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.

Allen, Bryant, and Stephen Frankel
1991
Across the Tari Furoro. In
Like People You See in a Dream: First Contact in Six Papuan Societies
. E. Schieffelin and R. Crittenden, eds. Pp.
88
-124. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Ballard, Chris
2000
The Fire Next Time: The Conversion of the Huli Apocalypse.
Ethnohistory
47
:
205
-26.
Ballard, Chris, and Glenn Banks
2003
Resource Wars: The Anthropology of Mining.
Annual Review of Anthropology
32
:
287
-313.
Bashkow, Ira
2000
“Whitemen” Are Good to Think With: How Orokaiva Morality Is Reflected on Whitemen's Skin.
Identities
7
:
281
-332.
Basso, Keith
1979
Portraits of “The Whiteman”: Linguistic Play and Cultural Symbols among the Western Apache
. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Biersack, Aletta
1991
Prisoners of Time: Millenarian Praxis in a Melanesian Valley. In
Clio in Oceania: Toward a Historical Anthropology
. A. Biersack, ed. Pp.
231
-96. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
1996
Word Made Flesh: Religion, the Economy, and the Body in the Papua New Guinea Highlands.
History of Religions
36
:
85
-111.
1998
Sacrifice and Regeneration among Ipilis: The View from Tipinini. In
Fluid Ontologies: Myth, Ritual, and Philosophy in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea
. L. R. Goldman and C. Ballard, eds. Pp.
43
-66. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey.
2005
On the Life and Times of the Ipili Imagination. In
The Making of Global and Local Modernities in Melanesia: Humiliation, Transformation, and the Nature of Cultural Change
. Joel Robbins and Holly Wardlow, eds. Pp.
135
-62. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
2006
Red River, Green War: The Politics of Place along the Porgera River. In
Reimagining Political Ecology
. Aletta Biersack and James Greenberg, eds. Pp.
233
-80. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Clark, Jeffrey
1988
Kaun and Kogono: Cargo Cults and Development in Karavar and Pangia.
Oceania
59
:
40
-57.
1989
The Incredible Shrinking Men: Male Ideology and Development in a Southern Highlands Society.
Canberra Anthropology
12
:
120
-43.
1997
Imagining the State, or Tribalism and the Arts of Memory in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. In
Narratives of Nation in the South Pacific
. T. Otto and N. Thomas, eds. Pp.
65
-90. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic.
Connolly, Bob, and Robin Anderson
1987
First Contact: New Guinea's Highlanders Encounter the Outside World
. New York: Viking.
Denoon, Donald
2000
Getting under the Skin: The Bougainville Copper Agreement and the Creation of the Panguna Mine
. Carlton South, Australia: Melbourne University Press.
Derkley, Harry, ed.
1989
The Porgera Agreements
. Madang, Papua New Guinea: Enga Provincial Government.
Gammage, Bill
1998
The Sky Travellers: Journeys in New Guinea, 1938-1939
. Victoria, Australia: Melbourne University Press.
Gewertz, Deborah, and Frederick Errington
1999
Emerging Class in Papua New Guinea: The Telling of Difference
. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gibbs, Philip
1977
The Cult from Lyeimi and the Ipili.
Oceania
48
:
1
-25.
Golub, Alex
2001
Gold Positive: A Short History of Porgera, 1930-1997
. Mt. Hagen: Porgera Development Authority, in association with Kristen Press, Madang, Papua New Guinea.
Griffin, James, Hank Nelson, and Stewart Firth
1979
Papua New Guinea: A Political History
. Richmond: Heinemann Educational Australia.
Hagen-Sepik Patrol Report 1938-39 MSS 443
, Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego.
Imbun, Ben
1994
Who Said Mining Companies Take and Do Not Give? The Mining Companies' Role of Social Responsibility in Papua New Guinea.
Taim-Lain: A Journal of Contemporary Melanesian Studies
2
:
27
-42.
Jacka, Jerry
2001a
On the Outside Looking In: Attitudes and Responses of Non-landowners towards Mining at Porgera. In
Mining in Papua New Guinea: Analysis and Policy Implications
. B. Imbun and P. McGavin, eds. Pp.
45
-62. Port Moresby: University of Papua New Guinea Press.
2001b
Coca-Cola and Kolo: Land, Ancestors, and Development.
Anthropology Today
17
:
3
-8.
2002
Cults and Christianity among the Enga and Ipili.
Oceania
72
:
196
-214.
