Masks and Men in a Melanesian Society: The Valuku or Tubuan of the Lakalai of New Britain

Masks and Men in a Melanesian Society: The Valuku or Tubuan of the Lakalai of New Britain

Masks and Men in a Melanesian Society: The Valuku or Tubuan of the Lakalai of New Britain

Masks and Men in a Melanesian Society: The Valuku or Tubuan of the Lakalai of New Britain

Excerpt

The field research on which this study is based was the work of two expeditions to the area of the Lakalai people on the island of New Britain (see Maps 1 and 2). Both field projects were sponsored by the University Museum and the Department of Anthropology of the University of Pennsylvania. The earlier expedition in 1954 was led by Dr. W. H. Goodenough, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. The other members of this group were Dr. M. A. Chowning, Dr. D. R. Swindler, Edith Valentine and myself. Additional financial support for the work of this party was granted by the American Philo sophical Society and the Tri-Tnstitutional Pacific Program. My own part in the expedition was aided by a Fulbright Scholarship to the Australian National University. My wife and I worked in the Lakalai area from April through October, 1954.

After a period devoted to the working up of field materials and related research at the Australian National University, Mrs. Valentine and I returned alone to the Lakalai area and completed our work there between April and November, 1956. On this occasion our work received supplemental support from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of the Australian National University and the United States Educational Foundation in Australia. Our indebtedness to each of the various sponsors mentioned above is gratefully acknowledged.

For the success of our field work we are of course primarily indebted to the native population, particularly the Lakalai people without whose generous hospitality and willing cooperation our work would not have been possible. We are also grateful for the kind cooperation of the Administration of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea and for the friendly aid extended to us by Administration officers, Christian mission personnel, plantation owners and employees, members of the trading community, and other Europeans and Asians with whom we came into contact.

During both periods of field research the investigation of Lakalai religion was one of my chief responsibilities, and this in-

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