From Primitive to Postcolonial in Melanesia and Anthropology

Subjects: Anthropology, Asian Studies
Paperback : 9780472066872, 352 pages, 7 drawings, 1 table, 1 map, 16 color photographs, 6 x 9, May 1999
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A prominent scholar surveys the special place of Melanesia in our understanding of human cultural variation


What have anthropologists taught us about Melanesia--one of anthropology's most important and intensively studied world regions? In this book, Professor Bruce Knauft draws together and critically reanalyzes what we know about major features of Melanesian cultural history, warfare and politics, gender, bodily practices, and spirituality as discerned from more than a century of academic study.
From Primitive to Postcolonial in Melanesia and Anthropology is arguably the most comprehensive single reassessment of Melanesia as an ethnographic world area to have been published in several decades. Written for students as well as professional scholars, this work further broadens our understanding by analyzing the history of Melanesian ethnography and relating this history to the larger relationship between Melanesia as a contemporary world area and anthropology as a field of contemporary human study.

Bruce M. Knauft is Professor of Anthropology, Emory University, and the author of three previous books as well as some thirty journal articles and chapters. Knauft's interests span a wide range of issues in the anthropology of Melanesia and he is articulate with general issues of cultural theory and anthropological history.