Ipili speakers in the highlands of Papua New Guinea creatively use the category “whiteman” both to structure their longing for socioeconomic progress and development and to critique the very institutions associated with development that they desire. This article explores the history of Ipili-white interactions from first contact in the 1930s, through the rise of indigenous mining, and up to the present to trace how “whiteness” as a category has transformed Ipili understandings of whites and the West. Today the Ipili, as landowners associated with the Porgera gold mine, are intimately entangled with development and its benefits and ills, which have prompted debate over how to build a “modern” town in the highlands.
Research Article| July 01 2007
Jerry K. Jacka; Whitemen, the Ipili, and the City of Gold: A History of the Politics of Race and Development in Highlands New Guinea. Ethnohistory 1 July 2007; 54 (3): 445–472. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-2007-003
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