Black Harvest

Joe Leahy is the half-caste son of one of the first explorers of the Papua New Guinea highland interior. His relations with the local Ganiga tribe who work his coffee plantation on their land are difficult at times. However he has successfully managed to get them to agree to open a second plantation in partnership with him. Things are looking

Paradise Bent

Paradise Bent is one of the world’s first studies of the Samoan fa’afafines: boys who are raised as girls and play an important domestic role in Samoan culture. The anthropological spotlight has shone on Samoa many times this century. But there has been no mention of fa’afafines-is it possible the anthropologists just didn’t notice them? According to the Samoans, fa’afafines

Half Life: A Parable for the Nuclear Age

Soon after dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the American military began looking for an “appropriate” place to test its nuclear weapons. They chose the Marshall Islands—tiny atolls in the mid-Pacific-for a number of reasons. The United States had recently taken these islands from Japan, they were a long way from America and they were populated by a

The Sharcallers of Kontu

A performance of the kris dance, a Balinese ceremonial dance drama in which the never-ending struggle between the witch and the dragon—the death-dealing and the life-protecting—as it is given in the village of Pagoetan from 1937-39. The dancers go into violent trance seizures and turn their kris (dagger) against their breats without injury. Consciousness is restored with incense and holy

Media Nomads

When Bill and Mick Thaiday grew up on Palm Island in the 1950s, it was radio that imposed by the Aboriginal Protection Act. Later, it would also free them from the grip of alcohol addiction and start them on a journey that’s lasted almost 20 years. Together they have travelled like a couple of nomads, developing Aboriginal radio stations in

Green Tea and Cherry Ripe

GREEN TEA AND CHERRY RIPE tells the story of six Japanese women who married Australian servicemen after the Second World War, their efforts to build new lives in Australia and the challenges they faced in an alien land. In 1945 Japan was a bombed-out nation in ruins, its people living in poverty. Precious kimonos were exchanged for rice. Australia was