2003
God, Gold, and the Ground: Place-Based Political Ecology in a New Guinea Borderlands. PhD diss.
, University of Oregon.
2007
“Our Skins Are Weak”: Ipili Modernity and the Demise of Discipline. In
Embodying Modernity and Postmodernity: Ritual, Praxis, and Social Change in Melanesia
. S. Bamford, ed. Pp.
39
-67. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic.
Jackson, Richard, and Glenn Banks
2002
In Search of the Serpent's Skin: The Story of the Porgera Gold Project
. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Placer Niugini.
Jebens, Holger
2000
Signs of the Second Coming: On Eschatological Expectation and Disappointment in Highland and Seaboard Papua New Guinea.
Ethnohistory
47
:
171
-204.
Kirsch, Stuart
2001
Lost Worlds: Environmental Disaster, “Culture Loss,” and the Law.
Current Anthropology
42
:
167
-98.
Kituai, August
1998
My Gun, My Brother: The World of the Papua New Guinea Colonial Police, 1920-1960
. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
2000
Deaths on the Mountain: An Account of Police Violence in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. In
Remembrance of Pacific Pasts
. R. Borofsky, ed. Pp.
212
-28. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
Knauft, Bruce
1999
From Primitive to Postcolonial in Melanesia and Anthropology
. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
2002
Exchanging the Past: A Rainforest World of Before and After
. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kulick, Don
1992
Coming Up in Gapun: Conceptions of Development and Their Effect on Language in a Papua New Guinea Village. In
Kam-ap or Take-off: Local Notions of Development
. G. Dahl and A. Rabo, eds. Pp.
10
-34. Uppsala, Sweden: Stockholm Studies in Social Anthropology.
Lattas, Andrew
1998
Cultures of Secrecy: Reinventing Race in Bush Kaliai Cargo Cults
. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Leahy, Michael
1991
Explorations into Highland New Guinea, 1930-1935
. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
May, R. J., and Matthew Spriggs, eds.
1990
The Bougainville Crisis
. Bathurst, Australia: Crawford House.
Meggitt, Mervyn J.
1973
The Sun and the Shakers: A Millenarian Cult and Its Transformations in the New Guinea Highlands.
Oceania
44
:
1
-56.
Nita, Albert
2001
New Power Structures and Environmental Management: Evidence from Porgera Gold Mine. In
Mining in Papua New Guinea: Analysis and Policy Implications
. B. Imbun and P. McGavin, eds. Pp.
157
-72. Waigani: University of Papua New Guinea Press.
Robbins, Joel
1998
On Reading “World News”: Apocalyptic Narrative, Negative Nationalism, and Transnational Christianity in a Papua New Guinea Society.
Social Analysis
42
:
103
-30.
2004
Becoming Sinners: Christianity and Moral Torment in a Papua New Guinea Society
. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Robinson, N. C.
1960
Report of Extended Patrol in the Native Mining Area of the Porgera River Western Highlands, August-October 1960
. Unpublished manuscript.
Sahlins, Marshall
1981
Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of the Sandwich Islands
. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
1985
Islands of History
. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1992
The Economics of Develop-man in the Pacific.
Res
21
:
12
-25.
Schieffelin, Edward L., and Robert Crittenden, eds.
1991
Like People You See in a Dream: First Contact in Six Papuan Societies
. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Sharp, Peter
1990
The Searching Sun: The Lyeime Movement—Crisis, Tragic Events, and Folie à Deux in the Papua New Guinea Highlands.
Papua New Guinea Medical Journal
33
:
111
-20.
Stewart, Pamela, and Andrew Strathern
2002
Remaking the World: Myth, Mining, and Ritual Change among the Duna of Papua New Guinea
. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Strathern, Marilyn
1988
The Gender of the Gift: Problems with Women and Problems with Society in Melanesia
. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Waiko, John
1980
Komge Oro: Land and Culture or Nothing. In
Voices of Independence: New Black Writing from Papua New Guinea
. U. Beier, ed. Pp.
224
-29. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland Press.
Wiessner, Polly, and Akii Tumu
1998
Historical Vines: Enga Networks of Exchange, Ritual, and Warfare in Papua New Guinea
. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
2001
Averting the Bush Fire Day: Ain's Cult Revisited. In
Ecology and the Sacred: Engaging the Anthropology of Roy A. Rappaport
. E. Messer and M. Lambek, eds. Pp.
300
-323. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
This content is only available as a PDF.