Fifty years ago the New Guinea highlands were isolated and unknown to outsiders. As the highland peoples of New Guinea are among the last large groups to be brought into the world community, they are of major interest to ecologists, social anthropologists and cultural historians. This study synthesises previous anthropological research on the New Guinea highland peoples and cultures and demonstrates the interrelations of ecological adaptation, population and society. In describing, analysing and comparing the technology, culture and community life of peoples of the highland and the highland fringe, Professor Brown shows the special character of these societies, which have developed in isolation. In addition to examining the unique regional development of the New Guinea highland peoples, this book, a study in ecological and social anthropology, brings together theses two analytical fields and demonstrates their interrelationships.
Review from the hardback: 'Thanks to the clarity and simplicity of Dr Brown's writing, I believe that this book will be eminently suitable for students of Pacific ethnology in general and of Melanesian ethnology in particular.' M. J. Meggitt, Queens College, City University of New York Review from the hardback: 'The book is clearly written and organised well and fills a definite need in the literature.' Andrew Strathern, University College London