BRUCE KNAUFT THE GEBUSI PDF

Start your review of The Gebusi: Lives Transformed in a Rainforest World Write a review Shelves: papua-new-guinea , world-books-challenge , pacific-islands , nonfiction , anthropology , sociology , 3-stars I am not the intended audience for this book; I read it looking for something set in Papau New Guinea from which I would learn a bit about the country and its people, while the book seems intended for assignment in undergraduate anthropology classes as a supplementary textbook. It did fulfill my goal of learning about the lives of the Gebusi, a small tribe living in the rainforest of Papau New Guineas huge Western Province. On the other hand, its a shame that academic texts arent written or I am not the intended audience for this book; I read it looking for something set in Papau New Guinea from which I would learn a bit about the country and its people, while the book seems intended for assignment in undergraduate anthropology classes as a supplementary textbook. Knauft is an anthropologist who initially lived with the Gebusi for two years, from to , accompanied by his wife Eileen whether she is also an anthropologist is unclear; though he discusses his feelings about developments among the Gebusi and relationships with individuals among them, this is definitely not a memoir.

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In , while anthropologist Bruce Knauft was conducting fieldwork among the Gebusi forager-horticulturalists of New Guinea, a Gebusi man named Dugawe killed himself.

Knauft did not see the act, only its aftermath, and with other Gebusi individuals he went into the forest to inspect the body. Knauft looked for signs of foul play, and wondered if the death may have been a murder disguised as a suicide. After discussing it with the others, Knauft managed to piece together part of the story: It turned out that Dugawe had fought earlier that day with his wife, Sialim.

During the scuffle, she had held an arrow, thrust it toward him, and scratched his shirt. Their fight had been about a sexual affair that was generally acknowledged between Sialim and a young man, Sagawa. Publicly cuckolded, Dugawe had been furious. He had wanted to kill his wayward wife, and perhaps her lover as well.

But Silap and others had discouraged him from doing this. Incensed but lacking other recourse, Dugawe had fought with his wife. He was further shamed by her scratching his shirt, his prized possession. When she went off to fetch water, the men said, he took tubes of poison he had previously made to kill fish in the stream and, in a fit of rage, drank them all.

Empty tubes with the smell of the deadly toxin were found nearby. Dugawe had died a writhing death after poisoning himself in anger against his wife Knauft, As they were walking through the forest, two women converged on them from another direction. One of the women began hitting Sialim with the blunt side of a steel axe. She soon ended her attack and began sobbing over the body, while the other woman started shoving Sialim with a pointed stick.

The men soon intervened and wrestled them both away, and then continued carrying the body to the village. Given the anger against her, it was decided that she should go with the officer back to Nomad and stay there for her own protection. The main events of the day were then over; the piercing wails of women haunted the night. The Gebusi traditionally believed that all adult deaths were due to sorcery I described some of the changes the Gebusi have recently undergone in a previous article for Quillette.

In the interim, Knauft learned new information that substantially changed his perspective of Sialim and Dugawe: by the time this sorcery investigation resumed, my opinion of Sialim had changed. At first, I thought she had acted irresponsibly. She had carried on a sexual affair with a young man named Sagawa, and she had apparently shamed her husband into killing himself. But additional facts painted a different picture. These murders had been so awful that villagers had informed the police, and Dugawe had served a five-year term at the Western Province prison.

To my knowledge, no other Gebusi had ever been incarcerated there—or has been since. Women themselves may desire this. As newlyweds, they fought, and he frequently beat her. On one occasion, she showed her bruises to police at the Nomad Station, and, knowing his violent history, they put him in jail. While he was there, Sialim took up with Sagawa, her young lover. Perhaps she hoped her new relationship would become a de facto marriage. But Dugawe was discharged earlier than expected.

Enraged, he wanted to kill Sialim and Sagawa. But Silap and other men persuaded him this would only give him a longer prison term than he had already endured. Amid this tension, Dugawe took up again with Sialim. But after their fight, he killed himself Knauft, The spirits that Swamin conferred with apparently redirected the popular suspicion away from Sialim as culprit. As incredulous as I was, the men around me seemed completely convinced Knauft, As such, we could not determine exactly where the sorcerers were from, or their identity.

But the investigation did validate that Dugawe had been killed by an assault sorcerer from a distant village. It being impossible to discover more, no further action was taken. Over the next seven months, she spent more and more time with Swamin, the spirit medium who exonerated her. Unfortunately, the eggs were badly undercooked. When Mokoyl had given Swamin one of the eggs to eat—as she was expected to do—he had vomited. A few weeks afterward, about a year before we began our fieldwork, Swamin tracked Mokoyl alone in the forest and split her skull with a bush knife.

Her body was summarily buried in the forest, but villagers from another settlement, knowing she had been killed as a sorceress, dug up and cooked and ate parts of the body before it decomposed. In doing so, they indicated their own support for the killing.

Government officers never discovered what happened.

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In , while anthropologist Bruce Knauft was conducting fieldwork among the Gebusi forager-horticulturalists of New Guinea, a Gebusi man named Dugawe killed himself. Knauft did not see the act, only its aftermath, and with other Gebusi individuals he went into the forest to inspect the body. Knauft looked for signs of foul play, and wondered if the death may have been a murder disguised as a suicide. After discussing it with the others, Knauft managed to piece together part of the story: It turned out that Dugawe had fought earlier that day with his wife, Sialim. During the scuffle, she had held an arrow, thrust it toward him, and scratched his shirt. Their fight had been about a sexual affair that was generally acknowledged between Sialim and a young man, Sagawa. Publicly cuckolded, Dugawe had been furious.

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The Gebusi: Lives Transformed in a Rainforest World

Want to Read saving…. Sociocultural and Religious Change 8. Bruce M. Knauft bguce He also provides more ethnographic data in regards to sex, gender, and, spirituality which are consistent topics of discussion throughout the book. Three Decades of Cultural Change.

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