This remarkable book explores questions of identity and value posed by people living on (or near) the small Pacific island of Karavar in Papua New Guinea. The complex social and cultural changes that occurred during the century after Europeans first arrived in the area have led Karavarans to wonder about-and to assert-who they are and who they might become as citizens of a developing country that is striving to create national coherence across some seven hundred linguistic and cultural groups. Focusing on how the Karavarans' long-term preoccupation with identity and worth has played out in various social contexts, Errington and Gewertz convey a grounded sense of how these people have actually lived and dealt with such widely significant issues as ethnic diversity and the development of national unity. The authors present a historical and ethnographic analysis that, in its scope and mastery of detail, does justice to the complexity and significance of change in a colonial and postcolonial world. Errington and Gewertz's discussions convey a perspective that simultaneously makes both "other" and "ourselves" more understandable and readily comparable as culturally constructed, historically contingent, and mutually determinative. This book will be of interest to anthropologists, sociologists, Oceanists, and all scholars concerned with questions of national identity.
Preface and Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- Resistance Through Emulation -- Dueling Currencies in East New Britain -- From Darkness to Light in the George Brown Jubilee -- First Contact with God -- The Triumph of Capitalism in East New Britain? -- Conclusion