Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

West Papua: Forgotten War, Unwanted People

Nowhere in the modern world has an armed liberation struggle persisted for so long - nearly 30 years - and with such secrecy, as the West Papuan war of resistance against the military government of Indonesia.

Village Videos and Custom Chiefs: The Politics of Tradition

My first exposure to that quintessential hero of American pop culture, Rambo, came in 1988 while I was in Buala village on the island of Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands.

Update from CS (Canada) - 15.2

itskan and Wet'suwet'en of British Columbia

Tribes in Agony: Land, Development, and Politics in Solomon Islands

A common complaint of some outside developers and other business entrepreneurs working in Melanesia is that Solomon Islanders, like many other groups in the Pacific, are very difficult to deal with when it comes to the issue of land.

The Murray Island Case

The status of indigenous land ownership in Australia is by now well known. British settlement of the continent in 1788 eclipsed Aboriginal title in colonial eyes, and this remained the case when Australia became a federation in 1901. The federal and state governments allocated land for Aboriginal people, but these reserves could be returned to the government at any time, and often were.

Reestablishing a Home on Eastern Cape York Peninsula

Queensland, a large state that occupies the northeastern part of the Australian continent, has long had a reputation among Australian states for its repressive policies and practices dealing with the indigenous Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (the 1986 Census counted 61,268 indigenous people, making up 2.4 percent of Queensland's population).

Politics and Society in Post-Coup Fiji

On 7 April 1987 Fiji held its fifth general election since gaining independence from Britain in 1970. After months of hectic campaigning, the newly formed National Federation - Fiji Labor Party Coalition won over the long-reigning Alliance Party by capturing 28 of the 52 eats in the national Parliament.

Negotiating Sea Rights

If I were to visit another country. I would ask my local companion, before I saw any museum or library, and factory or fabled town, to walk me in the country of his or her youth, to tell me the names of things and how, traditionally, they have been fitted together in a community. I would ask for the stories, the voice of memory over the land.

Land Rights and Development: Writing About Kwara'ae Tradition

One of the problems of most concern to the Kwara'ae people of Mala'ita in Solomon Islands is what is happening to their land or, rather, to the traditional system for managing land "customary land tenure." A familiar way of describing the problem is summarized by the Mala'ita Provincial Planning Office when it points out that "Land tenure is the main constraint against development in the Provin

Land and Independence in New Caledonia

This is what we had and this is what you have left us," declared the Kanak Grand Chief Atal in 1878 as he emptied two sacks at the feet of the colonial governor - one sack full of earth and the other, rocks.

Kava, Cash, and Custom in Vanuatu

Night comes early to Port Vila, Vanuatu's small capital town where some 20,000 of the country's 145,000 people now live. By 6:00 P.M. a goodly number of these townspeople are already settled in a variety of bamboo-walled, tin-roofed shelters, and are busy buying and drinking cups of kava (Piper methysticum), the Pacific's indigenous drug (see Lindstrom 1987).

Introduction - 15.2

This installment of Cultural Survival; Quarterly is special in number of ways. It is the first issue specifically dedicated to one of the sub groupings of the Pacific islands, to Melanesia in particular. The contributors were asked to explore variations on a theme that looms large in the region's future: development and control of ancestral homelands and seas.

Home Reef Fisheries Development: A Report from Torres Strait

From the window of the four-seater Cessna the horizon seems curved and distorted, like the view through a fish-eye lens. Mabuiag Island is still only a speck in the blue to the northwest, as we fly over One, Two, and three Dollar Reefs, leaving Thursday Island behind. In my mind I can still hear strains of the Mills Sister' Top Ten song, ""T.I.

Editorial: Brave New World Order

If the suffering of the Kurds in Iraq is a preview of the much-touted new world order, then we all are in for some rough times. George Bush's use of opportunistic politics and disposable allies seems all too familiar, nowhere more so than with the Kurds.

Digging the Mines in Melanesia

A cross the island of New Guinea three of the world's largest open-cut gold and copper mines have intruded on the lands and resources of Fourth World Melanesians: the Ok Tedi and Panguna mines in Papua New Guinea and the Freeport mine in West Papua (see Map 5).

Birth and Death on Cape York

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia's Far North, in the state of Queensland, feel a strong identification with "country" - an intense attachment to birthplace and yearning for yearly sojourns to home countries.

Asserting Traditional Rights: Community Conservation in Solomon Islands

For many years the South Pacific islands have had indigenous systems for administering and allocating land and sea resources. For Pacific Islanders, land above water and land that is covered by fresh-water of seawater are one and undivided - albeit with some form of seaward limit, often the outer edge of the outermost coral reef.

Agro-Deforestation in Melanesia

Clearing forest is an age-old human activity - an unmodified forest is not a congenial habitat and could support only a very low density of people. Consequently, over the past several millennia very few societies have lived wholly in an ecosystem that approaches natural forest. Agriculturists had to clear forest, even if only temporarily, for their gardens.

Health and Development: Seeking the Best of Both Worlds

Anecdotal accounts of the health of Pacific Islanders at the time of early contact with Europeans tell of their physical strength and healthy appearance, their "strong white teeth" and "smooth skins." Remember, however, that these observations refer to adult survivors; health conditions were not ideal, and young children were probably frequently the victims of malaria or other diseases.