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  • Author: Martin Soukup x
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Social Life of Currencies from Near Oceania: Types of Currencies and Its Use

Abstract

The objective of the paper is to provide an overview of currencies used by natives of Near Oceania in relation to three principal ways of its use. The author explains three main functions of currencies from Near Oceania on selected examples. The three main functions are as follows: standardized medium of exchange, bride-price, and sociopolitical exchange. These functions are demonstrated on selected types of currencies from East Sepik, Massim, Western Highlands, and West Papua. The author provides, in addition to the description of artefacts, interpretation of social and cultural context of its use.

Open access
Second Life of Bodies in New Guinea

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to analyze and interpret uses of human remains in traditional cultures of New Guinea. The author discusses four groups of artifacts: ancestor cult, war trophy, items of everyday needs, and body adornments. The author provides detailed information from selected cultures of New Guinea. It is shown that artifacts made from human remains were not an isolated phenomenon, but were an integral part of cultural customs and way of life in particular cultures.

Open access
The Story of Storyboards from East Sepik, Papua New Guinea

Abstract

This study analyzes and interprets East Sepik storyboards, which the authors regard as a form of cultural continuity and instrument of cultural memory in the post-colonial period. The study draws on field research conducted by the authors in the village of Kambot in East Sepik. The authors divide the storyboards into two groups based on content. The first includes storyboards describing daily life in the community, while the other links the daily life to pre-Christian religious beliefs and views. The aim of the study is to analyze one of the forms of contemporary material culture in East Sepik in the context of cultural changes triggered by Christianization, colonial administration in the former Territory of New Guinea and global tourism.

Open access
Exogenous Cultural Change in the Background of the Generational Change: The Case from Papua New Guinea

Abstract

An analysis of cultural change and generation gaps in the local community of the Nungon ethnic group in the state of Papua New Guinea will be the subject of the study. This ethnic group came into contact with Europeans for the first time in the mid-1930s. The pace of cultural changes within the community has been gradually increasing. For example, the local animistic cult has been replaced with Christianity, school attendance has been introduced in the villages of Nungon, travel opportunities have become more accessible, and as the mobile signal has recently been introduced, Nungon residents can now connect to the internet and access information about the globalised world. Those who remember the colonial period still live in the community and many of them are still illiterate, with only limited knowledge of Pidgin English, the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea. On the other hand, the youngest generation can study in cities or experiment with social media and share information there. The aim of the paper is not only to show intergenerational differences, but also to document the local history and its ties to particular generations and show the role the generational memory played in illiterate societies with unwritten history. The only existing written and photographic documents were created by colonial officers. The study will show the transformation of the Nungon community from the time of photographs kept in boxes to the youngest generation, which keeps photographs in mobile phones and shares them on social media.

Open access