters 2, 4 and 14 some of the subjective premises of this history are presented when I talk about the history of this study, the concept and practice of fieldwork, and sketch a philosophy of history that is partly informed by Tolai constructions of their past. In the last chapter I suggest that the construction of the Tolai past needs to be a dialogue that is directed at knowing rather than knowledge.
dc.format.extentviii, 260 p.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshTolai (Melanesian people) History
dc.subject.lcshPapua New Guinea History
dc.titleNot the way it really was : constructing the Tolai past
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorNelson, Hank
dcterms.valid1998
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1988
local.contributor.affiliationDepartment of Pacific and South East Asian History, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d74e612d17a4
dc.date.updated2017-03-24T00:34:46Z
local.mintdoimint
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