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Custom and Confrontation

The Kwaio Struggle for Cultural Autonomy

"Anthropologists and students of anthropology may read this book because it is a superior ethnography, detailed and enriched by theoretical insights. But at the heart of this book is a moral take, a simple but powerful story about an indigenous people who were wronged, who resisted for more than 100 years, and who may yet prevail. This message, ultimately, lends the book its true meaning and value."—William Rodman, Anthropologica

"A major contribution to the ethnography and history of Malaita and Melanesia, and to the growing literature on cultural resistance. But above all, his humane and painful analysis of the meeting of peoples living in different worlds and constructing their agendas and moralities on incommensurate—and apparently equally arbitrary—principles, represents a major contribution and challenge to anthropological thought, addressing the basic issue of what it is to be human."—Fredrik Barth

280 pages | 13 halftones, 3 maps | 6 x 9 | © 1992

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Asian Studies: Southeast Asia and Australia

Rhetoric and Communication

Table of Contents

1. Local Eddies in Global Streams
2. The Past in the Present
3. A Reconstructed Past
4. The Labor Trade
5. Sukuru
6. Gafamanu
7. Gwee’abe and After
8. La’aka and the Ruin of Tulagi
9. The World of Colonial Caste and Plantations
10. Ta’a I Marika
11. Maasina Rule
12. Repression
13. Kastomu, Law, and Tax
14. Kisini and Kastomu
15. A Growing Christian Presence
16. Lull Before the Storms
17. The Kwaio Cultural Center
18. Kwaio Fadanga and Confrontation
19. Confrontations and Dangers
20. Beyond the Mountains
21. Resistance in the Nineties
22. Discourses of Resistance, Structures of Culture
23. Continuity and Change in Kwaio Resistance
24. Oppositional Structures in Kwaio Resistance
25. Why Resistance?
Works Cited

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