Skip to main content

Distributed for Haus Publishing

Stealing with the Eyes

Imaginings and Incantations in Indonesia

The Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia are remote and largely neglected by outsiders. Will Buckingham went there, as an anthropologist in training, with a mission. He hoped to meet three remarkable sculptors: the crippled Matias Fatruan, the buffalo hunter Abraham Amelwatin, and Damianus Masele, who was skilled in black magic, but who abstained out of Christian principle. Part memoir, part travelogue, Stealing with the Eyes is the story of these men, and also of how stumbling into a world of witchcraft, sickness, and fever led Buckingham to question the validity of his anthropological studies, and eventually to abandon them for good. 

Through his encounters with these remarkable craftsmen—which in relating her also interweaves with Tanimbarese history, myth, and philosophy dating back to ancient times— we are shown the forces at play in all of our lives: the struggle between the powerful and the powerless, the tension between the past and the future, and how to make sense of a world that is in constant flux.

240 pages | 5 1/4 x 8 1/2 | © 2018

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Asian Studies:

Travel and Tourism:

Haus Publishing image

View all books from Haus Publishing


“Buckingham writes compellingly about cultural appropriation and the power imbalances that so often colour anthropological endeavour. . . . Stealing with the Eyes is powerful. Buckingham has a wonderful eye for detail, and the tale he has woven is gripping.”

Times Literary Supplement

"Apart from setting the tone through observation, the best about Buckingham’s prose is its apparent honesty. Written more than two decades after working on a project with Ambon’s Pattimura University, this memoir squints at self and society from afar."

The Jakarta Post

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press