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Contemporary Warfare In The New Guinea Highlands

2496 words - 10 pages

New Guinea highlanders can go to war with each other to avenge ghosts or to exct revenge for the killing of one of their one. As we have to seen from other reports, or lessens we have discussed, people don't seen to comprehend the complex interrelationship among the various parts of their own social system.The leaders of Papua New Guinea see intertribal fighting as a major social problem with severe economic consequences. Although fighting is not new to them, warfare seems to re-emerge in 1970s with a new set of causes. It is believed that the introduction of western goods may have resulted in changes in economic arrangements, marriage patterns, and, ultimately, warfare.A little information ...view middle of the document...

The reduction of intertribal marriage, over time, resulted in a decrease of the web of affinal and nonagnatic kin ties which had provided linkages between autonomous tribal political units. The result of this reduction of intertribal marriage is the resurgence of tribal fighting.Some researchers believed that once tribal fighting ended, men would be able to wander farther afield and develop relationships with single teenage girls over a wide area. Pacification, then, might reasonably be expected to result in an increase of intertribal marriage.Background:Warfare in traditional highlands societies has been regarded as chronic, incessant, and is said to have been accepted as part of social living in most areas. Indeed, the pattern of warfare was one of the most continuous and violent on record. Some neighboring groups maintained relations of permanent hostility and had little to do with one another. In contrast, most neighboring tribes intermarried and attended one another;s ceremonies.Pacification was an early goal of the colonial administration. By the end of 1930s, fighting was rare in the vicinity of Simbu province government stations. By 1940, Australian authority was accepted and attacks on strangers and tribal fighting had nearly ended, although the entire highlands was not pacified until 1960s. This period also witnessed the introduction of Western goods such as salt and the steel axe.From the end of WW2 through 1970s, educational and business opportunities expanded, local government and village courts were introduced, and national self-government was attained in 1975. Highlanders came to expect that development would lead to material gains.Tribal warfare began to reemerge as a significant national problem in about 1970, 5 yrs before independence. By 1973, the government had become concerned that the situation might deteriorate to a point that they could no longer effectively administer parts of the highlands.Scholars used psychological and socio-structural analysis out of the 5 major theories to explain the recent emergence of tribal warfare. ( biological evolution, psychological theories, cultural evolution, ecological adaptation, and social-structural analysis )Others argue that the problem on rising warfare lies in the perception that the government, especially the courts, has become weaker and that this had led to the breakdown in law and order. However, the police force increased. So they concluded that the police force, even if they increased, had last its powers for several reasons. Also, these kiaps ( field officers ) has also lost their control over access to goods. And because the Enga ( maybe some tribe or whatever ) had attached great importance to trade-goods, they followed the kiaps and stop fighting. But because of their loss of control over those goods, they don't listen anymore. The Enga would stop fighting because they don't want to lose those things.Contemporary violence is sometimes thought to be a protest rising out...

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