The Great Village: The Economic and Social Welfare of Hanuabada, an Urban Community in Papua

The Great Village: The Economic and Social Welfare of Hanuabada, an Urban Community in Papua

The Great Village: The Economic and Social Welfare of Hanuabada, an Urban Community in Papua

The Great Village: The Economic and Social Welfare of Hanuabada, an Urban Community in Papua

Excerpt

This study of the welfare of Hanuabada, an urban group in Port Moresby, Papua, is the third in a series of monographs I have been writing on various aspects of the social economics of modern Melanesia. It was carried out on a Research Fellowship of the Australian National University, Canberra.

My family and I spent one year living on the outskirts of Hanuabada, from September 1950 to September 1951. While I concentrated mainly on establishing systematic enquiries, my wife made many invaluable contacts among the women, and worked through the language. I myself did not speak Motuan in its 'classical' form, partly because male informants spoke good English. Had the centre of my enquiries been religious beliefs, social communication, or the psychological state of individuals, this defect would have been much more serious.

It early became apparent that systematic enquiries, often quantitative, would be the centre of the study. I was fortunate to obtain the assistance of three Papuans without whose services the research could not have been completed in its present form. One was Ranu Nihara, a man of Gulf extraction adopted into the village, who was seconded by the Department of Education. He has recently been putting his experience to use in a community development study of Tabar, New Ireland. Another was Kaekae Avaisa, from the Mekeo, seconded by the Department of Agriculture, who is now associated with the Rural Progress Societies in his native district. The third was Osineru Dickson, formerly secretary to the Administrator, who is a native of Milne Bay, and now works in the District Office, Port Moresby. I cannot thank these men enough for their willing work under trying conditions, and I must also mention the enlightened interest which prompted Mr. W. C. Groves, Mr. R. Thompson, Mr. W. Cottrell- Dormer, and Mr. Ivan Champion to second them for purposes of training in social survey work. My only regret is that I was not aware of the need for such assistance sufficiently early to arrange to have them with me from the beginning.

We obtained much of the information by means of general discussions in homes, at tea-parties, and during normal village activities, according to standard anthropological procedures. Here an immediate limitation was apparent. As wage-earners, the Hanuabadans were . . .

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